Revisions and Clarifications in Requirements for the Processing of Donated Foods
This rule proposes to revise and clarify requirements for the processing of donated foods, in order to incorporate processing options tested in demonstration projects, to more effectively ensure accountability for donated foods provided for processing, and to streamline current reporting and review requirements. Most significantly, it would require multi-State processors to enter into National Processing Agreements to process donated foods into end products, and would permit processors to substitute donated beef and pork with commercially purchased beef and pork of U.S. origin and of equal or better quality than the donated food. The rule would also rewrite regulatory provisions in plain language, to make them easier to read and understand for the general public.
State Administrative Expense Funds
This rule makes changes to the regulations governing State Administrative Expense funds for the Child Nutrition Programs to reflect amendments made by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 to the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. This rule implements a provision of the Act that increases the minimum State Administrative Expense grant for each State administering the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and/or the Special Milk Program (SMP) from $100,000 to $200,000 a year, adjusted by an index beginning in fiscal year 2009. The rule also implements a requirement that for fiscal years 2005 through 2007 no State shall receive less than its fiscal year 2004 allocation for administrative costs. This final rule will increase the available funds to certain States to expand supervision and technical assistance of Child Nutrition Programs.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages
This proposed rule would revise regulations governing the WIC food packages to align the WIC food packages with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and current infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, better promote and support the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding, provide WIC participants with a wider variety of food, provide WIC State agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences, and serve participants with certain qualifying conditions under one food package to facilitate efficient management of medically fragile participants. The revisions largely reflect recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in its Report ``WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change,'' with certain cost containment and administrative modifications found necessary by the Department to ensure cost neutrality. The proposed improvements to the WIC food packages can be made without increasing the projected costs. The proposed rule would revise the maximum monthly allowances and minimum requirements for certain supplemental foods; revise the substitution rates for certain supplemental foods and allow additional foods as alternatives; redesign WIC food packages to enhance breastfeeding promotion and support; revise age specifications for assignment to infant food packages; add fruits and vegetables for WIC participants 6 months of age and older and eliminate juice from infants food packages; add whole grains to food packages for children and women and infant food meat for fully breastfed infants 6 through 11 months of age; revise the purpose, content, and requirements for the Food Package for the Medically Fragile, and address general provisions that apply to all food packages.
Management of Donated Foods in Child Nutrition Programs, the Nutrition Services Incentive Program, and Charitable Institutions; Extension of Comment Period
The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, is extending the public comment period on the proposed rule entitled ``Management of Donated Foods in Child Nutrition Programs, the Nutrition Services Incentive Program, and Charitable Institutions,'' which was published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2006 at 71 FR 33344. This document extends the public comment period from August 7, 2006 to September 7, 2006, in order to provide the public additional time to review the proposed rule.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Discretionary WIC Vendor Provisions in the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, Public Law 108-265
This rule proposes to amend regulations for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) by adding three requirements mandated by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 concerning retail vendors authorized by WIC State agencies to provide supplemental food to WIC participants in exchange for WIC food instruments. This rulemaking would require WIC State agencies to notify WIC-authorized retail vendors of an initial violation in writing, for violations requiring a pattern of occurrences in order to impose a sanction, before documenting a subsequent violation, unless notification would compromise an investigation. In addition, State agencies would be required to maintain a list of State- licensed wholesalers, distributors, and retailers, and infant formula manufacturers registered with the Food and Drug Administration, and would require WIC-authorized retail vendors to purchase infant formula only from sources on the list. Further, State agencies would be required to prohibit the authorization of or payments to WIC-authorized vendors that derive more than 50 percent of their annual food sales revenue from WIC food instruments (``above-50-percent vendors'') and which provide incentive items or other free merchandise, except food or merchandise of nominal value, to program participants or customers unless the vendor provides the State agency with proof that the vendor obtained the incentive items or merchandise at no cost. The intent of these provisions is to, respectively, enhance due process for vendors; prevent defective infant formula from being consumed by infant WIC participants; and ensure that the WIC Program does not pay the cost of incentive items provided by above-50-percent vendors in the form of high food prices. Finally, this rule also proposes to adjust the vendor civil money penalty (CMP) levels to reflect inflation.