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Title 7Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter APart 210 → Subpart B


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 210—NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM


Subpart B—Reimbursement Process for States and School Food Authorities


Contents
§210.4   Cash and donated food assistance to States.
§210.5   Payment process to States.
§210.6   Use of Federal funds.
§210.7   Reimbursement for school food authorities.
§210.8   Claims for reimbursement.

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§210.4   Cash and donated food assistance to States.

(a) General. To the extent funds are available, FNS will make cash assistance available in accordance with the provisions of this section to each State agency for lunches and meal supplements served to children under the National School Lunch and Commodity School Programs. To the extent donated foods are available, FNS will provide donated food assistance to distributing agencies for each lunch served in accordance with the provisions of this part and part 250 of this chapter.

(b) Assistance for the National School Lunch Program. The Secretary will make cash and/or donated food assistance available to each State agency and distributing agency, as appropriate, administering the National School Lunch Program, as follows:

(1) Cash assistance will be made available to each State agency administering the National School Lunch Program as follows:

(i) General: Cash assistance payments are composed of a general cash assistance payment and a performance-based cash assistance payment, authorized under section 4 of the Act, and a special cash assistance payment, authorized under section 11 of the Act. General cash assistance is provided to each State agency for all lunches served to children in accordance with the provisions of the National School Lunch Program. Performance-based cash assistance is provided to each State agency for lunches served in accordance with §210.7(d). Special cash assistance is provided to each State agency for lunches served under the National School Lunch Program to children determined eligible for free or reduced price lunches in accordance with part 245 of this chapter.

(ii) Cash assistance for lunches. The total general cash assistance paid to each State for any fiscal year shall not exceed the lesser of amounts reported to FNS as reimbursed to school food authorities in accordance with §210.5(d)(3) or the total calculated by multiplying the number of lunches reported in accordance with §210.5(d)(1) for each month of service during the fiscal year, by the applicable national average payment rate prescribed by FNS. The total performance-based cash assistance paid to each State for any fiscal year shall not exceed the lesser of amounts reported to FNS as reimbursed to school food authorities in accordance with §210.5(d)(3) or the total calculated by multiplying the number of lunches reported in accordance with §210.5(d)(1) for each month of service during the fiscal year, by 6 cents for school year 2012-2013, adjusted annually thereafter as specified in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section. The total special assistance paid to each State for any fiscal year shall not exceed the lesser of amounts reported to FNS as reimbursed to school food authorities in accordance with §210.5(d)(3) or the total calculated by multiplying the number of free and reduced price lunches reported in accordance with §210.5(d)(1) for each month of service during the fiscal year by the applicable national average payment rate prescribed by FNS.

(iii) Annual adjustments. In accordance with section 11 of the Act, FNS will prescribe annual adjustments to the per meal national average payment rate (general cash assistance), the performance-based cash assistance rate (performance-based cash assistance), and the special assistance national average payment rates (special cash assistance) which are effective on July 1 of each year. These adjustments, which reflect changes in the food away from home series of the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, are annually announced by Notice in July of each year in the Federal Register.

(iv) Maximum per meal rates. FNS will also establish maximum per meal rates of reimbursement within which a State may vary reimbursement rates to school food authorities. These maximum rates of reimbursement are established at the same time and announced in the same Notice as the national average payment rates.

(2) Donated food assistance. For each school year, FNS will provide distributing agencies with donated foods for lunches served under the National School Lunch Program as provided under part 250 of this chapter. The per lunch value of donated food assistance is adjusted by the Secretary annually to reflect changes as required under section 6 of the Act. These adjustments, which reflect changes in the Price Index for Foods Used in Schools and Institutions, are effective on July 1 of each year and are announced by Notice in the Federal Register in July of each year.

