PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - Jan 9, 2013) - Heartland School Solutions, a division of Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE: HPY), one of the nation's largest payments processors, has received USDA approval for use in certification of compliance with lunch meal requirements for its NUTRIKIDS Menu Planning & Nutritional Analysis software. This approval is in compliance with the new National School Lunch Program meal pattern requirements under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA).
More than 8,000 school districts currently using Heartland's NUTRIKIDS software will now be able to apply for six-cent reimbursement for school lunch meals to help offset the cost of compliance with the new law. NUTRIKIDS is one of only four menu-planning tools currently certified by the USDA. The expensive implementation of HHFKA is expected to dramatically affect school meal revenue, making it important for districts to become compliant with the new law in order to receive the additional reimbursement, especially for larger districts serving millions of meals annually.
"The purpose of NUTRIKIDS is to give districts a faster, more efficient way to develop school breakfast and lunch menus that are compliant with USDA regulations," said Terry Roberts, executive director of Heartland School Solutions. "The move toward providing more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in school meals is important to instill healthy eating habits in American children, which aids in reducing childhood obesity. Though the school meals are more expensive under the new requirements, the certification of our NUTRIKIDS software will help districts provide healthier options to kids without risking the financial sustainability of their meal programs. Overall, this further demonstrates our market leadership position in partnering with school districts to help improve their bottom line while delivering healthy meals to their students."
Under HHFKA, school meals are evaluated for a balance between meat, grain, vegetable, fruit and milk components. Meals must be analyzed for calories, saturated fat, sodium content and portion size, with compliant meals including more whole grains, less sodium and zero trans fats. The nutritional guidelines put forth by HHFKA are easily tracked with Heartland's NUTRIKIDS software, which also creates an automatic process to submit for the six-cent reimbursement. More information about NUTRIKIDS Menu Planning & Nutritional Analysis software can be found by visiting NUTRIKIDS.com.
About Heartland Payment Systems
Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), the sixth largest payments processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, school solutions, loyalty marketing services, campus solutions, payroll and related business solutions and services to more than 250,000 business and education locations nationwide. A FORTUNE 1000 company, Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, (www.merchantbillofrights.org), a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. The company is also a leader in the development of end-to-end encryption technology designed to protect cardholder data, rendering it useless to cybercriminals. For more detailed information, visit www.HeartlandPaymentSystems.com or follow the company on Twitter @HeartlandHPY and Facebook at facebook.com/HeartlandHPY.
This press release contains statements of a forward-looking nature which represent our management's beliefs and assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are based on information currently available to us. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements due to many factors, including risks and additional factors that are described in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.