Food and Nutrition Service 2014 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-USDA Foods in Schools Cost Dynamics
Document Number: 2014-30492
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for a study of USDA Foods in Schools Cost Dynamics.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Evaluation of Demonstration Projects To End Childhood Hunger
Document Number: 2014-30373
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-12-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the contract Evaluation of Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Generic Clearance To Conduct Pre-Testing of Surveys
Document Number: 2014-25723
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection to conduct various procedures to test questionnaires and survey procedures to improve the quality and usability of information collection instruments.
Requirements for the Distribution and Control of Donated Foods
Document Number: 2014-24613
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-10-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This rule proposes to revise and clarify requirements to ensure that USDA donated foods are distributed, stored, and managed in the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective manner, at State and recipient agency levels. The rule would also reduce administrative and reporting requirements for State distributing agencies, revise or clarify regulatory provisions relating to accountability for donated foods, and rewrite much of the regulations in a more user-friendly, ``plain language,'' format. Lastly, the rule proposes to revise and clarify specific requirements to conform more closely to related requirements elsewhere in the Code of Federal Regulations. In formulating the proposals, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has utilized input received from program administrators, industry representatives, and other organizations at national conferences and other meetings, and through email or other routine communications with such parties.
Request for Information: Unpaid Meal Charges
Document Number: 2014-24575
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs play a critical role in ensuring that America's children have access to nutritious food. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) subsidizes all school meals in participating schools in various ways including reimbursement for meals served based on the eligibility of the child receiving the meal. FNS reimburses schools at higher rates for those meals served to children eligible for free meals and reduced price meals. Schools are responsible for establishing paid meal prices for children who do not receive free or reduced price meals and whose meals are thus reimbursed by FNS at lower rates. If children do not have the required payment for meals on the day of service, schools may extend credit to the child for the meal. Generally, this process entails the school allowing the child to ``charge'' the meal with the understanding that the child will reimburse or pay back the school for the meal provided. Since credit policies are usually established at the school district level, they vary across the nation and within States and are not monitored by FNS. FNS considers access to healthy school meals including nutritious foods a critical function of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Evidence shows that children who regularly eat healthy school meals perform better in the classroom and are less likely to be overweight. However, FNS also recognizes that allowing children to ``charge'' school meals can have financial impacts on individual schools and even school districts. This is especially true when meal charges are not subsequently paid, results in large unpaid meal charges and potential financial losses. Section 143 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires FNSin conjunction with States and participating local educational agencies (LEAs)to examine and report on the current policies and practices of State agencies and LEAs regarding extending credit to children by allowing them to ``charge'' the cost of school meals on the day of service. As required by the HHFKA, this examination must include the feasibility of establishing national standards for extending credit to children by allowing meal charges, establishing national charges for alternate meals which might be served, and providing recommendations for implementing those standards. At this time, FNS is seeking information from all affected parties regarding State and LEA current policies regarding extending credit to children by allowing them to ``charge'' the cost of school meals on the day of service. Specifically, FNS is interested in commenters providing details of policies and procedures in their State or LEA and the advantages and challenges associated with those procedures.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Emergency Approval of New Information Collection for Feasibility of Tribal Administration of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs
Document Number: 2014-24573
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces FNS' intention to request emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the purpose of determining the interest among Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) in administering FNS programs, the capacity of ITOs to do so, and legislative and regulatory implications.
