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Russell Nemetz USDA Announces More Local Control for School Meal Operations
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: March 07, 2018

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Hi everybody it’s time for your Wednesday Agri Beef Minute here on the Ag Information Network of the West-I’m Russell Nemetz.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Steve Censky today announced two new efforts to provide states and school districts with additional flexibility and support to operate more efficient school meal programs. Censky made the announcement during a speech at the School Nutrition Association Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

In 2015, USDA established education and training requirements for nutrition professionals as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. While this strengthened many school meal programs, some small school districts faced challenges finding qualified applicants to direct their local food service operation. Today’s proposal would provide much-needed relief for school districts with less than 2,500 students, allowing them more flexibility in the hiring of new school nutrition program directors.

“Small and rural school districts will no longer have to overlook qualified food service professionals because of one-size-fits-all standards that don’t meet their needs," said Censky. “We trust our local partners to hire talented school nutrition program directors who will manage the meal service in a way that protects the health and well-being of students.”

USDA is providing a 60-day public comment period and will then develop a final rule that responds to the needs of partners and stakeholders.

That’s your Land and Livestock Report-I’m Russell Nemetz.

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