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January Policy Update

January 16, 2024

Policy Update Interior

Since our last policy updated, there has been new legislation introduced, waivers approved, guidance released, as well as an Interim Final Rule for SFSP rural, non-congregate feeding. There have also been multiple research papers published regarding the CACFP. Check out the recent policy updates below! 



Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act 

In October, Congresswoman Bonamici and Congressman Molinaro re-introduced the Early Childhood Nutrition improvement act. The bill, endorsed by NCA, would allow providers open for more than 8 hours a day to be reimbursed for an additional meal, make reimbursement more equitable, and work to streamline the CACFP. To learn more, read our summary blog. 

Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act 

Following its introduction in the House of Representatives, the Child Care Nutrition Enhancement Act was also introduced in the Senate by Senator Bob Casey. NCA endorsed this bill which would increase reimbursement for everyone and eliminate tiering of family child care homes. To learn more, read our summary blog. 

Visit our Action Center to urge your elected officials to support this legislation! 


State Agency Off-Site Monitoring Waiver 

State Agencies can submit a 12(l) waiver application to USDA in order to allow for off-site monitoring flexibilities in their state. Oregon was the first state to be approved for the off-site monitoring waiver – followed by Alaska and Pennsylvania. For a brief overview of the benefit of off-site monitoring, read our blog Modernizing the CACFP to Expand Access with Off-Site Monitoring. 


2024 USDA Guidance 

Crediting Traditional Indigenous Foods in Child Nutrition Programs 

This memorandum provides guidance to Indigenous communities on incorporating traditional Indigenous foods that meet CNP meal pattern requirements and includes an updated and expanded list of traditional Indigenous foods that credit the same as similar foods currently listed in the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. 

Clarification of Allowable Flexibilities for Child Nutrition Programs Experiencing Milk Supply Shortages  

This memorandum provides state agencies with information about existing authority related to schools and other child nutrition program (program) operators experiencing inadequate milk supply. FNS encourages state agencies to use this authority when needed to support program operators impacted by the current milk packaging challenges. 

Procuring Local Meat, Poultry, Game and Eggs for Child Nutrition Programs 

This memorandum clarifies the regulatory requirements related to food safety and answers specific questions related to local meat, poultry, seafood, game, and eggs. Specifically, this guidance updates information to better reflect opportunities to access domesticated and wild game animals, as well as other minor technical updates throughout.  

Revised: Crediting Tofu and Soy Yogurt Products in the School meal Programs, CACFP, and SFSP 

The memorandum provides updated guidance on crediting tofu and soy yogurt products and supersedes a previous memo from 2016 (CACFP 21-2016). The memo extends the option of serving commercially prepared tofu and soy yogurt as meat alternates to infants 6-11 months participating in the CACFP. The memo also extends the ability to serve tofu and soy yogurt as meat alternates in SFSP. 


Interim Final Rule Establishing Rural Non-Congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs 

This interim final rule amends the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program's Seamless Summer Option (SSO) regulations to codify the flexibility for rural program operators to provide non-congregate meal service in the SFSP and SSO, collectively referred to as the summer meal programs. This rule also establishes regulations and codifies the Summer EBT Program in the Code of Federal Regulations. 


CACFP Research 


For more information contact Also check out our blog on Five Ways to Advocate in the New Year.