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NSLP Memo #4-17: Model Functional Requirements for Local Information Technology Systems

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has recently released the first version of the “Model Functional Requirements for Local School Meal Programs Information Systems”.

Functional requirements describe the function of an information technology (IT) system, or what the IT system will do. Functional requirements do not describe how the system will perform the function, which is known as system design requirements. These newly created model functional requirements documents specify what functional requirements local IT systems should include to meet school meal program requirements and support program operations. They were created from a collaborative effort between the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), and State and local agency staff and help to align the school meal programs with technology guidance already available in other FNS programs.

While it is not required, local agencies administering the school meal programs (i.e., National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Special Milk Program) may choose to use the Model Functional Requirements for Local School Meal Programs Information Systems tools in the development or enhancement of IT systems for the school meal programs, or in the procurement for the development or enhancement of their IT systems. These Microsoft Excel documents may be edited so that each State and local agency can adapt the functional requirements to their needs. The “Tool Instructions” tab within the two documents provides information on how to navigate through the documents, as well as how to use the filter and search functions of the software.

NOTE: It is critical that a local agency review the model functional requirements document carefully prior to use in the development/enhancement or procurement for the development/enhancement of their school meal programs’ IT system to ensure the functionalities listed within the documents fit the local agency’s individual needs.

It is important to note these are dynamic, or living, documents that will change as the school meal programs’ regulations and policies change; therefore, these documents will be updated periodically. Should you have comments, suggestions or additions you would like FNS to consider for the next iteration of these documents, please use the following email address:

  • For the Local Model Functional Requirements for School Meals Programs, please use: [email protected]

Please reach out to your designated Program Specialist with any questions.

Related Content: NSLP and SBP State Agency Memos