USDA Announces More Local Control for School Meal Operations

USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky March 5 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.

Child nutrition hiring flexibility rule
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.”

For more information, read the full USDA news release online.

— Adapted from a release by the USDA.

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