Request for Information: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Revision of the Program and Budget Summary Statement Part B-Program Activity Statement
Document Number: 2014-24572
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Each year, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) State agencies are required to submit the Program and Budget Summary Statement Part B, Program Activity Statement (FNS-366B) to the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) per 7 CFR 272.2(c)(ii). Information collected on this form includes fraud activity for the reporting fiscal year such as a total number of fraud referrals, investigations, prosecutions, disqualification consent agreements (DCA), administrative disqualification hearings (ADH) and ADH waivers. This form further contains data on program dollars associated with pre-certification and post-certification fraud investigations, as well as program dollars that may be recovered resulting from an ADH or prosecution. This information is reported not later than 45 days after the end of the State agency's fiscal year, which is typically August 15th for most States. FNS is contemplating proposed changes to this form in order to improve the reliability and accuracy of State integrity reporting by revising data field definitions, such as what constitutes an investigation, for clarity and consistency. FNS is also considering an increase in the frequency of reporting and would be interested in better understanding what impact increasing the reporting frequency may have on stakeholders. Furthermore, FNS is considering the addition of new data elements in order to better understand the impact and value returned to the taxpayer as a result of fraud prevention activities. Through this notice, FNS announces a request for information regarding the impacts for consideration in revising the Program Activity Statement (FNS- 366B). FNS will consider all comments in the development of the new reporting form.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection, Comment Request: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study
Document Number: 2014-23740
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-10-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of the currently approved WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices 2 Study (ITFPS-2). The revision is to amend the 24-month data collection instrument and extend the data collection on the cohort of infants by one year, to their 3rd birthday. The data will be used to estimate the type and prevalence of various feeding practices in the WIC population and assess whether the new WIC food packages (instituted in 2009) have influenced feeding practices. This study will also examine the circumstances and influences that shape mothers' feeding decisions for their children, and will describe the impact of these decisions throughout early child development.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Waivers Under Section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act
Document Number: 2014-23176
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-30
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection. The purpose of Section 6(o) of the Food and Nutrition Act is to establish a time limit for the receipt of benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for certain able-bodied adults who are not working. The provision authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon a State agency's request, to waive the provision for any group of individuals if the Secretary determines ``that the area in which the individuals reside has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent, or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.'' As required in the statute, in order to receive a waiver the State agency must submit sufficient supporting information so that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can make the required determination as to the area's unemployment rate or sufficiency of available jobs. This collection of information is, therefore, necessary in order to obtain waivers of the SNAP time limit.
Nominations Open for the Vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition
Document Number: 2014-22881
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
FNS is seeking nominations for 9 vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition (Council). The Council is composed of 24 members. Members of the Council from outside USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are appointed for 3-year terms. State and local officials may serve only during their official tenure. Parent participants are appointed for 2- year terms. Members appointed from USDA and HHS serve at the pleasure of their respective Secretaries. The Council studies the operation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and related programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Categories of membership are specified by law. To assure a balance of differing views, Council members are drawn from Federal, State and local governments, industry and organizations with a common interest in the management of WIC and CSFP, including parent participants in both programs. The vacant positions include:
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Forms: FNS-698, FNS-699 and FNS-700; The Integrity Profile (TIP)
Document Number: 2014-22156
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is an extension, without change of a currently approved data collection.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Pre-Screening Tool
Document Number: 2014-21948
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-09-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection for a web-based pre-screening tool used by the general public to determine potential eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-FNS User Access Request Form FNS-674
Document Number: 2014-20536
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-29
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection. The purpose of this information collection request is to continue the use of the electronic form FNS- 674, titled ``User Access Request Form.'' This form will continue to allow access to current FNS systems, modify access or remove user access.
Request for Information: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Retailer Transaction Data
Document Number: 2014-18288
