Child Nutrition and Food Distribution

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The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) promotes relationships and enhances partnerships that provide quality nutrition education and nutrition services for the people of North Dakota. NDDPI in accordance with the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), administers child nutrition and food distribution programs. A partnership of federal, state, and local agencies provides nutrition services and food assistance to students, young children, and adults.

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USDA Flexibilities to Address Supply Chain Disruptions

As school food authorities (SFAs) work towards reopening for school year (SY) 2021-2022, child nutrition program operators are facing challenges in purchasing and receiving food through their normal channels. Specifically, some SFAs have experienced unanticipated cancellation of food and supply contracts, lack of availability of certain foods, unexpected substitution of food products, and increased food and supply prices. As a result, schools have concerns about their ability to obtain the types, amounts, and variety of foods needed to serve reimbursable meals consistent with prior planning.

Reimbursable Meals

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to working together with state agencies, SFAs, the food industry, and other stakeholders to communicate school food supply chain challenges and to identify solutions. For SY 2021-2022, USDA has provided school meal program flexibilities, waivers, and training resources to help states and schools navigate supply chain issues and provide nutritious school meals that children need to learn, grow, and be healthy.

Schools may request meal pattern flexibilities when they are unable to provide a meal component at meals due to supply chain issues or is unable to meet dietary specifications with available products.  For SY 2021-2022, USDA issued a targeted nationwide meal pattern waiver that provides flexibilities for select school meal pattern requirements. To participate under the meal pattern flexibilities, schools should email dpicnfd@nd.gov or call 1-888-338-3663 to complete the waiver request.

USDA has also issued a waiver that prevents schools from being penalized for not being able to meet certain meal pattern requirements due to supply chain disruptions that are out of their control, while still maintaining strong nutrition standards.  Schools do not need to request this waiver; it is automatically available to all SFAs.

Procurement

The methods of procurement authority under 2 CFR 200 provides SFAs with the flexibility to conduct emergency noncompetitive procurement(s) when an urgent need or emergency arises, such as the need to replace missing foods or paper goods with alternative sources or products quickly. Emergency noncompetitive procurement methods are a standing flexibility and do not require a waiver.

If an SFA experiences canceled or reduced orders, consider purchasing smaller quantities of the product(s) through one or more local producers or small businesses instead of purchasing products in a single, large transaction through a broadline distributor. Leveraging local foods may help form new connections with small, local business and producers entering into the school nutrition market, which can help create a more resilient food system.

Additional resources to address these challenges are available through the School Nutrition Association, the Institute of Child Nutrition and No Kid Hungry

 

The Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Office (CNFD) is available to assist schools is completing waiver requests, identifying sources for food purchasing and finding solutions to their unique struggles.  CNFD staff can be contacted at dpicnfd@nd.gov or call 1-888-338-3663.

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CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS

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FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMS

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INFORMATION & HELP

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
 
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
 
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.