What's New?

Coronavirus Updates for Contracting Entities

The Texas Department of Agriculture has received some waivers from USDA to support the continued operation of meal service in response to coronavirus. Other waivers are not yet approved. Any information regarding USDA waivers related to meal service will be available at SquareMeals.org/coronavirus along with further instructions.

Looking for the Institute of Child Nutrition?

The National Food Service Management Institute was renamed the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) in 2015. If you’re searching for the education, research and training ICN provides, go to www.theicn.org. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is working to ensure all links on SquareMeals.org that reflect the organization's original name are updated to send users to ICN.

Grant Funding Available for School Nutrition Initiatives

Action for Healthy Kids is now accepting applications for school grants for the 2020-2021 school year to help students thrive. Schools may apply for Game On grants to fund physical activity, nutrition, or social-emotional learning (SEL) initiatives.

Public Notice, Proposed Waiver Request: Administrative Review Cycle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides state agencies with the option to request a statewide waiver of the Administrative Review cycle for the School Nutrition Programs (SNPs). TDA is requesting a statewide waiver from USDA to perform SNP Administrative Reviews on a four-year cycle and to waive the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) reviews for CEs with no findings during an Administrative Review conducted in the same school year.

Advance Pierre Foods Recalls Ready-to-Eat Ground Beef Products

Advance Pierre Foods is recalling approximately 15,739 pounds of ready-to-eat beef patty products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically small, green soft plastic.

Public Health Alert Issued for Romaine Lettuce from Salinas, California Region

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) warns against consuming any wraps, sandwiches, prepackaged salad, salad kits, or other product containing romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California, growing region.

Mann Packing Co. Voluntarily Recalls Vegetable Products

Vegetable products, including some distributed by companies headquartered in Texas, have been voluntarily recalled due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

Notice and Information to the Public: Proposed Summer Food Service Waivers (SFSP) for Program Year 2020.

TDA is requesting statewide waivers from USDA of certain federal regulations related to first week site visits, time restrictions for meal service, and eligibility for closed enrolled sites for SFSP PY2020.

George's Prepared Foods Recalls Ready-To-Eat Pork and Turkey Products due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

George’s Prepared Foods, a Caryville, Tenn. establishment, is recalling approximately 6,444 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) pork sausage patty and turkey sausage patty products that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Tip Top Poultry, Inc. Recalls Ready-To-Eat Poultry Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

Tip Top Poultry, Inc. is recalling an undetermined amount of ready-to-eat poultry products including frozen cooked, diced or shredded products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Final Rule Extends Deadline to Implement Ounce Equivalents as a Measure for Creditable Grains in CACFP

USDA has extended until October 1, 2021, the deadline for implementing ounce equivalents to determine the quantity of creditable grains in CACFP.

Contact TDA for Information about Food Service Management Contracts and Cooperative Contracts

Contracting entities with questions about purchasing through Food Service Management Contracts or Cooperative Contracts, can call or email TDA.

2018 and 2019 NSLP Equipment Grant Awardees Posted

TDA has notified the school food authorities that were awarded equipment grants from the 2018 and the 2019 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants for School Food Authorities. Click the headline to read more.

Tyson Recalls Ready-To-Eat Chicken Fritter Products

Tyson Foods, Inc. is recalling approximately 190,757 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken fritter products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically hard plastic.

“And Justice for All” Poster Updated

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated the “And Justice for All” poster that each contracting entity (CE) must display to ensure it is clear discrimination is prohibited in federal nutrition programs. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is currently distributing the new posters to each CE. Most CEs will receive the updated posters by February 28, 2020. No action is required before this time.

Tyson Foods, Inc. Recalls Chicken Strip Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

Tyson Foods, Inc., a Rogers, Ark. establishment, is recalling approximately 11,829,517 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strip products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Public Notice, Proposed Waiver Request: State-Funded Pre-Kindergarten

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides the option for states agencies to request a statewide waiver to allow Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to assign free eligibility to students in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs. TDA has requested continuation of the previous waiver to assign free eligibility to state-funded pre-kindergarten students. Click the headline above to read the full Public Notice and Information for the Proposed Waiver Request.