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-08-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In light of a recent court decision regarding the availability of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer transaction data to the public, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is issuing this Request for Information to help inform FNS' response to the recent court decision and any future policy changes regarding the release of SNAP retailer transaction data. In moving forward, USDA is interested in providing greater transparency. However, the Department also recognizes that any movement in this arena needs to be done carefully, after considering potential consequences and the views of the variety of stakeholders. As a result, this notice requests information from any and all interested parties, with a particular focus on current and former SNAP authorized retailers, as to whether the disclosure of aggregated SNAP redemption data at the individual store level would improve the administration and enforcement of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) and whether such data is confidential business information. Background: Section 9(c) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 2018(c), limits the use or disclosure of information received from applicant and participating SNAP retailers. Use and disclosure of such information is limited to purposes directly connected with the administration and enforcement of the Act, or the regulations issued pursuant to the Act, with limited exceptions for law enforcement and use by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Section 9(c) imposes criminal penalties for disclosure of such information in a manner not authorized by Federal law or regulation. Throughout the history of the Program, Section 9(c) of the Act has been interpreted as a withholding statute that includes SNAP retailer redemption information. On September 22, 1978, FNS published a final rule codifying the interpretation that Section 9(c) prohibited the use or disclosure of ``information furnished by firms, including . . . their redemptions of coupons, . . . except for purposes directly connected with the administration and enforcement of Food Stamp Act and these regulations.'' 43 FR. 43,272, 43,275 (Sept. 22, 1978) (currently codified at 7 CFR 278.1(q)). FNS has operated in accordance with its interpretation of the Act and FNS regulations that the Secretary did not have authority to release this information. However, South Dakota's Argus Leader newspaper challenged this interpretation of the Act. In February of 2011, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Argus Leader requested annual SNAP retailer redemption data for all SNAP authorized retailers for the six-year period spanning from 2005 through 2010. Though the initial FNS decision to withhold this data was upheld by the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, on January 28, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion in favor of Argus Leader. The appeals court opinion contended that SNAP retailer redemption information did not fall within the withholding contemplated by Section 9(c) of the Act and therefore such information was not exempt from disclosure under Exemption 3 of FOIA. The Eighth Circuit decision did not address Exemption 4 of FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), which exempts ``trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential'' from release under FOIA. FNS recognizes that, despite the decision on Section 9(c) of the Act, the Agency must also consider whether this redemption data constitutes confidential business information. To make a determination in this regard, FNS is required to solicit feedback from the submitters of the retailer transaction data. Request for Information: FNS' objective is twofold: (1) To meet FNS' obligations to solicit feedback from the submitters of retailer transaction data which is the subject of the litigation described above; and (2) to determine how to provide greater transparency, while remaining consistent with our legal obligations and reflecting input from the public. FNS will use this public input to inform FNS' response to the court decision and consideration of what, if any, adjustments should be made to SNAP regulations in the future. It is FNS' intent that any regulatory changes would govern the availability of data after the effective date of those regulations, and not be retroactive. FNS is seeking public input on the following questions: 1. Are aggregated annual SNAP redemption data at the individual store level confidential business information? If yes, please explain why the disclosure is likely to cause substantial competitive harm and fully explain all other grounds upon which you oppose the disclosure of such information. Also, please indicate whether the size of the retailer affects any identified competitive harm. 2. Are aggregated monthly SNAP redemption data at the individual store level confidential business information? If yes, please explain why the disclosure is likely to cause substantial competitive harm and fully explain all other grounds upon which you oppose the disclosure of such information. Also, please indicate whether the size of the retailer affects any identified competitive harm. 3. Should aggregated annual SNAP redemption data at the individual store level be released for transparency purposes? If yes, describe in detail why this data should be released for the purposes of transparency and public accountability, and specifically how this data would assist in the administration of the Food and Nutrition Act. If no, please provide details as to how release of this data would be counter to the administration and enforcement provisions of the Act. When considering the impact of the release of this data on the administration and enforcement provisions of the Act, please consider the effect, if any, on SNAP recipients. 4. Should aggregated monthly SNAP redemption data at the individual store level be released for transparency purposes? If yes, describe in detail why this data should be released for the purposes of transparency and public accountability, and specifically how this data would assist in the administration of the Food and Nutrition Act. If no, please provide details as to how release of this data would be counter to the administration and enforcement provisions of the Act. When considering the impact of the release of this data on the administration and enforcement provisions of the Act, please consider the effect, if any, on SNAP recipients. 5. For each of the above questions, how would answers differ if the monthly or annual aggregated data were for a retailer's aggregated sales at all stores within a state or nationally, as opposed to per- store data? Should any other aggregations be considered? Commenters who were SNAP-authorized retailers from 2005 through 2010 should make that fact clear in their comments.
National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs: National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates
Document Number: 2014-17683
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This document contains a correction to the notice published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2014 entitled, ``National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs: National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates.''
Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Emergency Approval of New Information Collection for Examination of Cash Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) Benefits in Puerto Rico
Document Number: 2014-16914
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces FNS' intention to request emergency approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for Examination of Cash Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits in Puerto Rico.
National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs: National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates
Document Number: 2014-16719
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
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
Document Number: 2014-16718
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
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.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Study
Document Number: 2014-16586
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Study.
