Community Eligibility Provision 2017-2018 participating LEAs

Alexander Rony filed this request with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2018-FNS-03538-F

Due May 11, 2018
Est. Completion May 11, 2018
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Alexander Rony

To Whom It May Concern:

I. Requested Records

I am filing a Freedom of Information Act request for any spreadsheets or databases maintained by or in the possession of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service that indicate the Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) that are participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), Provision 2, or Provision 3 for the 2017-2018 school year. In particular, I am looking for records that indicate if LEAs have opted in district-wide.

I would prefer the request be filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not. For databases, please export to a spreadsheet file, ideally in XLS or CSV format. Please produce the records on a rolling basis; at no point should the search for – or deliberation concerning – certain records delay the production of others that the agency has already retrieved and elected to produce.

II. Request for a Fee Waiver

I respectfully request that you waive all fees in connection with this request as provided by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The Sierra Club is a national environmental nonprofit with no commercial interest in obtaining the requested information. Instead, our organization intends to analyze and disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public can have a single location to identify school districts that offer free meals to students. We intend to add this information to a larger project examining unpaid meal charge policies in school districts nationwide.

The subject matter of the requested records is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government by disclosing where federal funds are being spent in local schools to provide free meals. This will help explain ways that the government can help families avoid unpaid meal debt and lunch shaming in schools.

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise in the subject area by sending tens of thousands of letters to Congress about lunch shaming and anti-hunger programs.

III. Media Requester Status

In addition to the public interest fee waiver, I ask to be properly categorized as a representative of the news media. The bulk of my professional duties at the Sierra Club entails planning and writing content about public policy, including composing mass communications to our followers, analyzing FOIA responses, and coordinating press outreach. I have previously written about the federal government's work to reorganize its staff:

https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/05/trump-admin-policies-leave-700-cdc-jobs-vacant
https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/04/hiring-freeze-prevented-epa-filling-hundreds-jobs

This work, supplemented by Freedom of Information Act requests, was covered in major media outlets:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/19/nearly-700-vacancies-at-cdc-because-of-trump-administration-hiring-freeze/
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/epa-hiring-freeze/index.html

The Sierra Club has the ability and intention to disseminate the information it receives through this request. The information may be shared through emails to an audience reaching into the millions, Facebook and Twitter posts reaching tens of thousands of followers, articles on our often-visited website, and analysis provided to the media.

In the event that there are fees, please inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. Please also include an explanation of why I was not granted the fee waivers and/or reductions.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

P.S. If you have any questions about my request, I prefer being contacted through the email address listed in my submission, but I am willing to talk directly by email (alexander.rony@sierraclub.org) or phone (415-977-5739) if needed.

From: U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service

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