Food and Nutrition Service December 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed collection; Comment Request-Study of Non-Response to the School Meals Application Verification Process
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 Study of Non-Response to the School Meals Application Verification Process.
Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
This document contains technical corrections to the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the final rule published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2016, ``Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.''
Nominations Open for the Vacancies on the National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition
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 U.S. 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 ensure 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:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Promotion
This final rule implements Section 4018 of the Agricultural Act of 2014. Section 4018 created new limitations on the use of Federal funds authorized in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (FNA), for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) promotion and outreach activities. Specifically, Section 4018 of the 2014 Farm Bill prohibits the use of Federal funds appropriated in the FNA from being used for: recruitment activities designed to persuade an individual to apply for SNAP benefits; television, radio, or billboard advertisements that are designed to promote SNAP benefits and enrollment; or agreements with foreign governments designed to promote SNAP benefits and enrollment. The prohibition on using funds appropriated under the FNA for television, radio, or billboard advertisements does not apply to Disaster SNAP. Section 4018 also prohibits any entity that receives funds under the FNA from compensating any person engaged in outreach or recruitment activities based on the number of individuals who apply to receive SNAP benefits. Lastly, Section 4018 modifies Section 16(a)(4) of the FNA to prohibit the Federal government from paying administrative costs associated with recruitment activities designed to persuade an individual to apply for program benefits or that promote the program through television, radio, or billboard advertisements. This final rule also impacts the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), both of which receive funding and/or foods authorized under the FNA.
Enhancing Retailer Standards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS or the Agency) is updating Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or the Program) regulations pertaining to the eligibility criteria for retail food stores to participate in the Program by finalizing a proposed rule that was published on February 17, 2016. The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) amended the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) to increase the requirement that certain SNAP authorized retail food stores have available on a continuous basis at least three varieties of items in each of four staple food categories, to a mandatory minimum of seven varieties. The 2014 Farm Bill also amended the Act to increase, for certain SNAP authorized retail food stores, the minimum number of staple food categories in which perishable foods are required from two to three. This final rule codifies these mandatory requirements. In addition, FNS is codifying several other discretionary changes to the existing eligibility criteria. The first is to address depth of stock by establishing a minimum of three stocking units per staple food variety. The rule also amends the definitions of ``staple food,'' ``retail food store,'' and ``ineligible firms'', and defines the term ``firm'' as discussed in the Supplementary Information. Finally, this rule allows FNS to consider the need for food access when making a SNAP authorization determination for applicant firms that fail to meet certain authorization requirements and reaffirms FNS's authority to disclose to the public certain information about retailers who have violated SNAP rules.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Photo Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card Implementation Requirements
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is updating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or ``Program'') regulations to set implementation parameters, prerequisites and operational standards required of State agencies that intend to implement the photo Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card option provided under Section 7(h)(9) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (``the Act''). The updated regulations establish procedures to ensure State implementation is consistent with all Federal requirements as they relate to photo EBT cards, including establishing procedures to ensure: Any other appropriate member of the household or authorized representative (including any individual permitted by the household to purchase food on its behalf) who is not pictured on the photo EBT card may use the card; placing photos on EBT cards does not affect the eligibility process and does not impose additional conditions of eligibility or adversely impact the ability of appropriate household members to access the nutrition assistance they need. Failure by a State agency to adhere to the provisions of this rule may result in penalties, including loss of federal funding. The rule will also codify several other program updates to reflect the current operations of the program.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Student Eligibility, Convicted Felons, Lottery and Gambling, and State Verification Provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014
The proposed action would implement four sections of the Agricultural Act of 2014, (2014 Farm Bill), affecting eligibility, benefits, and program administration requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Section 4007 clarifies that participants in a SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program are eligible for benefits if they are enrolled or participate in specific programs that will assist SNAP recipients in obtaining the skills needed for the current job market. Section 4008 prohibits anyone convicted of Federal aggravated sexual abuse, murder, sexual exploitation and abuse of children, sexual assault, or similar State laws, and who are also not in compliance with the terms of their sentence or parole or are a fleeing felon, from receiving SNAP benefits. Section 4009 prohibits households containing a member with substantial lottery and gambling winnings from receiving SNAP benefits, until the household meets the allowable financial resources and income eligibility requirements of the program. Section 4009 also provides that State SNAP agencies are required, to the maximum extent practicable, to establish cooperative agreements with gaming entities in the State to identify SNAP recipients with substantial winnings. Section 4015 requires all State agencies to have a system in place to verify income, eligibility and immigration status.