Know Before You Hire! Professional Standards for School Nutrition Program Employees

Brian R. Dixon

It has come to our attention through state monitoring reviews, and from questions throughout the school nutrition industry, that school districts need to be aware of new standards when hiring nutrition program employees.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 established professional standards for state and local school nutrition programs personnel. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Final Rule, published on March 2, 2015, clarified the Act with an effective date of July 1, 2015.

The Final Rule includes hiring standards, training standards, and training requirements. The goal is to improve the quality of student meals, reduce waste and improve the overall integrity of child nutrition programs.

The Final Rule provides comprehensive guidance:

  • Annual continuing education/training standards for all school nutrition program employees, based on position
  • Training requirements for all state agency directors
  • Hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors, including minimum education standards broken down by school student enrollment and minimum prior training standards.
  • Hiring standards for new state directors, including education, knowledge and experience, and skills and abilities minimum criteria.

The complete details of the Final Rule are available at

Furthermore, if multiple schools are utilizing a single food service director, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) released additional clarification guidance on how to calculate student enrollment size. See the MDE Food Service Administrative Policy No. 12 School Year 2016-2017.

If you have questions, contact your Yeo & Yeo professional.


Brian R. Dixon

Brian R. Dixon


Brian R. Dixon, CPA, is a Principal in Yeo & Yeo’s Saginaw office. He leads the firm’s Audit Services Group and is a member of the firm’s Education Services Group. His areas of expertise include audits of healthcare organizations, school districts, and nonprofit organizations, and audits under government auditing standards. He is a member of Michigan School Business Officials. Contact Brian via email at or call 989.793.9830.