(3) Cash assistance for meal supplements. For those eligible schools (as defined in §210.10(n)(1)) operating afterschool care programs and electing to serve meal supplements to enrolled children, funds shall be made available to each State agency, each school year in an amount no less than the sum of the products obtained by multiplying:

(i) The number of meal supplements served in the afterschool care program within the State to children from families that do not satisfy the income standards for free and reduced price school meals by 2.75 cents;

(ii) The number of meal supplements served in the afterschool care program within the State to children from families that satisfy the income standard for free school meals by 30 cents;

(iii) The number of meal supplements served in the afterschool care program within the State to children from families that satisfy the income standard for reduced price school meals by 15 cents.

(4) The rates in paragraph (b)(3) are the base rates established in August 1981 for the CACFP. FNS shall prescribe annual adjustments to these rates in the same Notice as the National Average Payment Rates for lunches. These adjustments shall ensure that the reimbursement rates for meal supplements served under this part are the same as those implemented for meal supplements in the CACFP.

(c) Assistance for the Commodity School Program. FNS will make special cash assistance available to each State agency for lunches served in commodity schools in the same manner as special cash assistance is provided in the National School Lunch Program. Payment of such amounts to State agencies is subject to the reporting requirements contained in §210.5(d). FNS will provide donated food assistance in accordance with part 250 of this chapter. Of the total value of donated food assistance to which it is entitled, the school food authority may elect to receive cash payments of up to 5 cents per lunch served in its commodity school(s) for donated foods processing and handling expenses. Such expenses include any expenses incurred by or on behalf of a commodity school for processing or other aspects of the preparation, delivery, and storage of donated foods. The school food authority may have all or part of these cash payments retained by the State agency for use on its behalf for processing and handling expenses by the State agency or it may authorize the State agency to transfer to the distributing agency all or any part of these payments for use on its behalf for these expenses. Payment of such amounts to State agencies is subject to the reporting requirements contained in §210.5(d). The total value of donated food assistance is calculated on a school year basis by adding:

(1) The applicable national average payment rate (general cash assistance) prescribed by the Secretary for the period of July 1 through June 30 multiplied by the total number of lunches served during the school year under the Commodity School Program; and

(2) The national per lunch average value of donated foods prescribed by the Secretary for the period of July 1 through June 30 multiplied by the total number of lunches served during the school year under the Commodity School Program.

[53 FR 29147, Aug. 2, 1988, as amended at 58 FR 42487, Aug. 10, 1993; 60 FR 31207, June 13, 1995; 65 FR 26912, May 9, 2000; 77 FR 25034, Apr. 27, 2012]

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§210.5   Payment process to States.

(a) Grant award. FNS will specify the terms and conditions of the State agency's grant in a grant award document and will generally make payments available by means of a Letter of Credit issued in favor of the State agency. The State agency shall obtain funds for reimbursement to participating school food authorities through procedures established by FNS in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart D and USDA implementing regulations 2 CFR part 400 and part 415. State agencies shall limit requests for funds to such times and amounts as will permit prompt payment of claims or authorized advances. The State agency shall disburse funds received from such requests without delay for the purpose for which drawn. FNS may, at its option, reimburse a State agency by Treasury Check. FNS will pay by Treasury Check with funds available in settlement of a valid claim if payment for that claim cannot be made within the grant closeout period specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(b) Cash-in-lieu of donated foods. All Federal funds to be paid to any State in place of donated foods will be made available as provided in part 240 of this chapter.

(c) Recovery of funds. FNS will recover any Federal funds made available to the State agency under this part which are in excess of obligations reported at the end of each fiscal year in accordance with the reconciliation procedures specified in paragraph (d) of this section. Such recoveries shall be reflected by a related adjustment in the State agency's Letter of Credit.

(d) Substantiation and reconciliation process. Each State agency shall maintain Program records as necessary to support the reimbursement payments made to school food authorities under §§210.7 and 210.8 and the reports submitted to FNS under this paragraph. The State agency shall ensure such records are retained for a period of 3 years or as otherwise specified in §210.23(c).

