|The comment period for the proposed rule published on Jan. 23, 2020 (85 FR 4094) has been extended through April 22, 2020. To be assured of consideration, comments must be received on or before April 22, 2020.|
This rulemaking proposes changes to simplify meal pattern and monitoring requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The proposed changes, including optional flexibilities, are customer-focused and intended to help state and local program operators overcome operational challenges that limit their ability to manage these programs efficiently.
In the National School Lunch Program, the proposed rule would add flexibility to the existing vegetable subgroups requirement. In the School Breakfast Program, the proposed rule would make it easier for menu planners to offer meats/meat alternates and grains interchangeably (without offering a minimum grains requirement daily), and would allow schools to offer ½ cup of fruit in breakfasts served outside the cafeteria to reduce food waste.
Other proposed changes would make it easier for local Program operators to plan menus for different age/grade groups, and expand the entrée exemption service timeframe for competitive foods. To improve efficiency in Program monitoring, the proposed rule also would ease several administrative review requirements, including the review cycle. The monitoring changes aim to decrease the burden associated with administrative reviews while rewarding program integrity initiatives at the State and local levels.
This rule also proposes to make updates, clarifications, and technical corrections throughout other parts of its regulations. Implementation of the wide range of proposed changes and flexibilities is expected to simplify operational requirements, increase efficiency, and make it easier for State and local Program operators to feed children.