Code of the District of Columbia

§ 38–821.02. Establishment of the Healthy Schools Fund.

*NOTE: This section has been amended by emergency legislation with identical permanent legislation that will become effective in December, 2021.*

(a) There is established as a nonlapsing fund the Healthy Schools Fund (“Fund”), which shall be used solely as provided in subsection (c) of this section and administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. The Fund shall be funded by annual appropriations, which shall be deposited into the Fund.

(b) All funds deposited into the Fund, and any interest earned on those funds, shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time, but shall be continually available for the uses and purposes set forth in subsection (c) of this section without regard to fiscal year limitation, subject to authorization by Congress.

(c) The funds in the Fund shall be used as follows:

(1) To provide additional funding for healthy school meals, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall reimburse public schools, public charter schools, participating private schools, and organizations participating in the Summer Food Service Program as follows:

(A) Twenty cents for each breakfast meal served that meets the requirements of §§ 38-822.02 and 38-822.03; and

(B) Ten cents for each lunch meal served that meets the requirements of §§ 38-822.02 and 38-822.03.

(2) Repealed.

(3) To eliminate the reduced-price copayment under § 38-822.03(b)(1), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall reimburse public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools, for each lunch meal that meets the requirements of §§ 38-822.02 and 38-822.03 and is served to a student who qualifies for reduced-price meals, the greater of:

(A) Forty cents; or

(B) The difference between the U.S. Department of Agriculture reimbursement rate for a free lunch and a reduced-price lunch.

(4) Repealed.

(4A)(A) To provide resources to implement alternative breakfast serving models, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall provide an annual subsidy of $2 per student to public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools that implement an approved alternative breakfast serving model.

(B) Schools shall use funds received pursuant to this paragraph to purchase equipment and supplies needed to operate the alternative breakfast serving model.

(5)(A) To encourage local foods to be served in schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall provide an additional 5 cents per day reimbursement to public schools, public charter schools, and participating private schools when at least one component of a reimbursable breakfast or lunch meal is comprised entirely of locally grown and unprocessed foods; provided, that the schools report the name and address of the farms where the locally grown foods were grown to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “locally grown and unprocessed foods” shall not include milk.

(6) To increase physical activity in schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education may issue grants through a competitive process or a formula grants process to public schools, public charter schools, or organizations that provide technical assistance to public schools or public charter schools to increase the amount of physical activity in schools; provided, that a school receiving a grant pursuant to this paragraph shall seek to:

(A) Meet the requirements of § 38-824.02; and

(B) Increase the amount of physical activity in which its students engage.

(7) To support school gardens or promote health education, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall make grants available, subject to the availability of funds in the Fund, through a competitive process or a formula grants process to public schools, public charter schools, and other organizations.

(8) To support the development and implementation of an Environmental Literacy Program established in § 38-825.02.

(9) To increase nutrition education in schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall make grants available, subject to the availability of funds in the Fund, through either a competitive grant process or a formula grants process, to public schools, public charter schools, and organizations that provide technical assistance to public schools and public charter schools to incorporate nutrition education into the school day.

(10) To increase cafeteria staff's abilities to provide healthy meals for students, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education may issue grants through a competitive process or a formula grants process to public schools, public charter schools, or other organizations for the acquisition of school kitchen equipment and for providing training sessions on cooking skills and nutrition for school cafeteria workers and school food service vendors.

(11) To decrease food and food packaging waste at schools and provide greater food access to those in need, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education may issue grants through a competitive process or a formula grants process to local education agencies, schools, nonprofit organizations, or partnerships developed among schools or with nonprofit organizations to support efforts to address food and food packaging waste, including implementation and management of share tables, purchase or provision of reusable food service ware, including from third-party reusable food service ware providers, and other food waste and food waste packaging reduction programs.

(d) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education may, by rule, increase the amounts, as set forth in subsection (c) of this section, to further improve the quality and nutrition of school meals.

(e) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education may withhold local funds provided by subsection (c) of this section from public schools and public charter schools that do not meet any or all of the requirements of §§ 38-822.02, 38-822.03, 38-822.05, and 38-822.06.

(f) Beginning on October 1, 2021, an amount of $5,690,000 from the revenues derived from the collection of the tax imposed upon all vendors by § 47-2002 shall be deposited annually into the Fund.

(g) All excess monies remaining in the Fund on May 31 each year shall be administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the purposes set forth in subsection (c)(6), (7), and (8) of this section, and to further improve health, wellness, and nutrition in schools.