(1) Monthly report. Each State agency shall submit a final Report of School Program Operations (FNS-10) to FNS for each month. The final reports shall be limited to claims submitted in accordance with §210.8 of this part. For the month of October, the final report shall include the total number of children approved for free lunches, the total number of children approved for reduced price lunches, and the total number of children enrolled in participating public schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions, respectively, as of the last day of operation in October. The final reports shall be postmarked and/or submitted no later than 90 days following the last day of the month covered by the report. States shall not receive Program funds for any month for which the final report is not submitted within this time limit unless FNS grants an exception. Upward adjustments to a State's report shall not be made after 90 days from the month covered by the report unless authorized by FNS. Downward adjustments to a State's report shall always be made regardless of when it is determined that such adjustments are necessary. FNS authorization is not required for downward adjustments. Any adjustments to a State's report shall be reported to FNS in accordance with procedures established by FNS.

(2) Quarterly report. Each State agency administering the National School Lunch Program shall submit quarterly reports to FNS as follows:

(i) Each State agency shall submit to FNS a quarterly Financial Status Report (FNS-777) on the use of Program funds. Such reports shall be postmarked and/or submitted no later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year quarter.

(ii) Each State agency shall also submit a quarterly report, as specified by FNS, detailing the disbursement of performance-based cash assistance described in §210.4(b)(1). Such report shall be submitted no later than 30 days after the end of each fiscal year quarter. State agencies will no longer be required to submit the quarterly report once all SFAs in the State have been certified. The report shall include the total number of school food authorities in the State and the names of certified school food authorities.

(3) End of year report. Each State agency shall submit a final Financial Status Report (FNS-777) for each fiscal year. This final fiscal year grant closeout report shall be postmarked and/or submitted to FNS within 120 days after the end of each fiscal year or part thereof that the State agency administered the Program. Obligations shall be reported only for the fiscal year in which they occur. FNS will not be responsible for reimbursing Program obligations reported later than 120 days after the close of the fiscal year in which they were incurred. Grant closeout procedures are to be carried out in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart D and USDA implementing regulations 2 CFR part 400 and part 415.

[53 FR 29147, Aug. 2, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 12580, Mar. 28, 1989; 56 FR 32939, July 17, 1991; 71 FR 39516, July 13, 2006; 77 FR 25034, Apr. 27, 2012; 79 FR 330, Jan. 3, 2014; 81 FR 50185, July 29, 2016; 81 FR 66488, Sept. 28, 2016]

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§210.6   Use of Federal funds.

General. State agencies shall use Federal funds made available under the Program to reimburse or make advance payments to school food authorities in connection with lunches and meal supplements served in accordance with the provisions of this part; except that, with the approval of FNS, any State agency may reserve an amount up to one percent of the funds earned in any fiscal year under this part for use in carrying out special developmental projects. Advance payments to school food authorities may be made at such times and in such amounts as are necessary to meet the current fiscal obligations. All Federal funds paid to any State in place of donated foods shall be used as provided in part 240 of this chapter.

[53 FR 29147, Aug. 2, 1988, as amended at 58 FR 42487, Aug. 10, 1993]

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§210.7   Reimbursement for school food authorities.

(a) General. Reimbursement payments to finance nonprofit school food service operations shall be made only to school food authorities operating under a written agreement with the State agency. Subject to the provisions of §210.8(c), such payments may be made for lunches and meal supplements served in accordance with provisions of this part and part 245 in the calendar month preceding the calendar month in which the agreement is executed. These reimbursement payments include general cash assistance for all lunches served to children under the National School Lunch Program and special cash assistance payments for free or reduced price lunches served to children determined eligible for such benefits under the National School Lunch and Commodity School Programs. Reimbursement payments shall also be made for meal supplements served to eligible children in afterschool care programs in accordance with the rates established in §210.4(b)(3). Approval shall be in accordance with part 245 of this chapter.

