Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Food, Nutrition and Wellness

What is the purpose of the division?

The purpose of the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness is to conduct, supervise, and administer child nutrition and commodity food distribution programs. The division does so by providing outreach, guidance and training to child nutrition program sponsors, schools, school food service directors, parent and teacher organizations and students about the benefit of fresh food produced in Florida.

How does the division meet its goals?

 

What is the school districts' role in school food service programs?

Section 595.405, Florida Statutes, provides standards for school food and nutrition services and requires each school district to establish and maintain an appropriate school food and nutrition service program consistent with the nutritional needs of students District school boards are charged with adopting policies consistent with state and federal law to provide the program, set pricing for meals, and annually provide information on programs. For the National School Lunch Program, schools are responsible for applying to operate the program, attending training, maintaining documentation and verification of eligibility and meal counts by eligibility category, and  maintaining meal production and inventory records, on-site accountability review records, and program income and expenditure records.

Under the Ms. Willie Ann Glenn Act, each school district must develop a plan to sponsor and implement a summer nutrition program in collaboration with municipal and county government agencies and not-for-profit entities.

What is the state's role in school food service programs?

Section 595.404, Florida Statutes, designates the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) with the powers and duties to conduct, supervise, and administer school food and nutrition programs using federal, state, or other funding sources. Further, the department must encourage the development of innovative school food and nutrition services along with expanding program participation. To meet these requirements, the division provides guidance, training, outreach, and technical support to schools operating the program.

Additionally, the division is responsible for protecting the integrity of the programs it administers. The division enters into agreements with school food authorities to provide reimbursements for meals that meet federal nutritional requirements. The primary way the division ensures compliance with federal, state, and contractual requirements is to conduct periodic reviews.

What is the federal government's role in school food service programs?

USDA's Child Nutrition Programs provide healthy food to children,and include the federal government's National School Lunch Program, and School Breakfast Program, in addition to other food service grant programs. These school nutrition programs are designed to assist states through grants and other means in establishing, maintaining, operating, and expanding student food programs while safeguarding the health and well-being of the nation's children and encouraging the domestic consumption of nutritious agricultural commodities and other foods. Federal regulations establish rules for eligibility, meal nutritional requirements and limits, and a compliance inspection system.

What are the eligibility requirements for free and reduced price meals?

Families may apply for financial assistance for free or reduced price meals for students by submitting a Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application directly to their local school at any time throughout the school year for an eligibility determination. Eligibility is determined based on family household size and income in relation to the federal poverty level, or categorical eligibility based on enrollment in another assistance program, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines used to determine eligibility are made annually and are effective from July 1 through June 30 every year.

The Florida Department of Education posts on its Education Information & Accountability Services' Data Publications and Reports website the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price meals for each school, within each district, and statewide. 

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the National School Lunch Program allows eligible schools to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge without the use of traditional paper applications. Eligible schools predominantly serve low-income children. A list of eligible schools is published annually by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

 

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Salary Rate/ Position General Revenue Trust Funds
SALARY RATE
POSITIONS
SALARIES AND BENEFITS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
EXPENSES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
GRANTS AND AIDS - SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
GRANTS AND AIDS - SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM - STATE MATCH
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
GRANTS AND AIDS - SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
OPERATING CAPITAL OUTLAY
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
ACQUISITION OF MOTOR VEHICLES
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
FEEDING FLORIDA
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
SUPPORT FOR FOOD BANK
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
CONTRACTED SERVICES
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
FARM SHARE PROGRAM
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
GRANTS AND AIDS - EMERGENCY FEEDING ORGANIZATIONS
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
RISK MANAGEMENT INSURANCE
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
TRANSFER TO DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES - HUMAN RESOURCES SERVICES PURCHASED PER STATEWIDE CONTRACT
FROM FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES TRUST FUND
TOTAL
26,888,868
1,270,875,363

Updates

COVID-19.  In response to the increased food insecurity caused by COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has issued a variety of emergency waivers of program requirements, new initiatives, and additional funding to state agencies. In Florida, the Child Nutrition Programs implemented waivers for the 2020-2021 school year that allowing for flexibilities including non-congregate meals, pick up meals, meal pattern flexibility, and free meals to be served to all students under national area eligibility.

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) granted Florida the authority to issue Pandemic Electronic Transfer Benefit (P-EBT) benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with one or more students who temporarily lost access to free and reduced-price meals at school due to COVID-19 school closures and distance learning. The USDA-FNS has authorized these waivers through June 30, 2022, to extend through the 2021-2022 school year.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 595 and ss. 570.64, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness, Customer Service, 850-617-7400 or 1-800-504-6609

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