Summary of the Child Nutrition Program Integrity Final Rule

On August 23, 2023, USDA issued final rulemaking related to three separate proposals: the child nutrition program integrity rule proposed in 2016, CACFP Amendments related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act released in 2012, and Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the NSLP & SBP proposed in January 2020.

Three areas of the proposed integrity rule were not included in the final rule: 1) extending to the SFSP the serious deficiency and termination process currently in use in the CACFP, 2) instituting reciprocal disqualification across all child nutrition programs should an entity be disqualified from any program, and 3) eliminating the option for cost-reimbursable food service management company contracts for SFAs. However, the final rule indicates that USDA is still working on improvements to the serious deficiency process and will issue a separate rule on that in the future.

This summary details these elements of the final rule and the other areas addressed, including fines for school food authorities and state agencies as well as changes to monitoring and oversight requirements for CACFP state agencies, among others.