(b) Assignment of rates. At the beginning of each school year, State agencies shall establish the per meal rates of reimbursement for school food authorities participating in the Program. These rates of reimbursement may be assigned at levels based on financial need; except that, the rates are not to exceed the maximum rates of reimbursement established by the Secretary under §210.4(b) and are to permit reimbursement for the total number of lunches in the State from funds available under §210.4. Within each school food authority, the State agency shall assign the same rate of reimbursement from general cash assistance funds for all lunches served to children under the Program. Assigned rates of reimbursement may be changed at any time by the State agency, provided that notice of any change is given to the school food authority. The total general and special cash assistance reimbursement paid to any school food authority for lunches served to children during the school year are not to exceed the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the total reported number of lunches, by type, served to eligible children during the school year by the applicable maximum per lunch reimbursements prescribed for the school year for each type of lunch.

(c) Reimbursement limitations. To be entitled to reimbursement under this part, each school food authority shall ensure that Claims for Reimbursement are limited to the number of free, reduced price and paid lunches and meal supplements that are served to children eligible for free, reduced price and paid lunches and meal supplements, respectively, for each day of operation.

(1) Lunch count system. To ensure that the Claim for Reimbursement accurately reflects the number of lunches and meal supplements served to eligible children, the school food authority shall, at a minimum:

(i) Correctly approve each child's eligibility for free and reduced price lunches and meal supplements based on the requirements prescribed under 7 CFR part 245;

(ii) Maintain a system to issue benefits and to update the eligibility of children approved for free or reduced price lunches and meal supplements. The system shall:

(A) Accurately reflect eligibility status as well as changes in eligibility made after the initial approval process due to verification findings, transfers, reported changes in income or household size, etc.; and

(B) Make the appropriate changes in eligibility after the initial approval process on a timely basis so that the mechanism the school food authority uses to identify currently eligible children provides a current and accurate representation of eligible children. Changes in eligibility which result in increased benefit levels shall be made as soon as possible but no later than 3 operating days of the date the school food authority makes the final decision on a child's eligibility status. Changes in eligibility which result in decreased benefit levels shall be made as soon as possible but no later than 10 operating days of the date the school food authority makes the final decision on the child's eligibility status.

(iii) Base Claims for Reimbursement on lunch counts, taken daily at the point of service, which correctly identify the number of free, reduced price and paid lunches served to eligible children;

(iv) Correctly record, consolidate and report those lunch and supplement counts on the Claim for Reimbursement; and

(v) Ensure that Claims for Reimbursement do not request payment for any excess lunches produced, as prohibited in §210.10(a)(2), or non-Program lunches (i.e., a la carte or adult lunches) or for more than one meal supplement per child per day.

(2) Point of service alternatives. (i) State agencies may authorize alternatives to the point of service lunch counts provided that such alternatives result in accurate, reliable counts of the number of free, reduced price and paid lunches served, respectively, for each serving day. State agencies are encouraged to issue guidance which clearly identifies acceptable point of service alternatives and instructions for proper implementation. School food authorities may select one of the State agency approved alternatives without prior approval.

(ii) In addition, on a case-by-case basis, State agencies may authorize school food authorities to use other alternatives to the point of service lunch count; provided that such alternatives result in an accurate and reliable lunch count system. Any request to use an alternative lunch counting method which has not been previously authorized under paragraph (2)(i) is to be submitted in writing to the State agency for approval. Such request shall provide detail sufficient for the State agency to assess whether the proposed alternative would provide an accurate and reliable count of the number of lunches, by type, served each day to eligible children. The details of each approved alternative shall be maintained on file at the State agency for review by FNS.

(d) Performance-based cash assistance. The State agency must provide performance-based cash assistance as authorized under §210.4(b)(1) for lunches served in school food authorities certified by the State agency to be in compliance with meal pattern and nutrition requirements set forth in §210.10 and, if the school food authority participates in the School Breakfast Program (7 CFR part 220), §220.8 or §220.23, as applicable.

