purpose of this memo is to provide School Food Authorities (SFAs) with guidance
regarding meal pattern flexibilities that were previously approved in the 2018
Final Rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and
Sodium Requirements, (83 FR 63775, December 12, 2018). The United States District Court for the State
of Maryland found a procedural error in the way the final rules were announced
or released to the public. Therefore,
the decision has been made to reverse the flexibilities set forth in the 2018
Final Rule. As a result of reversing the
2018 Final Rules, SFAs will be required to return to the 2012 Final Rule,
Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs,
(77 FR 4088, January 26, 2012).
For School Year 2020-2021 this means:
- Flavored milk must be fat free or non-fat
- All grain products must be whole grain rich (50% of the grains in the product must be whole grains.
- The Target 2 weekly sodium limit from the 2012 Final Rule must be implemented is as follows:
- Breakfast (K-5) ≤ 485 mg; (6-8) ≤ 535 mg; (9-12) ≤ 570 mg
- Lunch (K-5) ≤ 935 mg; (6-8) ≤ 1035 mg; (9-12) ≤1080 mg
to the timing of the court’s decision in April 2020, the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is allowing districts
to continue their current meal patterns and use of the nationwide meal pattern
waivers for COVID 19 if the 2012 meal pattern requirements are not met. However, all
states must implement the changes and meet the meal patterns as described in
the January 26, 2012 final rule no later than July 1, 2021.
Complete the attached Request for Waiver
form to reflect the needs of the SFA and return it to the Child Nutrition Unit via ADE.CNU-A-PS@arkansas.gov by September 23,
If you have questions regarding
these changes to the final rule, please contact your area specialist by email
or at 501-324-9502.