As Texas schools prepare for the start of another academic year, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) today announced the recipients of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants. TDA will distribute more than $3.7 million among the selected Texas School Food Authorities (SFA), which will allow them to purchase equipment valued at $5,000 or more.
“Serving millions of meals each day in Texas takes a toll on the equipment used in our school kitchens and lunchrooms, and it is vital that school nutrition professionals can replace costly items like freezers, stoves and serving lines when necessary,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “With these grants, we will fund nearly 300 individual pieces of new equipment and keep Texas children eating healthy meals at school so they can grow and thrive.”
TDA will award grant funds to 116 SFAs, and the funds will be used at 167 food preparation sites including 18 central kitchens. TDA evaluated the applications according to a competitive process that assessed each school’s need for new equipment. The process also evaluated how SFAs will use the new equipment to improve food safety, food quality, student participation, meal appeal and other important areas of school nutrition. A detailed list of grant recipients is available at SquareMeals.org/FandNResources/FundingGrants.
The Agriculture Appropriations Act for FY 2016 provided $30 million in funding allocations for National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants for SFAs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) distributed those funds to state agencies nationwide. Texas received $3,726,177 in 2016.
In 2014 and 2015, TDA awarded equipment grant funding allocations of more than $7.5 million dollars for nearly 600 projects across the state. Funds from these USDA grants allow Texas SFAs to continue providing excellent customer service while serving young Texans the nutritious food they need to succeed.
More about the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs in Texas:
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are federally assisted meal programs that serve nutritious, low-cost or free lunches and breakfasts to Texas children in public, charter and nonprofit private schools, and residential child care institutions. Each school day, more than 3 million Texas children access meals in NSLP and more than 2 million eat breakfast in SBP. Participating SFAs receive oversight, training and resources from TDA to ensure they serve school meals that comply with federal standards.
For more information about NSLP and SBP in Texas, visit www.SquareMeals.org or call TDA’s Food and Nutrition Division at (877) TEX-MEAL or (877) 839-6325.