ATTENTION CO-OP DIRECTORS, CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS, FINANCIAL OFFICERS
On May 1, 2017, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Sonny Perdue, issued a proclamation announcing several menu planning flexibilities that highlight USDA’s commitment to assisting schools in serving healthy and appealing school meals. In his Proclamation, Secretary Perdue specifically directed the Food and Nutrition Service to begin the process to amend the regulations for the school meal programs with respect to sodium, whole grains, and flavored milk.
On May 5, 2017, Congress enacted the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. Section 747 of the Appropriations Act provides flexibilities to whole grains, sodium, and flavored milk for school year (SY) 2017-18. The Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit (ADE CNU) issued Commissioners Memo CNU-17-053: Menu Planning Flexibility: Sodium Target 1 to Remain in Effect for SY 2017-18 on May 31, 2017.
Using the attached forms the School Food Authorities (SFA) may request an exemption for the following:
- Up to three (3) specific whole grain rich items and/or
- Fat free skim flavored milk.
The request of an exemption must include documentation supporting the Reason for Request and Efforts to Comply. ADE CNU will respond to all requests in writing. SFAs may apply for an exemption at any time and may reapply if a request is denied. Approved exemptions are effective only for the 2017-18 school year.
Written approval by ADE CNU of an exemption request must be on file within the SFA, or all meal pattern requirements as established in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 at 7 CFR 210.10 and 7 CFR 220.8 MUST be met in order for the meal(s) to be reimbursable.
PROCESS TO REQUEST APPROVAL OF AN EXEMPTION:
1. Complete the appropriate Exemption Request Form attached to this memo.
2. Submit the Exemption Request Form and supporting documentation to ADE CNU via
- fax (501-324-9505),
- email (Cindy.Grizzelle@Arkansas.gov),
- mail to:
- Child Nutrition Unit, Arkansas Department of Education
2020 W 3rd St, Suite 404
Little Rock, AR 72205
· REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM FAT-FREE FLAVORED MILK REQUIREMENT FOR SCHOOL MEALS
· REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM WHOLE GRAIN RICH (WGR) REQUIREMENT FOR SCHOOL MEALS