Professional Standards for School Nutrition Employees

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, Section 306, directed the United States Department of Agriculture to establish minimum national professional standards for all school nutrition employees who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

These new
standards will ensure that school nutrition personnel have the training and tools they need to plan, purchase and prepare safe, nutritious and enjoyable school meals.

The rule institutes minimum hiring standards for the selection of State and local school nutrition program directors; and requires all personnel in these programs to complete annual continuing education/training.

The standards are effective July 1, 2015.

The principal benefit of this rule is to ensure that key school nutrition personnel are meeting minimum professional standards in order to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities of their positions.



The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to:
?Provide awards, on a competitive basis, to State agencies administering National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), to develop and implement trainings to support the Professional Standards rule,
?Describe which entities are eligible to apply for grant funds,
?Describe the requirements for submitting a successful application, and
?Describe how applications will be reviewed and selected.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.



Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
University Of Mississippi $ 3,017,125   2018-06-262021-06-30
University Of Mississippi $ 370,046   2017-06-012020-06-30
Mh Miles Company, Cpa, Pc $ 3,000,000   2017-09-292019-09-29
University Of Mississippi $ 1,623,527   2016-06-012019-06-30
Education, Oklahoma Department Of $ 19,100   2016-02-052018-09-30
Public Instruction, Wisconsin Dept Of $ 134,116   2015-09-302018-09-14
Department Of Agriculture Nevada $ 59,248   2015-09-302018-05-25
Education And Early Development, Alaska Department Of $ 84,485   2015-09-302018-03-31
Education, Maryland Department Of $ 146,125   2015-09-282018-03-31
Education, Arizona Dept Of $ 124,548   2015-09-302018-03-07



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: All grantees have conducted an extensive number of trainings of school nutrition professionals with use of grant money, since 2015, in addition, many States have created new training tools, many of which are available online. Fiscal Year 2017: There are currently 19 Professional Standards Training Grants, 8 of which are slated to expired end of September 2017. The remaining 11 grants have been approved for an extension. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

$2.6 million dollars was awarded in Fiscal Year 2015 for Professional Standards Grants.

Through a competitive grants process, Professional Standards Grants will be funded for the period September 2015-September 2017.

Up to $150,000 may be requested per State agency.

The submission of an application does NOT guarantee funding. Funding for approved Professional Standards Grants will be provided through the Grant Award/Letter of Credit process, in the same manner as other Federal funds, upon receipt of a properly executed Federal-State Professional Standards Grant Agreement and subject to availability of funding.

All Professional Standards Grant funds must be obligated and all activities under the Professional Standards Grant must be completed by August 2017 (unless an extension to the grant has been approved).

All State agencies are eligible to apply for the grant.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The State agency applies for and signs an agreement to receive Federal fund for disbursement.

The State agency enters into an agreement with each sponsor that has been approved for participation.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Agreements are between USDA-FNS and State agencies.

Credentials/Documentation

Selection criteria are clearly defined in application. Proposals must describe the qualifications of Project Director and other key staff. Resumes must be provided which demonstrate that staff have the appropriate educational, technical and experiential backgrounds for their proposed roles. A position description must be included for Project Directors and key staff to be hired after the grant is awarded. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Letter of intent is optional for this RFA but is highly recommended.

It is due February 20, 2015.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB circular No A-110 applies to this program.

Award Procedures

When an application is approved, the sponsor signs an agreement with the administering agency. States were selected for Professional Standards Grant based on a formal grants selection process.

Deadlines

Apr 20, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016: Rolling submissions. Letters of intent are due February 20, 2015. Applications must be received by Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) by the four deadline dates of April 20, 2015; July 20, 2015, October 20, 2015, and January 20, 2016.

