(a) The Department of Education and each county board of education shall promptly establish a fund that is restricted solely for the receipt and expenditure of gifts, grants and bequests for the purposes of this article and may establish in lieu thereof a nonprofit foundation for this purpose. The purpose of the fund or nonprofit foundation is to provide supplemental or matching funds to increase participation in the nutrition programs in the Feed to Achieve initiative set forth in subsection (c) of this section. The Department of Education shall utilize its fund or nonprofit foundation to assist county boards of education in counties whose fund or foundation lacks sufficient business, industry and individual contributors to fund the Feed to Achieve nutrition programs.
(b) Financial support for the fund or foundation may come from either public or private gifts, grants, contributions, bequests and endowments.
(c) Expenditures from the state or county funds or by the foundations shall be used for provision of food to students through any of the programs or initiatives approved by the Office of Child Nutrition, including the following programs: School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the farm-to-school initiative and community gardens. Expenditures may also be made for initiatives developed with the Department of Health and Human Resources and public- private partnerships to provide outreach and nutritional meals when students are not in school.
(d) No administrative expenses or personnel expenses for any of the state departments implementing this act, the State Board of Education, any county board of education, school or program may be paid from the funds or by the foundations.
(e) Individuals or businesses that contribute to the funds or foundations may specify schools or nutrition programs for which the contribution is to be used.
(f) The Department of Education and county boards of education may establish public-private partnerships to enhance current or advance additional nutrition programs that provide nutritious food for children to take home for weekend meals.
(g) The Department of Education and county boards of education shall form or expand existing partnerships with the federal and state departments of agriculture, Department of Health and Human Resources, local master gardeners, county extension agents or other experts in the field of agriculture or gardening to develop community gardens, farm-to-school programs and other such programs that teach students how to grow and produce healthy food and provide healthy food to the students.
(h) The Department of Education shall collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Resources to develop effective strategies and programs such as after school nutrition outreach and programs that improve the healthy lifestyle of all students in pre- kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Department of Health and Human Resources may propose rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate any programs so developed.
(i) All moneys contributed to a fund or foundation established pursuant to this section and all expenditures made therefrom shall be audited as part of the annual independent audit of the State Board of Education and the county boards of education.