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School Breakfast Program: Continuation of the Substitution of Vegetables for Fruit Flexibility

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FNS Document #
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (167.82 KB)
DATE: January 22, 2020
MEMO CODE: SP 06- 2020
SUBJECT: School Breakfast Program: Continuation of the Substitution of Vegetables for Fruit Flexibility
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

School food authorities (SFAs) participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) may continue to credit any vegetable offered, including potatoes and other starchy vegetables, in place of fruit without including vegetables from other subgroups in the weekly menus, through June 30, 2021. This flexibility is based on Section 749 of Division B of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 (PL 116-94) (the Appropriations Act), enacted on Dec. 20, 2019. It is a continuation of the flexibility originally offered under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2019 (PL 116-6), enacted on Feb. 15, 2019. This memorandum supersedes SP 16-2019: School Breakfast Program: Substitution of Vegetables for Fruit, March 18, 2019.

SFAs participating in the SBP are required to offer 1 cup of fruit daily to children in all age/grade groups (7 CFR 220.8(c)). To meet this requirement, SFAs may offer a vegetable in place of a fruit. Under current regulations, SFAs choosing to offer a vegetable in place of a fruit at breakfast must ensure that at least two cups per week are from the dark green, red/orange, beans and peas (legumes), or “other vegetables” subgroups (7 CFR 220.8(c), footnote (c)). However, under the Appropriations Act, through June 30, 2021, no federal funds may be used to enforce the requirement that at least two cups of vegetables per week come from the vegetable subgroups listed above. Therefore, through June 30, 2021, SFAs that offer 1 cup of fruit or vegetable at breakfast each day will be considered compliant during the administrative review. This provision provides additional flexibility in planning breakfast menus but does not require SFAs to make any menu changes.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum to program operators. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their state agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS regional office.

Angela Kline
Policy and Program Development Division
Child Nutrition Programs
Sarah Smith-Holmes
Program Monitoring and Operational Support Division
Child Nutrition Programs
Page updated: January 06, 2022

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.