Authorization

Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, Executive Order Section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger- Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111? 296 (HHFKA) amended section 7 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) (42 U.S.C. 1776) by adding paragraph (g), ??Professional Standards for School Food Service.?? This rule proposes to amend 7 CFR part 210, the regulations governing the National School Lunch Program, and 7 CFR part 235, the regulations governing State Administrative Expense Funds, consistent with amendments made to the CNA by the HHFKA., Title 7 CFR, Part 210, Section 235, Public Law 222-111, 42 U.S.C 1776.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days. From 30 to 60 days.

Appeals

From 30 to 60 days. Not applicable for renewal.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. This program has no matching requirements. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

August 1, 2015- July 31, 2017. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly progress reports are required.

Quarterly budget reports are required.

The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress.

Cash reports are not applicable.

The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly progress reports are required.

Quarterly budget reports are required.

The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress.

The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly progress reports are required.

Quarterly budget reports are required.

The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress.

The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly progress reports are required.

Quarterly budget reports are required.

The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress.

Audits

Not Applicable.

Records

Financial records, spporting documents, and all records pertinent to the grant program shall be retained for a period of 3 years.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-3539-0-1-605.

Obigations

(Training) FY 16 Not Available; FY 17 Estimate Not Available; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available - This is two year money starting in FY 2015.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Each State can apply for up to 150,000 for this grant.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program regulations are codified at 7 CFR parts 210 and 235

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Julie Maxwell 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Julie.Maxwell@fns.usda.gov Phone: 703-605-4437

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

1. Soundness or Merit of Project Design a. Proposal provides justification of the project(s) and activities being proposed. b. Proposal has objectives and goals that are appropriate to target audiences, are measurable, realistic, attainable, and address one or more focus areas (objectives ? see page 6) requested in the 2015 Professional Standards Grants Request for Application (RFA). c. Proposal describes State agency?s use of USDA or NFSMI-developed materials, and adequate justifications are made if a portion of the grant funds will be used to develop or purchase needed materials. d. Proposal adequately describes the tasks and activities with realistic timelines. e. Proposal includes a chronological timeline, not to exceed two pages. f. Proposal is written concisely, succinctly, and demonstrates a comprehensive planning process. g. Proposal includes a plan for sustainability after the grant period has ended. 2. Grant Impact Assessment a.Proposal adequately describes how the State agency will assess the effectiveness and usefulness of training approaches, programs, and proposed activities to meet Professional Standards requirements in Section 306 of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. b. Proposal describes how the State agency will document the number of individuals the State plans to train at three levels: Manager, Director, and other staff, as well as best practices and lessons learned as result of the grant activities. 3. Qualification of Project Personnel, Project Management, and Organizational Experiences a.Project Director (PD) is clearly identified. Time commitment for the grant is clearly stated as a percentage of a full time equivalent (FTE). b.Proposal describes the qualifications of PD and other key personnel. Resumes must be provided which demonstrate that they have the appropriate educational, technical, and experiential backgrounds for their proposed roles. A position description must be included for PD and/or key staff to be hired after the grant is awarded. The Project Director, or one of the Project Co-Directors, should have a four-year degree in nutrition/dietetics, public health, health education, or other related field. c. The contractor must be a subject matter expert with prior experience conducting training sessions for school food service personnel. Documentation should be provided to substantiate the training. d. Proposal describes the organization?s credibility and capabilities to administer the grant. e. The organization of the project allows sufficient time for proposed tasks, and clearly discusses and demonstrates that effective communication will exist among staff. f. Proposal describes State agency?s commitment to provide financial and administrative oversight for the grant. g. Letters of commitment are provided by project director, project director?s supervisor, and/or key staff. 4. Budget Appropriateness and Efficiency a. Budget narrative describes how funds will be spent, by whom and for which categories. b. Budget detail sufficiently itemizes costs within each budget category. c. Budget demonstrates consistency with project objectives and specific activities/tasks planned. Budget line items are linked to specific grant objectives. d. The level of funding requested is economical and reasonable in relation to the proposed scope and effort of the project.



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