Background Information for WGR Exemption Request

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the ability for school food authorities (SFAs) to request an exemption from the whole grain-rich (WGR) requirements in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) through school year 2018-2019.  Please review the USDA FNS Interim final rule: Child Nutrition Programs: Flexibilities for Milk, Whole Grains, and Sodium Requirements for further information.

 An exemption may be granted for any of the following reasons:

Financial Hardship
Limited Product Availability 
Poor Student Acceptability
Unacceptable Product Quality  
  1. Exemptions are only for the products listed in the survey.
  2. The SFA must continue to introduce and incorporate WGR products into school menus.
  3. SFAs must ensure that at least half of the grain items offered weekly are whole grain-rich.
  4. Enriched grain products approved for the exemption count towards the grain component, keeping in mind that other products that meet the WGR requirements must be offered during the school week.

For more information about the WGR exemption, please contact or 517-241-5374.