Food Management Digizine - Q1 2023

Fresh K12 content from


Brandice P. Pelfrey, CMP | American Commodity Distribution Association

Did you know, if managed correctly, entitlement funds can provide for up to 20% of your food budget? What are Entitlement Funds? Entitlement funds are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) per CFR 250.56. Every year in July, Food Nutrition Services (FNS) publishes the Per-Meal Rate according to this Federal Regulation. This and the total lunches your district serves within the school year determine how much entitlement the school receives to spend on USDA Foods. Entitlement can be used to purchase USDA Foods to be delivered to the school throughout the year to supplement the cost of the food budget. Entitlement is funding to purchase USDA Foods; it is not actual money. Entitlement is the amount that the State Agency is authorized to spend on USDA Foods and that value is expected to be utilized in the school year in which the dollars are spent. The State can spend it through three programs: Direct Delivery, DoD Fresh, and Processing, using a demand driven process. What is the role of the State Agency? The State Agency makes decisions on how this program is run in their state according to Federal Regulations as well as State Regulations and Policies. Every State Agency has worked with their schools to find a way to run programs the best they see fit. Federal Regulations allow states the authority to make some decisions that may be different than other states. Some State Agencies may require you to use all your entitlement during the first ordering time of the year, whereas others have a few rounds of ordering during the school year. This could be because of their size and capacity and having to share truckloads with other states. Each State Agency is working toward the goal of using all the entitlement in the best way possible with the knowledge they have for their specific state. They also must ensure that all of the USDA Foods they bring in actually get delivered to the school and used in a


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