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Notice

National School Lunch, Special Milk, and School Breakfast Programs; National Average Payments/Maximum Reimbursement Rates

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AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This Notice announces the annual adjustments to: (1) The “national average payments,” the amount of money the Federal Government provides States for lunches, afterschool snacks and breakfasts served to children participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; (2) the “maximum reimbursement rates,” the maximum per lunch rate from Federal funds that a State can provide a school food authority for lunches served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program; and (3) the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to nonneedy children in a school or institution which participates in the Special Milk Program for Children. The payments and rates are prescribed on an annual basis each July. The annual payments and rates adjustments for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs reflect changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The annual rate adjustment for the Special Milk Program reflects changes in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products. These payments and rates are in effect from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 1, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Mary Jane Whitney, Section Chief, School Programs Section, Policy and Program Development Branch, Child Nutrition Division, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1007, Alexandria, VA 22302 or phone (703) 305-2620.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Special Milk Program for Children

Pursuant to section 3 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1772), the Department announces the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to nonneedy children in a school or institution which participates in the Special Milk Program for Children. This rate is adjusted annually to reflect changes in the Producer Price Index for Fresh Processed Milk, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.

For the period July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001, the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to a nonneedy child in a school or institution which participates in the Special Milk Program is 13 cents. This reflects an increase of 2.0 percent in the Producer Price Index for Fresh Processed Milk from May 1999 to May 2000 (from a level of 139.7 in May 1999 to 142.5 in May 2000).

As a reminder, schools or institutions with pricing programs which elect to serve milk free to eligible children continue to receive the average cost of a half-pint of milk (the total cost of all milk purchased during the claim period divided by the total number of purchased half-pints) for each half-pint served to an eligible child.

National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

Pursuant to sections 11 and 17A of the National School Lunch Act, (42 U.S.C. 1759a and 1766a), and section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, (42 U.S.C. 1773), the Department annually announces the adjustments to the National Average Payment Factors and to the maximum Federal reimbursement rates for lunches and afterschool snacks served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program and breakfasts served to children participating in the School Breakfast Program. Adjustments are prescribed each July 1, based on changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The changes in the national average payment rates for schools and residential child care institutions for the period July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001 reflect a 2.25 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers during the 12-month period May 1999 to May 2000 (from a level of 164.6 in May 1999 to 168.3 in May 2000). Adjustments to the national average payment rates for all lunches served under the National School Lunch Program, breakfasts served under the School Breakfast Program, and afterschool snacks served under the National School Lunch Program are rounded down to the nearest whole cent.

Lunch Payment Levels

Section 4 of the National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. § 1753) provides general cash for food assistance payments to States to assist schools in purchasing food. The National School Lunch Act provides two different section 4 payment levels for lunches served under the National School Lunch Program. The lower payment level applies to lunches served by school food authorities in which less than 60 percent of the lunches served in the school lunch program during the second preceding school year were served free or at a reduced price. The higher payment level applies to lunches served by school food authorities in which 60 percent or more of the lunches served during the second preceding school year were served free or at a reduced price.

To supplement these section 4 payments, section 11 of the National School Lunch Act provides special cash assistance payments to aid schools in providing free and reduced price lunches. The section 11 National Average Payment Factor for each reduced price lunch served is set at 40 cents less than the factor for each free lunch.

As authorized under sections 8 and 11 of the National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1757, 1759a), maximum reimbursement rates for each type of lunch are prescribed by the Department in this notice. These maximum rates are to ensure equitable disbursement of Federal funds to school food authorities.

Afterschool Snack Payments in Afterschool Care Programs

Section 17A of the National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1766a) establishes National Average Payments for free, reduced price and paid afterschool snacks as part of the National School Lunch Program.

Breakfast Payment Factors

Section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. § 1773) establishes National Average Payment Factors for free, reduced price and paid breakfasts served under the School Breakfast Program and additional payments for free and reduced price breakfasts served in schools determined to be in “severe need” because they serve a high percentage of needy children.

Revised Payments

The following specific section 4, section 11 and section 17A National Average Payment Factors and maximum reimbursement rates for lunch, the afterschool snack rates, and the breakfast rates are in effect from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001. Due to a higher cost of living, the average payments and maximum reimbursements for Alaska and Hawaii are higher than those for all other States. The District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam use the figures specified for the contiguous States.

National School Lunch Program Payments

Section 4 National Average Payment Factors

In school food authorities which served less than 60 percent free and reduced price lunches in School Year 1998-99, the payments for meals served are: Contiguous States—paid rate—19 cents, free and reduced price rate—19 cents, maximum rate—27 cents; Alaska—paid rate—31 cents, free and reduced price rate—31 cents, maximum rate—42 cents; Hawaii—paid rate—22 cents, free and reduced price rate—22 cents, maximum rate—31 cents.

