OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

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 supporting outreach and partnerships, developing educational materials, and providing financial resources, training, and technical assistance about nutrition and wellness.

How does the division meet its goals?

  • Ensure Child Access to Daily Nutritious Food. The supplies nutritious meals to children via the National School Lunch Program which provides meals during the school day and the Summer Food Service Program which provides meals to children 18 and under while school is out for the summer.
  • Increase Knowledge. The Living Healthy in Florida Effort aims to inform Florida's children, families, and seniors about healthy eating, good nutrition, and active living. Additionally, the division provides Nutrition Education Resources which includes lesson plans, activities, and assistance for educators.
  • Reduce Food Insecurity. The division administers several programs in Florida to help reduce food insecurity among Florida's most vulnerable populations, including the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Emergency Food Assistance Program, Food Recovery Program, WIC/Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, and USDA Foods.
  • Encourage Healthy Lifestyles. The division provides information and outreach on meeting nutrition goals and physical activity by providing food service training for school nutrition directors and food service staff, as well as by coordinating ongoing education and training for schools, sponsors, children, families and vendors about available nutrition and wellness programs.

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.  Each district develops menus, prepares meals, sets prices, collects revenue, controls expenses, and establishes and manages its own program budget.

Further, 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. The department is charged with a number of responsibilities.  First, the department must encourage the development of innovative school food and nutrition services along with expanding program participation. In addition, the department conducts periodic reviews of the school lunch and breakfast programs to ensure program sponsors materially comply with state and federal regulations.

 
Finally, the division's program operations section is responsible for requesting and monitoring the Child Nutrition Program's federal and state funding.  The section manages all contracts and grants, reimburses program sponsors, submits monthly and annual reports to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and is responsible for the oversight of program compliance with state and federal financial management requirements.

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

The USDA administers several programs that provide healthy food to children, including the federal government's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, 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. Eligibility is determined based on family household size and income in relation to the federal poverty level. 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.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
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
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
20,503,556
1,274,155,124

Updates

Pandemic-EBT for National School Lunch Program. On May 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Florida’s request to implement the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program across the state. Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (Pandemic-EBT or P-EBT), will provide nutrition benefits to the families of more than 2 million children eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches, and is administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families in partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. P-EBT is a supplemental benefit for households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures.

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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