Legal References

Child Nutrition programs are governed by federal and state laws and regulations. Federal laws are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, and state laws are administered by the Maine Department of Education. School districts in the National School Lunch Program must follow USDA regulations for federally subsidized meals and for all foods sold outside of the National School Lunch Program. Information on current federal regulations, State of Maine laws, and links to USDA memorandums are provided below.

    Federal Guidance and Memos

    Flexibility for Co-Mingled Preschool Meals: Questions and Answers - SP 37-2017: This memorandum provides guidance on meals served to preschoolers when they are in the same service area at the same time as grade K-5 students, and it includes Questions and Answers. Additional guidance on the National School Lunch Program’s and School Breakfast Program’s (School Meal Programs) infant and preschool meal pattern requirements will be issued soon.

    COVID-19 Waivers and Memos

    Policy Memos:

    SP07-2020: Paid Lunch Equity: Guidance for School Year 2020-2021

    This memo provides guidance for the Paid Lunch Equity Tool for SY21.

    SP06-2020: School Breakfast Program: Continuation of the Substitution of Vegetables for Fruit Flexibility

    This memo discusses that School food authorities (SFAs) participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) may continue to credit any vegetable offered, including potatoes and other starchy vegetables, in place of fruit without including vegetables from other subgroups in the weekly menus through June 30, 2021.

    SP 05-2020: Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel 

    This Q & A memorandum is designed to provide an overview of the policies related to the Professional Standards regulations for State and local school nutrition program personnel. 

    SP 03-2019: NSLP and SBP: Questions and Answers for Charter Schools

    FNS is providing updated Questions and Answers for charter school participation in the NSLP, the SBP and other Child Nutrition Programs. Since charter schools are held to the same standards for operating CNPs as traditional public or non-profit private schools, this memorandum does not contain any new CNP policies. Program operators can use the Q&As as a resource to assist charter schools and non-profit private, rural, or small schools that have similar questions to operate successful CNPs. This memorandum supersedes SP 07-2008: Charter School Involvement in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, January 15, 2008.

    SP 32-2019: Buy American and Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

    This memorandum addresses information in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 regarding the Buy American requirements in the national school meal programs.

    Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements

    This memorandum provides Questions and Answers on the final rule Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements (83 FR 63775, December 12, 2018), which provides menu planning flexibilities in the CNPs. These flexibilities went into effect July 1, 2019, for the 2019-202 school year. 

    Meal Requirements under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Questions and Answers for Program Operators:

    This memorandum includes Questions and Answers updated to incorporate changes codified by two final rules: (1) Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (81 CFR 24348, published April 25, 2016) and (2) Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements (83 FR 63775, December 12, 2018). This document also includes updated crediting questions and a new Resources section. Outdated references, citations, and questions have been removed throughout the document, and minor edits were made to clarify content. 

    Clarification on the Milk and Water Requirements in the School Meal Programs:

    This updated memorandum clarifies regulations that water made available to students in the NSLP and SBP shall not compete with the milk requirement. While water must be made available, schools must not directly or indirectly restrict the sale or marketing of fluid milk.

    Smoothies Offered in the Child Nutrition Programs:

    This updated memorandum clarifies juice and yogurt allowances based on the childcare and preschool meal pattern updates and incorporates the meal pattern flexibilities related to flavored milk. This memorandum also changes the policy for commercially prepared smoothies. Commercially prepared smoothies can now contribute to the meat/meat alternate, fruit, vegetable, and milk components of the Federal meal requirements for all CNPs.

    Salad Bars in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program:

    This memorandum includes policy changes and general updates to outdated resources/website links and updated questions and answers. This memorandum provides State agencies with information on how salad bars can effectively improve the service of reimbursable meals and includes information on portion size, location of the salad bar, production records, and food safety.

    Other Items of Note:

    Updated Model Functional Requirements for State School Meal Programs Information Systems
    FNS has released an updated version of the “Model Functional Requirements for State School Meal Programs Information Systems” and “Model Functional Requirements for Local School Meal Programs Information Systems” tools to the FNS public website. All updates to the 2018 version are highlighted in yellow and an explanation of any changes are provided in the “Version Changes” tab of each document. While it is not required, State and local agencies administering the school meal programs may choose to use the Model Functional Requirements for State School Meal Programs Information Systems and Model Functional Requirements for Local School Meal Programs Information Systems tools in the development or enhancement of their information technology (IT) systems. These Microsoft Excel documents may be edited so that each State and local agency can adapt the functional requirements to their needs.

    Food Buying Guide Web-Based Tool Enhancements
    FNS released new enhancements to the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs (FBG) Interactive Web-Based Tool. The following enhancements are specific to the Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) which now has the following capabilities: allow an existing RAW to be copied and easily recreated for multiple serving sizes; include the total vegetable amount with a breakdown of vegetable subgroup amounts on the meal pattern contribution statement; and create a notes section. This release also includes the addition of three preschool meal pattern charts.

    Direct Certification in the NSLP – Report to Congress for School Years 15/16 and 16/17
    This report responds to the requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals.

    Food Safety Fact Sheet: Get the Facts About Food Safety
    A new resource in the Office of Community Food Systems Fact Sheet series is now available for download.  Developed in collaboration with the FNS Office of Food Safety, Get the Facts About Food Safety addresses common myths and misconceptions related to food safety when incorporating locally grown foods in school meals.

    New Unpaid Meal Charges Resources on USDA Website
    FNS has released several new unpaid meal charges resources for SFAs. These resources, now available on the USDA Unpaid Meal Charges Website, include:

    • Local Charge Policy Training Template: An adaptable presentation SFAs can use to develop a training for school and district staff members responsible for enforcing the local charge policy.           
    • Unpaid Meals Fact Sheets: Three fact sheets providing an overview of unpaid meal charges and strategies SFAs can use to prevent “school lunch shaming.”
    • Unpaid Meal Charges Talking Points: Sample talking points school officials can use as a starting point to address questions about unpaid meal charges.
    • Excess Balance Donation Letter: An adaptable letter and donation form that SFAs can use to encourage families to donate any balances remaining in their account at the end of the school year.

    Maine Statutes, Regulations, Policy, and Legislation

    Advertising on School Grounds: Maine Statues: Title 20 A: Chapter 223, Sub Chapter 9, 6662

     §6662. Foods outside school meal program

    3.Food and beverage advertising. Brand-specific advertising of food or beverages is prohibited in school buildings or on school grounds except for food and beverages meeting standards for sale or distribution on school grounds in accordance with rules adopted under subsection 2.

    For the purposes of this subsection, "advertising" does not include advertising on broadcast media or in print media such as newspapers and magazines, clothing with brand images worn on school grounds or advertising on product packaging.

      USDA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Rules


        Other Requirements and Guidelines