The National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program,
Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program
(Child Nutrition Programs), which are administered by the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS),
play a critical role in ensuring that America's children have access to
the nutritious food they need to learn and succeed in the classroom,
afterschool, and during the summer. It is FNS' responsibility to
establish and support the meal patterns and nutrition standards
(collectively referred to as meal patterns) in the Child Nutrition
Programs that advance the goals of providing nutritious and satisfying
meals to a broad population of children. At the same time, FNS works to
simplify the menu planning process for Program operators to promote the
efficient use of Program funds and provide a wide variety of food
choices to menu planners and children.
In order to claim Federal reimbursement, Child Nutrition Program
operators must serve meals and snacks that meet the minimum meal
pattern requirements of the respective Program. Crediting is the
process designed by FNS to specify how individual food items contribute
to the Child Nutrition Programs' meal patterns. Several factors impact
how food products can credit toward reimbursable meals, such as volume,
weight, and overall nutrient profile.
The purpose of this Request for Information is to help FNS gather
feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders on how FNS' crediting
system can best address today's evolving food and nutrition
environment, as well as to offer first-rate customer service to those
operating and benefitting from the Child Nutrition Programs. FNS
welcomes comments from all interested stakeholders. While FNS is
interested in your general comments about the crediting process, FNS
also invites comments on the crediting of several specific food
products. FNS is especially interested in understanding both the
possible benefits and any negative impacts associated with potential
changes to how certain foods may or may not credit.
FNS is extending the comment period to provide additional time for
interested parties to review this Request for Information.
DATES: The comment period for the Request for Information that was
published on December 14, 2017 (82 FR 58792) has been extended from
February 12, 2018 to April 23, 2018. To be assured of consideration,
comments must be received on or before April 23, 2018.
FNS- Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs: Request for Information; Extension of Comment Period