USDA approves TDA’s statewide Summer Food Service Program Waiver requests

USDA approved TDA’s request for statewide Summer Food Service Program waivers related to First Week Site Visits, Time Restrictions for Meal Service, and Eligibility for Closed Enrolled Sites.

School Garden Sweepstakes Will Award Cash for Gardens

Dec. 13, 2017 - The Get Out and Grow School Garden Sweepstakes will award one school $15,000 to use for a school garden project. This Gold award also includes a visit from a Team USA athlete. Silver and Bronze recognition levels also will offer cash for gardens to more schools. The sweepstakes is open to school administrators or food service directors of eligible K-12 schools.

Requesting Free Carry-over Pounds

Dec. 11, 2017


Nov. 24, 2017 - Please read this notification of a malicious ransomware attack that may have impacted Texas schools.

Ongoing Harvey Relief Efforts

Aug. 28, 2017 - Texas Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition has created a Web page with important information for schools as they provide food and shelter to residents in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Guidance Issued Regarding Exemption Requests for Serving Low-fat Flavored Milk in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

Aug. 18, 2017 - Contracting Entities (CEs) in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs can request an exemption enabling them to serve low-fat flavored milk in school meals.

IDEA Public Schools and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District receive 2017 USDA Farm to School Grants

June 12, 2017 - Congratulations to IDEA Public Schools and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District for receiving 2017 USDA Farm to School Grants. Both will use the funds to strengthen connections between students and Texas agriculture.

TDA Serves up New Software to School Nutrition Programs

May 8, 2017 - The Texas Department of Agriculture’s MENU software platform is now available for all Texas school districts to use free of charge.

Flexibility for School Lunch Regulations Announced

May 1, 2017 - Chairman Roberts and Secretary Perdue have announced National School Lunch Program regulatory flexibility. The flexibility relates to postponement of sodium targets, flexibility regarding serving non-whole grain rich products, and an allowance for 1 percent milkfat flavored milk to be served. Specific details regarding implementation will be provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture at a later date.

Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

April 25, 2017 - Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony on April 25 at the Supreme Court building. The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on April 24.

Dairy Max Scholarships

March 1, 2017 - Dairy MAX, Inc., the local checkoff promotion organization funded by dairy farmers, offers five $1,000 academic scholarships for students entering the field of agriculture, culinary arts, education or science (a maximum of $2,500 may be awarded based on quality of application).

Adjustments by TDA Affect Entitlement Values for the Current Program Year

November 2, 2016 - TDA adjustments to TLS, redistribution of additional entitlement, adjustments to the per-pound pricing for the final weighted average of all Further Processing items, and adjustments to the per case price for the weighted average for first season Farm to School watermelons resulted in an overall impact to entitlement values for the current program year.

Area Flooding Assistance Options

April 22, 2016 - As the Houston area recovers from devastating floods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture are offering guidance that independent school districts affected by the flooding may use to assist their communities.

Texas Schools recognized with the Perfect Peach Award

March 23, 2016 - TDA is recognizing 65 National School Lunch Program participants for responding to the Local Products Challenge and serving local ingredients from three or more meal components during October! Read the full story for a list of recognized schools.

AASA Awards Grant to Spring ISD

March 9, 2016 - Spring ISD was one of only 11 school districts nationwide and the only one in Texas to receive a grant to increase breakfast participation from AASA, The School Superintendents Association!

Commissioner Miller Announces Plan to Combat Child Obesity, Rule Changes to Lift Mandates and Return Local Control to Texas Schools

June 19, 2015 - Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced a five-point plan to combat childhood obesity in Texas and begin to change the culture in school lunchrooms.

Share your Summer Success Story!

June 18, 2015 - Do you have a summer success story or best practice that you’ve found to be helpful to your organization’s success in ensuring access to food for children in need? Find out how to share your Summer Success Story!

The CACFP Conference has gone MOBILE!

June 18, 2015 - Find out how to register for the conference and download the free mobile application today!

NEW TOOL: SFSP Financial Tool

June 4, 2015 - Find out about the new SFSP Financial Tool on the Summer Feeding Programs Compliance page.

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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:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Texas Department of Agriculture
Commissioner Sid Miller