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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             November 9, 2005

SUBJECT:       Chapter 51 – Child Nutrition Programs in Public Schools and Institutions

** Please forward to Assistant Superintendents, Principals,
Food Service Personnel and Interested Parties **

The Department of Education is proposing amendments to Chapter 51 – Child Nutrition Programs in Public Schools and Institutions.  This rule contains requirements that supplement federal regulations pertaining to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the sale of foods, on school property of a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program, which are in competition with the NSLP.

The rule recently amended and adopted effective July 17, 2005, requires that funds from the sale of food or beverages sold at any time on school property accrue to the benefit of the school’s total food service program, with exceptions.  The exceptions extend to foods and beverages sold to school staff; to the public at community events sponsored by the school or held on school property; to the public at community events held on school property in accordance with the school board’s facilities use policy; and in State-approved, instructional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs.  These exceptions inadvertently eliminated the provision under the previous version of the rule that allowed for the funds from the sale of foods or beverages to accrue to the benefit of a school, approved student organizations, programs or sponsors of a public event held on school property.

The proposed amendments to Chapter 51 address these unintended consequences in this way:  The proposed amendments would allow, under local school board policy or policy established by Career and Technical Region/Center Cooperative Boards: a school, approved student organization or program to benefit from the sale of foods and beverages sold at food sales, in school stores, and in vending machines; and the sponsors of community events to benefit from the sale of foods or beverages at the event.

The proposed amendments also clarify that a school, approved student organization or program may sell foods or beverages if consistent with the requirement that such sales not include foods of minimal value.  The rule also amends the current exception for the sale of foods and beverages by Career and Technical Education (CTE) centers or programs to:  (1) be consistent with the exceptions in the rule which allow, by school board policy or Career and Technical Education Region/Center cooperative board policy, the sale of food which include foods of minimal nutritional value as defined in the rule; and (2) limit this exception to the CTE Culinary Arts Programs.

A copy of the original rule is available at:

A copy of the proposed rule is available at:

No public hearing is scheduled.

We encourage the submission of written comments on the proposed rule.  Comments will be considered if received in the Department of Education by December 12, 2005.  This may be accomplished by: 

Delivering them to the receptionist on the 5th floor of the Burton Cross State Office Building, Augusta, ME; mailing them to Judith Malcolm, Education Policy Director, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023; faxing them to Judith Malcolm (207) 624-6841; or emailing them to:

Comments must be received by the Department not later than 5:00 PM, Monday, December, 12, 2005.