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Legislative Corner

Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR)

CNR serves to authorize all of the federal school meal and child nutrition programs.

History:

Amending the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, the Child Nutrition & WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 was instituted to provide children with increased access to food and nutrition assistance and simplify program operations & improve program management. Programs effected include the: National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)Special Milk Program (SMP), Afterschool Snack Program (ASP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Although permanently authorized, Congress reviews the laws governing these programs through a reauthorization process every 5 years. The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 served as the last reauthorization to date, with added flexibilities and proposed rules occurring in the interim.  

Updates:

  • HHFKA of 2010: This is the last CNR to date, signed in 2010. Changes included: breakfast and lunch meal patterns updates, establishing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), creating the Smart Snack standards and establishing local school wellness policy regulations. The next reauthorization date has not yet been determined.
  • Child Nutrition Program Flexibilities: In December of 2018, the three menu planning flexibilities temporarily established by the interim final rule of the same title (published Nov. 30 2017) was made permanent. 
  • 2020 Proposed Rules: In January of 2020, the USDA released a series of proposed rules in order to streamline program operations and administration. This includes the following proposed regulatory reforms (fact sheets): school meal flexibilities and summer meals program streamlining & integrity.

Partner Organization Resources

CDE School Nutrition does not take a position on the content of the bills or on reauthorization; partner organizations have reviewed these bills and provided summaries for your consideration.