In school food authorities which served 60 percent or more free and reduced price lunches in School Year 1998-99, payments are: Contiguous States—paid rate—21 cents, free and reduced price rate—21 cents, maximum rate—27 cents; Alaska—paid rate—33 cents, free and reduced price rate—33 cents, maximum rate—42 cents; Hawaii—paid rate—24 cents, free and reduced price rate—24 cents, maximum rate—31 cents.

Section 11 National Average Payment Factors

Contiguous States—free lunch—183 cents, reduced price lunch—143 cents; Alaska—free lunch—297 cents, reduced price lunch—257 cents; Hawaii—free lunch—215 cents, reduced price lunch—175 cents.

Afterschool Snacks in Afterschool Care Programs

The payments are: Contiguous States—free snack—55 cents, reduced price snack—27 cents, paid snack—5 cents; Alaska—free snack—90 cents, reduced price snack—45 cents, paid snack—8 cents; Hawaii—free snack—65 cents, reduced price snack—32 cents, paid snack—5 cents.

School Breakfast Program Payments

For schools “not in severe need” the payments are: Contiguous States—free Start Printed Page 39593breakfast—112 cents, reduced price breakfast—82 cents, paid breakfast—21 cents; Alaska—free breakfast—177 cents, reduced price breakfast—147 cents, paid breakfast—30 cents; Hawaii—free breakfast—130 cents, reduced price breakfast—100 cents, paid breakfast—23 cents.

For schools in “severe need” the payments are: Contiguous States—free breakfast—133 cents, reduced price breakfast—103 cents, paid breakfast—21 cents; Alaska—free breakfast—212 cents, reduced price breakfast—182 cents, paid breakfast—30 cents; Hawaii—free breakfast—155 cents, reduced price breakfast—125 cents, paid breakfast—23 cents.

Payment Chart

The following chart illustrates: The lunch National Average Payment Factors with the Sections 4 and 11 already combined to indicate the per lunch amount; the maximum lunch reimbursement rates; the reimbursement rates for afterschool snacks served in afterschool care programs; the breakfast National Average Payment Factors including “severe need” schools; and the milk reimbursement rate. All amounts are expressed in dollars or fractions thereof. The payment factors and reimbursement rates used for the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam are those specified for the contiguous States.

School Programs—Meal, Snack and Milk Payments to States and School Food Authorities

[Expressed in dollars or fractions thereof Effective from July 1, 2000-June 30, 2001]

National School Lunch Program *Less than 60%60% or moreMaximum rate
Contiguous States:
Paid$.19$.21$.27
Reduced price1.621.641.79
Free2.022.042.19
Alaska:
Paid.31.33.42
Reduced price2.882.903.13
Free3.283.303.53
Hawaii
Paid.22.24.31
Reduced price1.971.992.15
Free2.372.392.55
*Payments listed for Free & Reduced Price Lunches include both sections 4 and 11 funds.
School Breakfast ProgramNon-severe needSevere need
Contiguous States:
Paid$.21$.21
Reduced price.821.03
Free1.121.33
Alaska:
Paid.30.30
Reduced price1.471.82
Free1.772.12
Hawaii
Paid.23.23
Reduced price1.001.25
Free1.301.55
Special Milk ProgramAll milkPaid milkFree milk
Pricing programs without free option$.13N/AN/A
Pricing programs with free optionN/A$.13(1)
Nonpricing programs.13N/AN/A
1 Average cost per 1/2 pint of milk.

Afterschool Snacks Served in Afterschool Care Programs

Contiguous States:
Paid$.05
Reduced price.27
Free.55
Alaska:
Paid.08
Reduced price.45
Free.90
Hawaii:
Paid.05
Reduced price.32
Free.65
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This action is not a rule as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. § § 601-612) and thus is exempt from the provisions of that Act.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. § 3507), no new recordkeeping or reporting requirements have been included that are subject to approval from the Office of Management and Budget.

This action is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866.

National School Lunch, School Breakfast and Special Milk Programs are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.555, No. 10.553 and No. 10.556, respectively, and are subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR Part 3015, Subpart V, and the final rule related notice published at 48 FR 29114, June 24, 1983.)

Start Authority

Authority: Sections 4, 8, 11 and 17A of the National School Lunch Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1753, 1757, 1759a, 1766a and sections 3 and 4(b) of the Child Nutrition Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1772 and 42 U.S.C. 1773(b).

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Dated: June 21, 2000.

Samuel Chambers, Jr.,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 00-16168 Filed 6-26-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-30-P