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Requests for Exemption from the School Meals’ Whole Grain-Rich Requirement for School Years 2014-2015 and 2015- 2016

Last Published: 05/09/2016

Superseded by SP33-2016

In Section 751 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235), Congress directed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow State agencies that administer the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to grant an exemption from the regulatory whole grain-rich requirement in the meal programs, in school years (SYs) 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, to a school food authority (SFA) that demonstrates a hardship in procuring compliant whole grain-rich products that are acceptable to students. Under the terms of the legislation, State agencies have the option of whether to grant exemptions to the whole grain-rich requirement. The legislation requires that State agencies that choose to offer exemptions to their SFAs establish a process for evaluating and responding to the requests for exemptions. The provision further requires that SFAs that are approved for an exemption from the current whole grain-rich requirement must continue, at a minimum, to meet the whole grain-rich requirement that was in effect for SY 2013-2014. This memorandum provides guidance to help State agencies establish their own processes to evaluate and respond to exemption requests from interested SFAs.

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