Weekly School Nutrition Newsletter


Dear Food Service Contact,

This email provides news for schools concerning the Child Nutrition Programs from USDA and the state. If you are the food service contact for your school or corporation, it is your responsibility to relay important information provided to you about the Child Nutrition Programs to other staff members.

New Grant Opportunities

Game On Grant

  • Give your students a boost in the 2019-2020 school year with a Game On grant, school breakfast grant, or parent-led grant.
  • Receive funding and resources to increase physical activity opportunities, improve nutrition initiatives, or expand breakfast participation to make sure students are healthier and better prepared to learn.
  • Click here to learn more about the grants, and apply before the deadline on Friday, April 5.
  • Looking for ideas or more information?
    • Click here to access the webinar from Action for Healthy Kids about this grant.
  • Questions? Contact Ashley Green at agreen@actionforhealthykids.org.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants

  • The Fuel Up to Play 60 grant applications are now open!
    • Applications are due by Wednesday, April 10.
  • Schools can apply for up to $4,000 towards their Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  
  • Questions? Or want feedback on your application before you submit it? Contact Josh Leitman at Leitman@WinnersDrinkMilk.com.

No Kid Hungry Grant

  • No Kid Hungry wants to support YOUR school breakfast program.
  • Apply for up to $5,000 to start a Breakfast after the Bell program in your school or improve your existing breakfast program.
  • Funding can be used to purchase equipment, supplies, technology, and/or promotional materials.
  • Applications are due by Friday, April 5.
  • For more information and to apply, click here.
  • Questions? Contact Erica Olmstead at eolmstead@strength.org

Navigating the Food Buying Guide (FBG) Calculator Webinar

  • Team Nutrition is excited to demonstrate the FBG Calculator, which is a new feature included with the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs Interactive Web-Based Tool.
    • The FBG Calculator is designed to create a shopping list to assist Child Nutrition program operators when ordering food for their programs.
  • Team Nutrition will provide in-depth practice for using the calculator as well as highlighting the newly released training video.
  • The webinar will take place on Thursday, March 2 at 2 p.m. EST.
  • Click here to register.

Winter Issue of the Indiana Nutrition Newsletter

  • The winter issue of the Indiana Nutrition Newsletter is now available.
  • Learn about new initiatives in other schools, Food Day 2019, upcoming trainings, new resources, and more!
  • Click here to access the newsletter.

Reminders from Your Field Specialist

  • The following are common concerns/findings during a review:
  • Menu planners not planning full portions of all components or servers/cashiers are not allowing students to take full portions. 
    • Example: Planning two - ½ cup portions of vegetables for high school students but only allowing them to take one ½ cup portion does not offer them the full 1 cup vegetable component. 
    • Solution: Encourage all staff and students to understand full components by providing a tray that shows all of the items that could be selected as a part of the reimbursable meal.
  • Full portions are not being given even when using appropriate sized servers or portion cups.
    • Example: We are seeing a 5 ounce cup used for ½ cup portion, but it is only half full. This means the serving is more of a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup serving instead of a 1/2 cup serving.
    • Solution: Train staff on the importance of correct portions. Use measuring cups, serving scoops and dishers, and compare to the average serving size.
  • Menu planners are not putting vegetable subgroups on all lines.
    • Example: Baked beans are only offered on the sandwich line, and those going in the other lines are not allowed to take baked beans. This is the only time the bean subgroup is served that week, so the school is not meeting the meal pattern.
    • Solution: Menu planners should offer the vegetable subgroups for all lines on the same day.  If baked beans are offered on sandwich line, offer refried beans on the taco line the same day.
  • Schools making substitutions from the planned menu are causing the weekly requirements to not be met.
    • Example: The school substitutes corn for carrots one day for the vegetable. The school did not replace the red/orange vegetables later on that week, and therefore now is not meeting the red/orange vegetable requirement.
    • Solution: If the school must make unintended changes to the menu, ensure that weekly requirements are still being met elsewhere during the week.
  • Crediting documentation is not on file for all products served to students.
    • Example: The school only maintains crediting documentation for the week of the review.
    • Solution: All products served to students for reimbursable meals must have nutrition fact labels and ingredient information, in addition to, Child Nutrition (CN) labels or product manufacturers statements (where applicable). Sponsors also must ensure that the portion sizes of fruits and vegetables are accurate by referring to USDA's Food Buying Guide.
  • Schools that operate Offer versus Serve do not have correct signage posted.
    • Example: Schools do not have any signs about the meal/options being served to students. 
    • Solution: Create signs and posters showing students how they can create a reimbursable meal that can be utilized sponsor-wide.
  • Schools are not serving the proper amount of a fruit, vegetable, or juice as part of the After School Snack Program.
    • Example: A school serves 1/2 cup of sliced apples and 4 oz. of vanilla yogurt as their snack. This snack is not reimbursable since the minimum portion for a fruit, vegetable, and/or juice for the After School Snack Program is 3/4 cup.  
    • Solution: Ensure that all staff that are serving snacks through this program are properly trained on what counts as a reimbursable snack.
  • For online training on topics such as crediting, meal pattern, and more, click here
    • Click here for the inTEAM User Guide.
  • For more information on IDOE in-person trainings and webinars, click here.
  • Questions? Contact your Field Specialist. 

Missed a Weekly School Nutrition Newsletter? Click here to access previous newsletters!

Please do not reply directly to this email. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this email, please contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0849, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20849. You can also contact Ashley Heller at aheller@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0544, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20544.