Nourishing News

December Updates

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TX-UNPS Document Upload Feature Unavailable December 16 – 21

The feature to upload documentation via TX-UNPS to Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA’s) digital documentation storage (DSS) system will be unavailable from December 16 through December 21. Attempts to upload documentation via TX-UNPS during this timeframe will not be successful and not be received by TDA.

Instead, documentation that is needed to be submitted during this time frame should be submitted via email.

For Application documentation:


Now Available in Spanish! Civil Rights in Child Nutrition Programs

Do you have Spanish-speaking child nutrition professionals working in your program? With the recently translated course, Derechos Civiles en los
Programas de Nutrición Infantil
, they too can now meet the annual civil rights training requirement by enrolling and completing this free iLearn course.

Transitioning to the User Access Manager

TDA will begin a full transition to the User Access Manager for all entities and will retire the FND-101 form in Spring of 2022.

Notice to Current User Access Managers

When Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) implemented the User Access Manager (UAM) role, TDA adjusted the security groups to be based on a user’s role such as Applications, Claims, Compliance, and Read-Only.

Upon becoming the UAM, you were provided with a “Getting Started” document which compared the old to the new security groups and instructions on updating the user’s groups. Several users continue to have the old security groups which is not in compliance with the new formatted groups. Review your users and adjust their security group based on their role and responsibility. TDA is planning to remove the old security groups beginning the Spring of 2022 which means your users may have limited access to Texas Unified Nutrition Program System (TX-UNPS).

The new security groups are explained in detail in the Security Groups section of the UAM Handbook Guide. Step by step instructions on updating the security within TX-UNPS is also available on the UAM Handbook Guide, Section 3.0 Modifying/Updating a User.

Information regarding the UAM responsibilities, processes, the UAM Handbook Guide, detailed processing videos, and the FND-135 form are available at

Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act

U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) introduced H.R. 5919, the Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act. The bill makes changes to the existing Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which reimburses childcare providers, Head Start programs, homeless shelters and afterschool programs that serve nutritious meals to eligible children and adults.

It aims to increase participation by reducing paperwork, streamlining eligibility requirements and promoting clearer guidelines for providers. The bill also authorizes reimbursements for a third meal in a day. Providers will be able to be reimbursed for offering nutritious late-afternoon meals to children who are in care for more than 8 hours.

Specific Prior Written Approval (SPWA) Overview

CACFP CEs are required to account for costs that are necessary to run a non-profit food service accurately and to maintain documentation that demonstrates costs were paid, allowable, and comply with the requirements of the program’s rules and regulations, inclusive of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Instruction 796-2, Rev.4. FNS Instruction 796-2, Rev 4 requires that all allowable expenses be approved by TDA (and in some cases the USDA) before being included in a budget and before the CE incurs the cost.

There are three levels of approval for program costs: (1) prior approval, (2) Specific Prior Written Approval (SPWA), and (3) approval by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Regional Office (FNSRO), depending on the amount and the category of the expense.

All program costs must have Prior Approval from TDA. Budget review and approval is part of the application process. Prior approval is requested each time a budget is submitted for approval to TDA via TXUNPS, and prior approval is granted once TDA approves the submitted budget in TXUNPS. Costs must be identified by item when a budget is submitted to TDA. However, including a projected cost as a part of a larger entry on a line item in a submitted budget may not be sufficient disclosure for prior approval designation.
In these instances, Specific Prior Written Approval (SPWA) may be needed. SPWA is required for costs which are not typically incurred in the routine operation of the CACFP (examples include, but are not all inclusive of, less-than-arms-length transactions or membership fees), but may be necessary and reasonable for proper and effective program operations (please refer to FNS Instruction 796-2, Rev. 4). TDA will inform CEs of the necessity for obtaining SPWA as part of their budget review and based on the information submitted, if needed. Requests for SPWA must be submitted via the SPWA module in TX UNPS, prior to these costs being incurred.

In some instances, FNSRO review and approval is needed. TDA is responsible for engaging the FNSRO for budget review and approval as necessary. Reminder: Approval of a budget line item does not constitute SPWA and/or FNSRO approval for these costs.

As part of an Administrative Review, TDA reviews the approved budget and costs incurred. Should it be noted that if a CE failed to obtain SPWA for a particular cost, TDA is required to issue a finding and the incurred cost will be denied, resulting in the CE being responsible for repayment of those funds back to the CACFP program.