(1) State agency requirements. State agencies must establish procedures to certify school food authorities for performance-based cash assistance in accordance with guidance established by FNS. Such procedures must ensure State agencies:

(i) Make certification procedures readily available to school food authorities and provide guidance necessary to facilitate the certification process.

(ii) Require school food authorities to submit documentation to demonstrate compliance with meal pattern requirements set forth in §210.10 and §220.8 or §220.23, as applicable. Such documentation must reflect meal service at or about the time of certification.

(iii) State agencies must review certification documentation submitted by the school food authority to ensure compliance with meal pattern requirements set forth in §210.10, §220.8, or §220.23, as applicable. For certification purposes, State agencies should consider any school food authority compliant:

(A) If when evaluating daily and weekly range requirements for grains and meat/meat alternates, the certification documentation shows compliance with the daily and weekly minimums for these two components, regardless of whether the school food authority has exceeded the maximums for the same components.

(B) If when evaluating the service of frozen fruit, the school food authority serves products that contain added sugar.

(iv) Certification procedures must ensure that no performance-based cash assistance is provided to school food authorities for meals served prior to October 1, 2012.

(v) Within 60 calendar days of a certification submission or as otherwise authorized by FNS, review submitted materials and notify school food authorities of the certification determination, the date that performance-based cash assistance is effective, and consequences for non-compliance;

(vi) Disburse performance-based cash assistance for all lunches served beginning with the start of certification provided that documentation reflects meal service in the calendar month the certification materials are submitted or, in the month preceding the calendar month of submission; and

(vii) In years subsequent to the year certified, through School Year 2014-2015, State agencies must require school food authorities to submit an annual attestation of compliance with meal pattern requirements as new requirements are phased in. The attestation must be provided to the State agency as an addendum to the written agreement required in §210.9(b).

(2) School food authority requirements. School food authorities seeking to obtain performance-based cash assistance must submit certification documentation to the State agency in accordance with State agency certification procedures, including documentation to support receipt of performance-based cash assistance. School food authorities must attest that the documentation provided is representative of the ongoing meal service within the school food authority. Required documentation includes a nutrient analysis and a detailed menu work sheet with food items and quantities or, a simplified nutrient assessment as well as a detailed menu worksheet with food items and quantities, and/or other materials specified in guidance issued by FNS. In years subsequent to the year of certification, through School Year 2014-2015, school food authorities must submit an annual attestation of compliance with meal pattern requirements as new requirements are phased in. The attestation must be provided to the State agency as an addendum to the written agreement required in §210.9(b). School food authorities certified to earn performance-based cash assistance must maintain documentation of compliance, including production and menu records, and other records, as specified by FNS. School food authorities must make appropriate records available to State agencies upon request.

(e) The State agency shall reimburse the school food authority for meal supplements served in eligible schools (as defined in §210.10(n)(1)) operating afterschool care programs under the NSLP in accordance with the rates established in §210.4(b).

[53 FR 29147, Aug. 2, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 12581, Mar. 28, 1989; 56 FR 32939, July 17, 1991; 58 FR 42487, Aug. 10, 1993; 60 FR 31207, June 13, 1995; 65 FR 26912, May 9, 2000; 77 FR 25034, Apr. 27, 2012; 79 FR 330, Jan. 3, 2014; 81 FR 50185, July 29, 2016]

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§210.8   Claims for reimbursement.

(a) Internal controls. The school food authority shall establish internal controls which ensure the accuracy of meal counts prior to the submission of the monthly Claim for Reimbursement. At a minimum, these internal controls shall include: an on-site review of the meal counting and claiming system employed by each school within the jurisdiction of the school food authority; comparisons of daily free, reduced price and paid meal counts against data which will assist in the identification of meal counts in excess of the number of free, reduced price and paid meals served each day to children eligible for such meals; and a system for following up on those meal counts which suggest the likelihood of meal counting problems.

