Child Nutrition Programs: Income Eligibility Guidelines
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, 2019 through June 30, 2020. 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.
Agency Information Collection Activities: How States Safeguard SNAP Participant Personally Identifiable Information
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 information collection. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest domestic nutrition assistance program in the United States, having served approximately 20.1 million low-income households in 2018, with $60.1 billion in benefits provided during that time. Section 11(e)(8) of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 requires that these millions of households must submit personally identifiable information (PII) in order to receive SNAP benefits. PII includes information that directly identifies individuals, such as individuals' names and Social Security numbers, as well as information like home addresses, which can be used to deduce the identity of an individual. While State agencies (SAs) implement policies to safeguard SNAP PII, little is systematically known about the policies and practices that SAs have in place. Accordingly, FNS wants to assess the ways that States safeguard SNAP PII and identify best practices to protect such information.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-State Administrative Expense Funds
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for State administrative expense funds expended in the operation of the Child Nutrition Programs administered under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
Announcement of First Meeting of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and Request for Comments
The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services announce the first meeting of the newly appointed 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (the Committee). This meeting will be open to the public. Additionally, this notice opens a public comment period that will remain open until early 2020, throughout the Committee's deliberations.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comments Request-Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Integrity Study
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 collection is a new collection. The primary purpose of this study is to provide FNS with information about how the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is administered and monitored by State agencies and SFSP sponsors and sites, and identify common SFSP integrity challenges.
Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards; Correction
This document contains a correction to the final rule published in the Federal Register on March 1, 2019, ``Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards.''
Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards
This final rule adds four flexibilities to the hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors in small local educational agencies (LEAs) and new State directors of school nutrition programs under the Professional Standards regulations for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. First, to address hiring challenges faced by small LEAs, which are those with 2,499 or fewer students, this rule requires relevant food service experience rather than school nutrition program experience for new school nutrition program directors. Second, it provides State agencies with discretion to consider documented volunteer or unpaid work as relevant experience for new school nutrition program directors in LEAs with 2,499 or fewer students. Third, it gives State agencies discretion to accept less than the required years of food service experience when an applicant for a new director position in an LEA with fewer than 500 students has the minimum required education. Lastly, this rule adds flexibility to the hiring standards for State directors of school nutrition programs by allowing State agencies to consider applicants with either a bachelor's or advanced degree in specified fields. These changes are expected to expand the pool of candidates qualified to serve as leaders in the school nutrition programs while continuing to ensure that school nutrition professionals are able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.
Taking Administrative Actions Pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Processing
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) seeks to prevent firms authorized to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or the Program) from delaying administrative actions, such as disqualification or civil money penalties, through submission of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests or appeals. As such, FNS is proposing that FOIA requests and FOIA appeals be processed separately from administrative actions FNS takes against retail food stores. This proposed rule would ensure that retail food stores can no longer use the FOIA process to delay FNS' administrative actions to sanction a retail food store for SNAP violations.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Eligibility, Certification, and Employment and Training Provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008
This final rule amends the SNAP regulations to update procedures for accessing SNAP benefits in drug addiction or alcoholic treatment centers (DAA treatment centers) and group living arrangements (GLAs) through electronic benefit transfer (EBT). The final rule implements the changes indicated in the proposed rule, but never finalized, regarding accessing SNAP benefits in these centers, but does not incorporate any of the substantive changes in the interim final rule regarding how benefits are returned to clients departing these centers due to adverse comments received on the interim final rule. This final rule also implements provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 regarding nomenclature changes to reflect the electronic issuance of benefits through EBT at these centers. RIN 0584- AE54 is a continuation of the prior rulemakings published under RIN 0584-AD87.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Annual State Report on Verification of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation
This is an extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection request (ICR). 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 for the Annual State Report of Verification of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation. The purpose of the Annual State Report of Verification of SNAP Participants is to ensure that no person who is deceased, or has been permanently disqualified from SNAP, improperly received SNAP benefits for the fiscal year preceding the report submission. Section 4032 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 is the basis for this collection. Section 4032 mandates that States will ``submit to the Secretary a report containing sufficient information for the Secretary to determine whether the State agency has, for the most recently concluded fiscal year preceding that annual date, verified that the State agency in that fiscal year(1) did not issue benefits to a deceased individual; and (2) did not issue benefits to an individual who had been permanently disqualified from receiving benefits.'' An email from each State agency to the corresponding Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Regional SNAP Program Director containing the answers to the above questions will be used as the mechanism for State agencies to report their compliance with Sec. 4032 of the Agriculture Act of 2014.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents
Federal law generally limits the amount of time an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) can receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 3 months in a 36-month period, unless the individual meets certain work requirements. On the request of a State SNAP agency, the law also gives the Department of Agriculture (the Department) the authority to temporarily waive the time limit in areas that have an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or a lack of sufficient jobs. The law also provides State agencies with a limited number of percentage exemptions that can be used by States to extend SNAP eligibility for ABAWDs subject to the time limit. The Department proposes to amend the regulatory standards by which the Department evaluates State SNAP agency requests to waive the time limit and to end the unlimited carryover of ABAWD percentage exemptions. The proposed rule would encourage broader application of the statutory ABAWD work requirement, consistent with the Administration's focus on fostering self-sufficiency. The Department seeks comments from the public on the proposed regulations.