Food Distribution Program: Value of Donated Foods From July 1, 2014 Through June 30, 2015
Document Number: 2014-16550
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-07-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This notice announces the national average value of donated foods or, where applicable, cash in lieu of donated foods, to be provided in school year 2015 (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015) for each lunch served by schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and for each lunch and supper served by institutions participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Implementation of the Agricultural Act of 2014
Document Number: 2014-16055
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-07-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This final rule amends the regulations for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to phase out the eligibility of women, infants, and children, in accordance with the amendments made by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). Under amendments made to the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 by Section 4102 of the 2014 Farm Bill, women, infants, and children who apply to participate in CSFP on February 7, 2014, or later cannot be certified to participate in the program. Under these amendments the population served by CSFP will only be low-income elderly persons at least 60 years of age. However, Section 4102 also included amendments for a phase-out provision, which requires State and local agencies to continue providing assistance to all women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of February 6, 2014. Those individuals can continue to receive assistance until they are no longer eligible under the program rules in effect on February 6, 2014.
National School Lunch Program: Independent Review of Applications Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; Approval of Information Collection Request
Document Number: 2014-15092
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-06-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is announcing the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of information collection requirements contained in a final rule published in the Federal Register.
School Breakfast Program
Document Number: 2014-14610
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-06-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition; Notice of Meeting
Document Number: 2014-13285
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-06-09
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. APP., this notice announces a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition.
Automated Data Processing and Information Retrieval System Requirements: System Testing
Document Number: 2014-10239
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-05-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is announcing the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of information collection requirements contained in a final rule published in the Federal Register.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages; Approval of Information Collection Request
Document Number: 2014-10160
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-05-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The rule titled Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages was published on March 4, 2014. The Office of Management and Budget cleared the associated information collection requirements (ICR) on April 14, 2014. This document announces approval of the ICR.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsor and Provider Characteristics Study
Document Number: 2014-09541
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-28
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a new information collection for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsor and Provider Characteristics Study.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Trafficking Controls and Fraud Investigations
Document Number: 2014-09334
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-04-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is issuing this affirmation of a final rule, without change, of an interim rule that amended Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations, to require State agencies to monitor electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card replacement requests and send notices to those clients who have requested four cards within a 12-month period. The State agency shall be exempt from sending this notice if it chooses to exercise the card withholding option, in accordance with SNAP regulations, and sends the first warning notice upon the household's fourth card replacement request.
Request for Information: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) High Performance Bonuses
Document Number: 2014-09332
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-04-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Congress allows the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Secretary) considerable discretion to establish criteria and standards for evaluating the performances of State agencies and to monetarily reward State agencies that improve or excel in the agency's administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The recently enacted Agricultural Act of 2014 (Act) includes changes to the performance bonus system. States are now required by statute to reinvest any SNAP bonuses in the SNAP program. As a complement to these changes, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is soliciting ideas for performance criteria and standards for high and most improved performance from State agencies and organizations that represent State interests prior to issuance of any proposed rules regarding changes to the criteria in determining SNAP high performance bonuses. FNS announces in this notice a request for information about current performance measures and data collection capabilities possessed by SNAP State agencies; data and information needed to assess other areas of SNAP being considered for a future high or most improved performance bonuses; and suggestions for linking bonus categories to ensure winners in one category meet minimum performance standards in other categories in order to qualify for any high or most improved performance bonus. FNS will consider this information in developing a proposed rule to revise the current high or most improved performance bonus structure.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Report of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefit Issuance and Report of Commodity Distribution for Disaster Relief
Document Number: 2014-06749
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-03-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on proposed information collections. The proposed collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Evaluation of the Pilot Project for Canned, Frozen, or Dried Fruits and Vegetables in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
Document Number: 2014-06746
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-03-27
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a new information collection for the Evaluation of the Pilot Project for Canned, Frozen, or Dried Fruits and Vegetables in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Repayment Demand and Program Disqualification
Document Number: 2014-06282
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-03-24
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed information collection. This is a revision of currently approved information collection requirements associated with initiating collection actions against households who have received an overissuance in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Child Nutrition Programs-Income Eligibility Guidelines
Document Number: 2014-04788
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-03-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This Notice announces the Department's annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to be used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk for the period from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. The annual adjustments are required by section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The guidelines are intended to direct benefits to those children most in need and are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Income Eligibility Guidelines
Document Number: 2014-04787
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-03-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (``Department'') announces adjusted income eligibility guidelines to be used by State agencies in determining the income eligibility of persons applying to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC). These income eligibility guidelines are to be used in conjunction with the WIC Regulations.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed collection; Comment Request-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Store Applications, Forms FNS-252, FNS-252-E, FNS-252-FE, FNS-252-R, FNS-252-2 and FNS-252-C
Document Number: 2014-04786
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-03-05
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed collection. This is a revision of a currently approved collection in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and concerns Retail Store Applications (Forms FNS-252; FNS-252-E; FNS-252- R; FNS-252-2; and FNS-252-C).