(1) On-site reviews. Every school year, each school food authority with more than one school shall perform no less than one on-site review of the counting and claiming system and the readily observable general areas of review cited under §210.18(h), as prescribed by FNS for each school under its jurisdiction. The on-site review shall take place prior to February 1 of each school year. Further, if the review discloses problems with a school's meal counting or claiming procedures or general review areas, the school food authority shall: ensure that the school implements corrective action; and, within 45 days of the review, conducts a follow-up on-site review to determine that the corrective action resolved the problems. Each on-site review shall ensure that the school's claim is based on the counting system authorized by the State agency under §210.7(c) of this part and that the counting system, as implemented, yields the actual number of reimbursable free, reduced price and paid meals, respectively, served for each day of operation.

(2) School food authority claims review process. Prior to the submission of a monthly Claim for Reimbursement, each school food authority shall review the lunch count data for each school under its jurisdiction to ensure the accuracy of the monthly Claim for Reimbursement. The objective of this review is to ensure that monthly claims include only the number of free, reduced price and paid lunches served on any day of operation to children currently eligible for such lunches.

(i) Any school food authority that was found by its most recent administrative review conducted in accordance with §210.18, to have no meal counting and claiming violations may:

(A) Develop internal control procedures that ensure accurate meal counts. The school food authority shall submit any internal controls developed in accordance with this paragraph to the State agency for approval and, in the absence of specific disapproval from the State agency, shall implement such internal controls. The State agency shall establish procedures to promptly notify school food authorities of any modifications needed to their proposed internal controls or of denial of unacceptable submissions. If the State agency disapproves the proposed internal controls of any school food authority, it reserves the right to require the school food authority to comply with the provisions of paragraph (a)(3) of this section; or

(B) Comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(ii) Any school food authority that was identified in the most recent administrative review conducted in accordance with §210.18, or in any other oversight activity, as having meal counting and claiming violations shall comply with the requirements in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(3) Edit checks. (i) The following procedure shall be followed for school food authorities identified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, by other school food authorities at State agency option, or, at their own option, by school food authorities identified in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section: the school food authority shall compare each school's daily counts of free, reduced price and paid lunches against the product of the number of children in that school currently eligible for free, reduced price and paid lunches, respectively, times an attendance factor.

(ii) School food authorities that are identified in administrative reviews conducted in accordance with §210.18 as not having meal counting and claiming violations and that are correctly complying with the procedures in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section have the option of developing internal controls in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(4) Follow-up activity. The school food authority shall promptly follow-up through phone contact, on-site visits or other means when the internal controls used by schools in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section or the claims review process used by schools in accordance with paragraphs (a)(2)(ii) and (a)(3) of this section suggest the likelihood of lunch count problems. When problems or errors are identified, the lunch counts shall be corrected prior to submission of the monthly Claim for Reimbursement. Improvements to the lunch count system shall also be made to ensure that the lunch counting system consistently results in lunch counts of the actual number of reimbursable free, reduced price and paid lunches served for each day of operation.

(5) Recordkeeping. School food authorities shall maintain on file, each month's Claim for Reimbursement and all data used in the claims review process, by school. Records shall be retained as specified in §210.23(c) of this part. School food authorities shall make this information available to the Department and the State agency upon request.

(b) Monthly claims. To be entitled to reimbursement under this part, each school food authority shall submit to the State agency, a monthly Claim for Reimbursement, as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(1) Submission timeframes. A final Claim for Reimbursement shall be postmarked or submitted to the State agency not later than 60 days following the last day of the full month covered by the claim. State agencies may establish shorter deadlines at their discretion. Claims not postmarked and/or submitted within 60 days shall not be paid with Program funds unless otherwise authorized by FNS.

(2) State agency claims review process. The State agency shall review each school food authority's Claim for Reimbursement, on a monthly basis, in an effort to ensure that monthly claims are limited to the number of free and reduced price lunches served, by type, to eligible children.

