Maine Revised Statutes

§6602. School food service programs

Public schools shall provide nonprofit school food service programs as follows. [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]

1. Participation.  A public school shall participate in food service programs.
A. A public school shall participate in the National School Lunch Program in accordance with 7 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 210 (2007) and provide Type A meals as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture. [2007, c. 539, Pt. IIII, §1 (NEW).]
B. A public school that serves breakfast shall provide all students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals under paragraph A a meal that meets the requirements of the federal School Breakfast Program set forth in 7 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 220 (2007) at no cost to the student. The State shall provide funding equal to the difference between the federal reimbursement for a free breakfast and the federal reimbursement for a reduced-price breakfast for each student eligible for a reduced-price breakfast and receiving breakfast. [2007, c. 539, Pt. IIII, §1 (NEW).]
C. A school administrative unit shall participate in the federal summer food service program for children established in 42 United States Code, Section 1761 as required under this paragraph. The commissioner shall assist school administrative units subject to the requirements of this paragraph in developing a plan to participate in the federal summer food service program for children and in obtaining federal, state and private funds to pay for this program. Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, a school administrative unit with at least one public school in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year shall participate in the federal summer food service program for children in accordance with 42 United States Code, Section 1761 during the following summer vacation, subject to the provisions of this paragraph.
A school administrative unit with a public school in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year shall operate a federal summer food service program in the area served by that public school during the following summer vacation if that public school operates a summer educational or recreational program. The school administrative unit is required to operate the federal summer food service program only on days that the public school operates the summer educational or recreational program. The school administrative unit may collaborate with a service institution to operate the federal summer food service program.
A school administrative unit with a public school in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year that does not operate a summer educational or recreational program shall collaborate with a service institution to operate a federal summer food service program if there is a service institution that provides food service to children in the summer in the area served by the public school.
Notwithstanding this paragraph, a school administrative unit that is required to operate a federal summer food service program may choose not to operate such a program if it determines by a vote of the governing body of the school administrative unit after notice and a public hearing that operating such a program would be financially or logistically impracticable.
For purposes of this paragraph, "service institution" means a public or private nonprofit school, a municipal or county government, a public or private nonprofit higher education institution or a private nonprofit summer camp. [2013, c. 445, §1 (AMD).]
[ 2013, c. 445, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Exceptions.  The following are exempt from subsection 1, paragraphs A and B:
A. All secondary schools limited to students in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12; and [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
B. A school administrative unit authorized by the commissioner under subsection 9 to postpone the establishment of the program. [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 379, §5 (AMD) .]
3. Administration.  The school board shall administer and operate the food service programs. The school board:
A. Shall make all contracts to provide material, personnel and equipment necessary to carry out section 6601; and [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
B. Shall hire the necessary employees to manage and operate their school food service programs. [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
[ 1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW) .]
4. Funds.  The following shall be used to pay for the administration and operation of food service programs:
A. State funds, gifts and appropriations for school food service programs; and [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
B. Receipts from the sale of meals under food service programs. [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
[ 1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW) .]
5. Rules.  The commissioner shall adopt or amend, with the state board's approval, rules under this subchapter, including rules about the qualifications of food service programs' personnel and rules to implement the federal summer food service program for children under subsection 1, paragraph C.
[ 2011, c. 379, §6 (AMD) .]
6. Nutrition report.  The commissioner may assess the nutritional benefits of school lunch programs and school breakfast programs and report to the state board.
[ 2007, c. 539, Pt. IIII, §2 (AMD) .]
7. Technical assistance.  The commissioner may give technical assistance to a school board concerning a food service program and may assist in training food service program personnel.
[ 1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW) .]
8. Application for postponement.  An administrative unit, which had been authorized by the commissioner to postpone the establishment of a National School Lunch Program, may apply to the commissioner for a renewal of the postponement. The commissioner may grant the requested postponement provided that:
A. The school board has held a public hearing on its proposed application; and [1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW).]
B. One of the following conditions is met:
(1) It has been documented to the commissioner's satisfaction that the administrative unit lacks space for the program and there is no appropriate alternative source of meals for the students;
(2) It is impossible for the administrative unit to contract for or to otherwise procure Type A meals for its students; or
(3) The lack of need for the program, as determined by the school board is documented to the commissioner's satisfaction and was evident at the public hearing. [1983, c. 422, §18 (AMD).]
