National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs: National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates
This Notice announces the annual adjustments to the ``national average payments,'' the amount of money the Federal Government provides States for lunches, afterschool snacks and breakfasts served to children participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; to the ``maximum reimbursement rates,'' the maximum per lunch rate from Federal funds that a State can provide a school food authority for lunches served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program; and to the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to non-needy children in a school or institution which participates in the Special Milk Program for Children. The payments and rates are prescribed on an annual basis each July. The annual payments and rates adjustments for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs reflect changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The annual rate adjustment for the Special Milk Program reflects changes in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products.
Child and Adult Care Food Program: National Average Payment Rates, Day Care Home; Food Service Payment Rates, and Administrative Reimbursement Rates for Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes for the Period July 1, 2014 Through June 30, 2015
This notice announces the annual adjustments to the national average payment rates for meals and snacks served in child care centers, outside-school-hours care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, and adult day care centers; the food service payment rates for meals and snacks served in day care homes; and the administrative reimbursement rates for sponsoring organizations of day care homes, to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. Further adjustments are made to these rates to reflect the higher costs of providing meals in the States of Alaska and Hawaii. The adjustments contained in this notice are made on an annual basis each July, as required by the laws and regulations governing the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council
The Secretary of Agriculture intends to re-establish the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council). In accordance with provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the Council is being re-established to continue: (1) Developing a National Urban and Community Forestry action plan in accordance with Section 9(g)(3)(A-F) of the Act; (2) evaluating the implementation of the plan; (3) developing criteria; and (4) submitting recommendations for the Forest Service's National Urban and Community Forestry Cost- share Grant Program as required by Section 9(f)(1-2) of the Act. The Council is necessary and in the public interest.
Southwest Mississippi Resource Advisory Committee
The Southwest Mississippi Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Meadville, Mississippi. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. The meetings are open to the public. The purpose of the meetings are to review and recommend project proposals.
Oranges and Grapefruit Grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas and Imported Oranges; Change in Size Requirements for Oranges
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that relaxed the minimum size prescribed for oranges under the marketing order for oranges and grapefruit grown in Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas (order) and the orange import regulation. The interim rule relaxed the minimum size requirement for domestic and import shipments from 2\6/16\ inches to 2\3/16\ inches in diameter. This rule provides additional oranges to meet market demand, helping to maximize fresh shipments.
Domestic Dates Produced or Packed in Riverside County, California; Revision of Assessment Requirements
This rule revises the rules and regulations of the California date marketing order (order) to impose interest and late payment charges on overdue handler assessments. The order regulates the handling of dates produced or packed in Riverside County, California, and is administered locally by the California Date Administrative Committee (committee). Assessments upon date handlers are used to fund the reasonable and necessary expenses of the committee. These changes are expected to assist in the financial administration of the order by encouraging handlers to pay their assessments in a timely manner.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Washington and Imported Potatoes; Modification of the Handling Regulations, Reporting Requirements, and Import Regulations for Red Types of Potatoes
The Department of Agriculture is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that exempted red types of potatoes from minimum quality, maturity, pack, marking, and inspection requirements of the Washington potato marketing order and the potato import regulation for the 2013-2014 and subsequent fiscal periods. This rule also continues in effect the action that required handlers of red types of potatoes to submit reports during the period that red types of potatoes are exempt from regulation. This rule is expected to reduce overall industry expenses and increase net returns to producers and handlers while giving the industry the opportunity to explore alternative marketing strategies.
Nondiscrimination in Programs or Activities Conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA or Department) is amending its regulation on nondiscrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department. The changes clarifies the roles and responsibilities of USDA's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) and USDA agencies in enforcing nondiscrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department and strengthens USDA's civil rights compliance and complaint processing activities to better protect the rights of USDA customers. OASCR's compliance activities are detailed, and a requirement is included that each agency shall, for civil rights compliance purposes, collect, maintain and annually compile data on the race, ethnicity, and gender (REG) of all conducted program applicants and participants by county and State. Applicants and program participants will provide the race, ethnicity, and gender data on a voluntary basis. The amendment also provides that OASCR shall offer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services to complainants where appropriate. This amendment is intended to encourage the early resolution of customer complaints. Finally, USDA is amending its regulation to add protection from discrimination in programs or activities conducted by the Department with respect to two new protected bases, political beliefs, and gender identity. The Secretary has decided to establish gender identity as a separate protected basis for USDA's conducted programs and activities. This amendment is meant to make explicit protections against discrimination based on USDA program customers' political beliefs or gender identity. Gender identity includes USDA program customers' gender expression, including how USDA program customers act, dress, perceive themselves, or otherwise express their gender.