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages
Document Number: 2014-04105
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-03-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This final rule considers public comments submitted in response to the interim rule revising the WIC food packages published on December 6, 2007. The interim rule implemented the first comprehensive revisions to the WIC food packages since 1980. The interim rule revised regulations governing the WIC food packages to align them more closely with updated nutrition science and the infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, promote and support more effectively the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding, provide WIC participants with a wider variety of food, and provide WIC State agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences. This rule makes adjustments that improve clarity of the provisions set forth in the interim rule.
Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Document Number: 2014-04100
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-02-26
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This proposed rule would require all local educational agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program to meet expanded local school wellness policy requirements consistent with the new requirements set forth in section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This proposed rule would establish the framework for the content of the local school wellness policies, ensure stakeholder participation in the development of such policies, and require periodic assessment of compliance and reporting on the progress toward achieving the goals of the local school wellness policy. This proposed rule would also require local educational agencies, as part of the local school wellness policy, to implement policies for the marketing of foods and beverages on the school campus during the school day consistent with nutrition standards for Smart Snacks. Additionally, this proposed rule would require each local educational agency to make information about local school wellness policy implementation for all participating schools available to the public on a periodic basis. The provisions of this proposed rulemaking would ensure local educational agencies establish and implement local school wellness policies that meet minimum standards designed to support a school environment that promotes sound nutrition and student health, reduces childhood obesity, and provides transparency to the public on school wellness policy content and implementation.
National School Lunch Program: Independent Review of Applications Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Document Number: 2014-02556
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-02-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This final rule requires certain local educational agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program to conduct an independent review of initial eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals. Additionally, this final rule requires each affected local educational agency to submit to the relevant State agency the results of the reviews including the number and percentage of reviewed applications for which the eligibility determinations changed and the type of change made. State agencies are required to submit to the Food and Nutrition Service, a report describing the results of the second reviews in their State. These changes respond to amendments made to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by section 304 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which requires that local educational agencies demonstrating high levels of, or a high risk for, administrative error associated with certification, verification, and other administrative processes, have an individual or entity independently review the initial eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals for accuracy prior to sending out household notifications of eligibility or ineligibility. This final rule is expected to reduce administrative errors in eligibility determinations for free and reduced price school meals.
Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Document Number: 2014-02278
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2014-02-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This proposed rule would establish minimum professional standards for school nutrition personnel who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The proposed rule would also institute hiring standards for the selection of State and local school nutrition program directors; and require all personnel in these programs to complete annual continuing education/training. These proposed changes respond to amendments made by section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), which require USDA to establish professional standards for school nutrition personnel. The HHFKA also requires each State to provide at least annual training to local educational agency and school nutrition personnel. This proposed rule is expected to provide consistent, national standards for school nutrition professionals and staff. The principal benefit of this proposed rule is to ensure that key school nutrition personnel are meeting minimum professional standards in order to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities of their positions.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Comment Request: Form FNS-583, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training Program Activity Report
Document Number: 2014-02256
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-02-04
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, this notice invites the public and other public agencies to comment on a proposed information collection burden for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Employment and Training (E&T) Program, currently approved under OMB No. 0584-0339. This is an extension without revision of a currently approved collection. The burden estimate remains 21,889 hours.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Form and Regulations
Document Number: 2014-02094
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-01-31
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the consolidation of forms FNS-683 (WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Annual Financial and Program Report) and FNS-203 (WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Report). The proposed consolidation with this renewal will be used to collected information related to WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Financial and Program Data per WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Regulations (7 CFR part 248).
