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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Increased reimbursement rate for island Child Nutrition Programs called ‘historic achievement’

Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés

By The Star Staff

Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés announced on Wednesday that the federal Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service approved an increase in the reimbursement rate for the Child Nutrition Programs administered by the island Food and Nutrition Services (AESAN by its Spanish initials) agency.

Ramos Parés said the approved increase is 30% above the reimbursement rate received by the 48 contiguous states of the United States.

“The federal Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak, was on the island recently and spoke with the governor on various issues,” the Education chief said in a written statement. “Today we see one more achievement in the relationship with the federal government that has allowed this historic increase, which will benefit our students who use the school dining program.”

Ramos Parés added that “it is a historic achievement, since it is the first time, since the implementation of these programs on the island, that the reimbursement rate has exceeded that of the contiguous states and is equal to the adjustments made for the state of Hawaii.”

“The adjustments to reimbursement rates will take effect starting with the upcoming 2023-2024 school year,” he said. “We will continue our commitment to providing a balanced and nutritious diet to our students.”

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