Program Year 2021-2022 Operations


Holiday Menu Planning in the CACFP

National CACFP Sponsors Association

Thursday, December 9, 2021

2:00-2:30pm Eastern

Looking for ideas to replace traditional holiday sweets and treats with healthy and nutritious foods? Want to learn more about what #CACFPCreditable holiday meals look like among different cultures? Join us for a free half-hour session! Register by Wednesday, December 8 to secure your spot. REGISTER HERE

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CACFP LIVE: They Grow Up So Fast! CACFP Adult Day Care Session ID #470017

Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 10:30am-12pm

This is an online event.

While your participants may be young at heart, they are adults in the stomach. From offer versus serve and meal patterns to special dietary needs- join us to learn how to keep your adult day care participants forever young! The session will turn you into a sage on both operational and administrational duties in no thyme!



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ESC Holiday Schedule

Region 6 ESC will be closed for the Christmas Holidays December 20th through December 31st. I will check my emails periodically and get back to you as soon as possible. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season. Thank you.
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NSLP Financial Report Opening Dates

The NSLP FR open date will need to be delayed, so it will not open in January as previously stated. We will open in March and close in April. We will solidify dates as we get closer to completing the enhancement in TX-UNPS. A webinar will be planned to review the form. Below is information related to the FR. Please share with the ESC’s. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

The NSLP Financial Report will return to TX-UNPS and will open in March for fiscal year 2020-2021. This report must be completed by Contracting Entities (CEs) who participate in the NSLP, School Breakfast Programs (SBP), School Milk Program (SMP) or At-Risk CACFP programs and must be completed by an authorized representative. The CE must ensure that the reported data is accurate and reflects the CE’s financial operations for the fiscal period reported.

TDA will conduct a webinar (TBD) on the enhanced form in TX-UNPS. CEs may prepare by reviewing the Preparing for the Financial Report form. A link is provided below to review that form, the previous webinar and any associated webinar documentation. Although, the JotForm will not be utilized, the NSLP Financial Report has been enhanced and built to model this previous JotForm.

For questions regarding the NSLP Financial Report, please email,

NEW RESOURCE - Record of Meal Pattern Deviations Due to COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions

USDA has issued guidance giving TDA the discretion to provide technical assistance in lieu of fiscal action for NSLP/SBP, SSO and CACFP CEs and sites that fail to meet meal pattern requirements due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions provided the CE, site, and/or provider can show good faith effort that every attempt was made to meet the requirements.

To assist CEs and sites in in these efforts, TDA has developed the Monthly Record of Meal Pattern Deviations Due to COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions Form, in which CEs can document instances during the COVID-19 pandemic when required food components were unavailable due to supply chain disruptions. Refer to the form instructions for more information about how this form is to be used.

CACFP Training Tools from Team Nutrition

USDA’s Team Nutrition has recently released several new and updated resources for State agencies to use in training and supporting operators of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

CACFP Meal Pattern Training Slides:
These ready-to-go presentation slides are designed for interactive 30-minute trainings, and can be used by State agencies, sponsoring organizations, and others to train providers, operators, and menu planners on the CACFP meal patterns. Slides are available in English and in Spanish, and can be viewed and downloaded from Team Nutrition’s website.

Topics of the new slides include:
    • Crediting Single-Serving Packages of Grains in the CACFP*
    • Crediting Store-Bought Combination Baby Foods in the CACFP
    • Identifying Whole Grain-Rich Foods for the CACFP Using the Ingredient List Part 1*
    • Identifying Whole Grain-Rich Foods for the CACFP Using the Ingredient List Part 2*
    • Serving Snacks in the CACFP
    • Using the Nutrition Facts Label in the CACFP

Updated Training Worksheet on Identifying Whole Grain-Rich Foods for the CACFP Using the Ingredient List

Team Nutrition’s “Identifying Whole Grain-Rich Foods for the CACFP Using the Ingredient List” training worksheet has been updated to include more examples of whole-grain ingredients, including corn masa and masa harina. Practice questions to help operators test their knowledge and understanding of the topic have also been added. This updated worksheet is available in English and in Spanish.

What’s New in Creditable Foods?

WOWBUTTER is a peanut free & tree nut free spread that is a complete plant protein source. WOWBUTTER is available in retail. A 1.12 oz package can credit as a meat/meat alternate or ¼ cup vegetable.

This guidance is not considered all inclusive.

Please see for further guidance.

Note: If TDA makes changes to the website, direct links in this announcement may become void.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This program is funded by USDA.