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Education Study
Document Number: 2014-00827
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-01-17
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed collection of data for the WIC Nutrition Education Study. This is a NEW information collection. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Through Federal grants to States, WIC provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non- breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children who are found to be at nutritional risk. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-296, Sec. 305) mandates programs under its authorization, including WIC, to cooperate with USDA program research and evaluation activities. WIC's mission is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. Nutrition education is the program feature often viewed as pivotal to WIC's success in achieving its mission to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children. By Federal directive, all participants have the opportunity to participate in nutrition education at least two times during a 6-month period of eligibility or quarterly for a 12-month period. State and local WIC agencies have significant flexibility to design nutrition education appropriate for the demographics of their participants within established goals. This flexibility has yielded a range of messages, delivery systems and approaches, qualifications and training for educators, and quality. The WIC Nutrition Education Study will provide a nationally representative description of how nutrition education is currently being provided to WIC recipients across the country. It will also conduct a pilot study of the impact of nutrition education on WIC recipients' nutrition and physical activity behaviors. This study will provide FNS with a better understanding of nutrition education practices and methods used by WIC and of the effectiveness of current WIC nutrition education services. The study will document how nutrition education is being provided subsequent to several program changes, including the 2009 food package changes, the implementation of the initiative to Revitalize Quality Nutrition Services (RQNS), and the use of new technology, among a racially and ethnically diverse population. Understanding optimal educational topics and methods, how to maximize participant engagement, the best approaches for delivery and reinforcement of messages, and how to effectively prepare and support WIC nutrition educators is key to informing WIC nutrition education improvements.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Form FNS-245, Negative QC Review Schedule
Document Number: 2014-00762
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-01-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the proposed collection. Form FNS-245, is currently used in the Quality Control process for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This is a revision of a currently approved collection in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and concerns the Negative QC Review Schedule.
Certification of Compliance With Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; Correction
Document Number: 2014-00624
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-01-16
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), published a final rule in the Federal Register on January 3, 2014 (79 FR 325), concerning necessary changes made to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to conform to requirements contained in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This document corrects/replaces an appendix that was added at the end of the rule that offered a detailed Regulatory Impact Analysis. All other information in this rule remains unchanged.
Emergency Food Assistance Program; Availability of Foods for Fiscal Year 2014
Document Number: 2014-00325
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-01-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This notice announces the surplus and purchased foods that the Department expects to make available for donation to States for use in providing nutrition assistance to the needy under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The foods made available under this notice must, at the discretion of the State, be distributed to eligible recipient agencies (ERAs) for use in preparing meals and/or for distribution to households for home consumption.
Certification of Compliance With Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
Document Number: 2013-31433
Type: Rule
Date: 2014-01-03
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This final rule adopts, with some revisions, changes to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) regulations, as set forth in the interim final rule published in the Federal Register on April 27, 2012. The changes conform to requirements contained in the Healthy, Hunger- Free Kids Act of 2010 regarding performance-based cash assistance for school food authorities (SFAs) certified compliant with meal pattern and nutrition standards. The changes finalized in this rule include requiring State agencies to certify participating SFAs that are in compliance with meal pattern and nutrition standard requirements as eligible to receive performance-based cash assistance for each reimbursable lunch. This rule also finalizes the requirement in the interim final rule that State agencies disburse performance-based cash assistance to certified SFAs, and withhold the performance-based cash assistance from SFAs determined to be out of compliance with meal pattern or nutrition standards during a subsequent administrative review. Additionally, this final rule is adopting minor changes based on comments on the interim final rule that will help to streamline the certification process. These changes include making permanent the flexibility that State agencies should consider any SFA compliant with the daily and weekly ranges for grain and meat/meat alternates if documentation is compliant with the daily and weekly minimums.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Document Number: 2013-31359
Type: Notice
Date: 2014-01-02
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations in 5 CFR part 1320 (60 FR 44978, August 29, 1995), this notice announces FNS's intention to request OMB approval for a new information collection in support of a study of Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) State agencies, sponsoring organizations, site directors, parents or caregivers of children who participated in the program, and parents or caregivers of children who were eligible for the program but did not participate.