If the postponement is granted for the conditions in paragraph B, subparagraphs (1) and (2), it shall be for 3 years. If the postponement is granted for the condition in paragraph B, subparagraph (3), it shall be for 4 years.
[ 1987, c. 395, Pt. A, §68 (AMD) .]
8-A. State board review of commissioner's decisions.  A school administrative unit or interested parties may request that the state board reconsider decisions made by the commissioner in subsection 8. The state board shall have the authority to overturn decisions made by the commissioner. In exercising this power, the state board is limited by this section.
[ 1987, c. 395, Pt. A, §69 (NEW) .]
9. Annual review of postponement.  The commissioner shall annually review the conditions in the school administrative units which have been granted a postponement. On finding that the conditions in a unit have changed so that a postponement is no longer warranted, the commissioner may require that the unit establish a National School Lunch Program at the start of the next school year.
[ 1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW) .]
10. Petition by 1% of residential unit.  Whenever petitioned by 1% of the residents of a unit, the commissioner shall call a public hearing on the postponement prior to the next annual review.
[ 1981, c. 693, §§5, 8 (NEW) .]
11. The state may administer.  The state may administer the programs under the United States Child Nutrition Act, Public Law 89-642 in nonprofit, private schools, provided that the State shall not be required to appropriate or distribute state funds for meals served in private schools to those private schools.
[ 1983, c. 276, (NEW) .]
12. Local Produce Fund.  The Local Produce Fund is established within the department. The fund is authorized to receive revenue from public and private sources. The fund must be held separate and apart from all other money, funds and accounts. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year must be carried forward to the next fiscal year. The fund must be used to match $1 for every $3 a school administrative unit pays for produce or minimally processed foods purchased directly from a farmer, farmers' cooperative or local food hub in the State, to a maximum state contribution of $1,000 or $2,000 if funding is received and the school administrative unit sends a food service employee to local foods training administered by the department under subsection 13. At the end of the fiscal year, the school administrative unit may provide the department with receipts documenting purchases pursuant to this subsection during that year. For purposes of this subsection, "minimally processed" means only the washing, cleaning, trimming, drying, sorting and packaging of food items or a combination of those activities. Reimbursement or partial reimbursement to school administrative units may only be made up to the amount available in the fund. Failure to reimburse does not constitute an obligation on behalf of the State to a school administrative unit. The department shall apply for federal grant funding to provide state contributions in excess of $1,000 pursuant to this subsection if applicable grant funding is available. The department may accept grant funding from hospitals and other sources to provide state contributions in excess of $1,000 pursuant to this subsection.
[ 2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §1 (AMD) .]
13. Local foods training.  The department shall administer a program to encourage and expand the use of local foods in school food service programs. As used in this subsection, unless the context otherwise indicates, "local food" means food produced or harvested by a Maine food producer as defined by Title 7, section 212, subsection 2, and "food hub" means any business or organization that locates and obtains food from local growers and fisheries and is able to handle the logistics of supplying and delivering local foods to schools. The program must:
A. Provide competitive grants for a training program to be conducted in up to 6 regions to provide training throughout the State without cost for local school food service programs to encourage and expand the use of local foods in school food service programs. The training program must emphasize practical training for food preparers, including creative and effective cooking skills using local fresh foods and local food procurement skills. The training program must also inform participants about practical supply chain solutions, including local food hubs and cooperatives within and across each region of the State; [2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW).]
B. Foster collaboration between school food service programs throughout the State; [2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW).]
C. Facilitate and encourage the use of local food hubs; and [2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW).]
D. Provide guidance to schools in the use of local food products and the nutritional attributes of local foods and provide strategies for encouraging maximum knowledge and acceptance of the nutritional value of locally produced food by students and communities. [2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW).]
The department shall apply for federal grant funding to implement this subsection. The department may implement this subsection only if the department receives funding covering the costs of the program under this subsection.
[ 2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW) .]
14. Food service program personnel; position description.  The department shall develop and post a model position description for school food service program personnel on its publicly accessible website. The position description must meet the federal guidelines established under the Nutrition Education and Training Program and Team Nutrition initiative of the National School Lunch Program under 7 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 210.
[ 2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW) .]
15. Food service recognition.  The department shall provide for the development of an annual competitive skill-oriented school food service recognition based on criteria developed by the department emphasizing creative and effective use of local food products to attract students to eat healthier meals and snacks and promoting community interest in good nutrition and other factors determined by the department.
[ 2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §2 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1981, c. 693, §§5,8 (NEW). 1983, c. 276, (AMD). 1983, c. 422, §18 (AMD). 1985, c. 263, (AMD). 1987, c. 395, §§A68,A69 (AMD). 1989, c. 875, §G1 (AMD). 1991, c. 9, §II3 (AMD). 2001, c. 447, §1 (AMD). 2007, c. 539, Pt. IIII, §§1, 2 (AMD). 2011, c. 379, §§4-6 (AMD). 2013, c. 445, §1 (AMD). 2015, c. 267, Pt. OOO, §§1, 2 (AMD).