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Latest Updates

Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas

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Governor Abbott requested and was approved for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the following counties: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton counties for Individual Assistance and assistance with debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.


Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant and Travis counties are eligible for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program. Public Assistance (Categories C-G) including Direct Federal Assistance have been added to FEMA-4332-DR-TX for Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton Counties.

Contracting Entities Participating in Food Distribution Program

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In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, disaster mass care organizations have started to request supplies from our commodity warehouses to aid in the ongoing disaster relief efforts. These supplies may include USDA Foods through NSLP. Please be aware that allocated product can be used for these purposes. CE’s should have contingency plans in place and enacted to acquire food commercially to replace reassigned USDA Foods. Please routinely check the Weekly Commodity Bulletin in TX-UNPS for any direct activity associated with allocated inventory. Entitlement from unallocated product will be returned, which CE’s can utilize by ordering surplus inventory or increase requests to any open survey for regular USDA Foods. Contact TDA by e-mail, commodityoperations@texasagriculture.gov or phone, 1-877-TEX-MEAL (1-877-839-6325) PROMPT #4 for inquiry or assistance.

Seamless Summer Option After Harvey

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Due to natural disasters, CEs can use the Seamless Summer Program for schools serving children in a congregate setting with no educational activities. See SP 09-2017, 2017 Edition of Questions and Answers for the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option, December 1, 2017.

Please submit the hurricane related site applications for approval in your PY16/17 packet. You will need to create new site applications that correspond to the existing site applications. This is needed in order for TDA to properly track the hurricane related data and for your organization to maintain the integrity of the original data on the existing site applications.

Do not alter the existing site applications. If you have already begun revising existing site applications to reflect the hurricane related data, please delete the revision as it the data will be reflected on its own site application.

  • The hurricane related site applications must adhere to the TDA uniform naming convention by adding “HH” before the associated site name. Example | HH Existing Site Name
  • Question 14 | Estimated Number to be Served: you may enter the appropriate amount as needed.
  • Lunch and supper are not an allowable meal type combination, however as meal service time restrictions are waived, you may combine the meals under lunch or supper.

All other fields will correspond to the associated existing site application. There is no supporting documentation required to be submitted with the site applications.

TDA Clarifies Houston ISD Blog Post

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Please note that Houston Independent School District (HISD) has not received any additional special waiver to serve free meals to their students for the entire year. Prior to Harvey, HISD applied and was approved for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at 191 of their sites. That program requires that all National School Lunch Program and (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals be served free of charge to the students. However, the district is only reimbursed based on its CEP claiming rate. All meals are not reimbursed at the free rate. See the specific CEP regulations for more clarity on how that reimbursement is calculated.  

As well, regarding the 3rd meal – supper: HISD applied and was approved for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk program prior to Hurricane Harvey. This program is available to all qualified school sites. There are some specific program requirements that must be met. As noted above, if any district is interested in participating in the CACFP At-Risk program, we encourage them to reference that program at Squaremeals.org under the CACFP link.

Please note that the HISD approvals for these programs were not related to the timeline before or after Hurricane Harvey.  Any district operating under these normal USDA provisions has the same ability to serve their students at no cost to the student.  

Currently, USDA has provided the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) with 3 waivers for normal federal regulations. These waivers are available to all schools in a Presidential Declared Disaster Area and are in regards to meal pattern and meal service times as well as the ability to feed students at no cost to the family. This provision is effective until September 30, 2017, with the ability to extend as necessary.

This effort was featured in U.S. News & World Report.


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, 
color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  
 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
 
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:  
mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2017 Texas Department of Agriculture