This Notice announces the annual adjustments to the "national average payments,"' the amount of money the Federal Government provides States for lunches, afterschool snacks and breakfasts served to children participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; to the "maximum reimbursement rates," the maximum per lunch rate from Federal funds that a State can provide a school food authority for lunches served to children participating in the National School Lunch Program; and to the rate of reimbursement for a half-pint of milk served to non-needy children in a school or institution which participates in the Special Milk Program for Children.
The payments and rates are prescribed on an annual basis each July. The annual payments and rates adjustments for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs reflect changes in the Food Away From Home series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Food and Nutrition Service has approved a 17-percent increase in school meal reimbursement rates for Puerto Rico to reflect their higher cost of providing school meals. The rate adjustment will take effect beginning July 1, 2016, for school year 2016-2017. This increase is based on data indicating that the cost of producing school lunches, breakfasts, and snacks are higher than those in the continental United States, as well as other factors impacting Puerto Rico's school meal program. The annual rate adjustment for the Special Milk Program reflects changes in the Producer Price Index for Fluid Milk Products.