(i) The State agency shall, at a minimum, compare the number of free and reduced price lunches claimed to the number of children approved for free and reduced price lunches enrolled in the school food authority for the month of October times the days of operation times the attendance factor employed by the school food authority in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section or the internal controls used by schools in accordance with paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section. At its discretion, the State agency may conduct this comparison against data which reflects the number of children approved for free and reduced price lunches for a more current month(s) as collected pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(ii) In lieu of conducting the claims review specified in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the State agency may conduct alternative analyses for those Claims for Reimbursement submitted by residential child care institutions. Such alternatives analyses shall meet the objective of ensuring that the monthly Claims for Reimbursement are limited to the numbers of free and reduced price lunches served, by type, to eligible children.

(3) Follow-up activity. The State agency shall promptly follow-up through phone contact, on-site visits, or other means when the claims review process suggests the likelihood of lunch count problems.

(4) Corrective action. The State agency shall promptly take corrective action with respect to any Claim for Reimbursement which includes more than the number of lunches served, by type, to eligible children. In taking corrective action, State agencies may make adjustments on claims filed within the 60-day deadline if such adjustments are completed within 90 days of the last day of the claim month and are reflected in the final Report of School Program Operations (FNS-10) for the claim month required under §210.5(d) of this part. Upward adjustments in Program funds claimed which are not reflected in the final FNS-10 for the claim month shall not be made unless authorized by FNS. Except that, upward adjustments for the current and prior fiscal years resulting from any review or audit may be made, at the discretion of the State agency. Downward adjustments in amounts claimed shall always be made, without FNS authorization, regardless of when it is determined that such adjustments are necessary.

(c) Content of claim. The Claim for Reimbursement shall include data in sufficient detail to justify the reimbursement claimed and to enable the State agency to provide the Report of School Program Operations required under §210.5(d) of this part. Such data shall include, at a minimum, the number of free, reduced price and paid lunches and meal supplements served to eligible children. The claim shall be signed by a school food authority official.

(1) Consolidated claim. The State agency may authorize a school food authority to submit a consolidated Claim for Reimbursement for all schools under its jurisdiction, provided that, the data on each school's operations required in this section are maintained on file at the local office of the school food authority and the claim separates consolidated data for commodity schools from data for other schools. Unless otherwise approved by FNS, the Claim for Reimbursement for any month shall include only lunches and meal supplements served in that month except if the first or last month of Program operations for any school year contains 10 operating days or less, such month may be combined with the Claim for Reimbursement for the appropriate adjacent month. However, Claims for Reimbursement may not combine operations occurring in two fiscal years. If a single State agency administers any combination of the Child Nutrition Programs, a school food authority shall be able to use a common claim form with respect to claims for reimbursement for meals served under those programs.

(2) October data. For the month of October, the State agency shall also obtain, either through the Claim for Reimbursement or other means, the total number of children approved for free lunches and meal supplements, the total number of children approved for reduced price lunches and meal supplements, and the total number of children enrolled in the school food authority as of the last day of operation in October. The school food authority shall submit this data to the State agency no later than December 31 of each year. State agencies may establish shorter deadlines at their discretion. In addition, the State agency may require school food authorities to provide this data for a more current month if for use in the State agency claims review process under paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(d) Advance funds. The State agency may advance funds available for the Program to a school food authority in an amount equal to the amount of reimbursement estimated to be needed for one month's operation. Following the receipt of claims, the State agency shall make adjustments, as necessary, to ensure that the total amount of payments received by the school food authority for the fiscal year does not exceed an amount equal to the number of lunches and meal supplements by reimbursement type served to children times the respective payment rates assigned by the State in accordance with §210.7(b). The State agency shall recover advances of funds to any school food authority failing to comply with the 60-day claim submission requirements in paragraph (b) of this section.

[53 FR 29147, Aug. 2, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 12581, Mar. 28, 1989; 56 FR 32940, July 17, 1991; 58 FR 42487, Aug. 10, 1993; 60 FR 31207, June 13, 1995; 64 FR 50740, Sept. 20, 1999; 81 FR 50185, July 29, 2016]

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