Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of December 18, 2017

department of education

Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of December 18, 2017

All Program Updates


Offices Closed

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will be closed for the holidays on Monday, December 25, 2017, and Monday, January 1, 2018.   


U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Request for Information on Food Crediting

The USDA is asking for feedback on its crediting system for determining how food items credit toward reimbursable meals in Child Nutrition Programs. The Request for Information on Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs provides background information about food crediting and asks a wide range of questions. Feedback topics include the use of volume and weight in crediting, fortification, customary use of foods, and several questions about meat/meat alternate products. 

To be assured of consideration, feedback must be submitted or postmarked on or before February 12, 2018.


Child and Adult Care Food Program Updates

Registration is Open for CACFP Basic Training 2018

This live, in-person workshop provides basic information on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The target audience is new directors, program coordinators, or center staff with CACFP responsibilities at child care centers and adult care centers participating in CACFP. Each workshop will be held 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., and will cover the same content.

Visit the registration page (CACFP Basic Training 2018) for more details and to register.

  • Tuesday, February 13: Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) – Roseville, Minn.
  • Thursday, March 15: South Central Service Cooperative – North Mankato, Minn.
  • Wednesday, April 18: Lakes Country Service Cooperative – Fergus Falls, Minn.
  • Wednesday, May 23: Blandin Foundation – Grand Rapids, Minn.

Back to top

School Nutrition Program Updates

Grant Opportunity: Competitive – Federal 2017 – National School Lunch Program Equipment

Repeat Notification: There’s still time to apply! Applications are due December 21, 2017, 3:30 p.m., CST.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has set aside $325,211 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) federal year 2017 funding award, CFDA 10.579 program, titled “National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance for School Food Authorities,” which allows funding to be used to purchase new equipment that will assist schools to serve healthier meals that meet updated meal patterns. Emphasis is also placed on improving efficiency of school nutrition operations, improving food safety and efficiency, and expanding access and participation.

This opportunity is open to Minnesota School Food Authorities (SFAs) who participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Those authorities with 50 percent or more enrolled students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals as of October 1, 2017, will receive priority points. SFAs whose food service equipment is essential/critical to operations and is older than 20 years or is inoperable will also receive priority points. The grant period will be from February 1 through May 30, 2018. Equipment requests must be at least $5,000 and no more than $25,000 for one piece of equipment.

The grant opportunity documents (instructions and application) are available at MDE’s Grant Opportunity site. Select All Open Grant Opportunities in the left column, then scroll down to Competitive – National – School Lunch Equipment Grant.

For more information, please contact Kala Constant (


USDA Foods and Product Dates

The USDA has reissued a memorandum to clarify policies and procedures for the storage and transportation of USDA Foods as related to product end dates. This memo is available on the USDA website at FD-107 Donated Food Storage, Distribution, and Product Dating (Revised).

Guidance provided in USDA memo includes:

  • Distributors and SFAs must manage their inventories to ensure that students have an opportunity to consume USDA Foods before product end dates have passed.
  • Consider anticipated demand to ensure that inventory levels do not exceed a six-month level.
  • Use products with the earliest “best-if-used-by” and “best-if-used-before” date even if the items were received after a similar item already in inventory. USDA Foods that have passed such dates should not be distributed to students.
  • SFAs may receive products that were packed or manufactured in the previous year. However packing/manufacturing dates and codes do not necessarily provide useful information on product wholesomeness. For products that have only packing or manufacturing dates instead of best-if-used-by dates, distributors and SFAs should maintain records of when products are received to ensure that products are distributed to students in a timely manner and in optimal condition.
  • The memo also provides information on procedures for out-of-condition foods, foods with special handling requirements, and links to additional resources.

Tuesdays @ 2 Webinars

A variety of topics will be offered during the Tuesdays @ 2 webinar series. All webinars begin at 2 p.m. and will be 30-60 minutes in length, unless otherwise noted. Registration and session information will be posted on the Training: School Nutrition Programs webpage.

Upcoming Webinars

December 19 – Counting and Claiming Meals for School Nutrition Programs

This session is intended for school staff responsible for obtaining and recording meal counts and completing the monthly claim for reimbursement. Participants will learn how to obtain accurate point-of-service meal counts, complete claim editing, and will review school food authority meal claiming responsibilities. The session will walk participants through the process of completing a claim for reimbursement in the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCs).
Registration – Counting and Claiming Meals for the School Nutrition Program

There will be no Tuesdays @ 2 Webinar on December 26, 2017, or January 3, 2018.

Back to top

Opportunities from our Partners

Upcoming Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) Webinars for At-Risk and SFSP

Umbrella Sponsors and Afterschool Meals

December 21, 2017, 12 p.m., CST.

Umbrella sponsors, such as government agencies, food banks, and school districts, can oversee multiple, often smaller, afterschool sites that need support to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program.

Registration – Umbrella Sponsors and Afterschool Meals


Recruiting and Retaining Summer Meal Program Sites

January 4, 2018, 12 p.m., CST.

Learn about best practices, training and communication strategies to increase the number of sites and sponsors engaged and participating, as well as strategies to support and mentor new ones.

Registration Recruiting and Retaining Summer Meal Program Sites


Partnerships for Building More Sustainable Afterschool Meal Programs

January 18, 2018, 12 p.m., CST.

Join this call to learn about ways to increase sustainability of your program by collaborating with diverse community partners.

Registration Partnerships for Building More Sustainable Afterschool Meal Programs

Minnesota – HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Training

Learn how to get recognized (and receive funding!) for your health and wellness efforts by applying for the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) initiative. Training is being offered on February 9, 2018, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., at Resource Training and Solutions in Sartell, Minn.

The half-day training will walk through HUSSC: SL application criteria, provides tips and tricks for applying, and even builds in time for school health team members to work on the application during the workshop and ask questions. Presenters include Gail Anderson, Minnesota Department of Education, Kelly Kunkel, University of Minnesota Extension, and Ann Kisch, Minnesota Action for Healthy Kids.

The training is offered free of charge. It is recommended for:

  • School health teams or individual team members
  • Active teams, teams just starting out or potential team members
  • Teachers, school staff, district staff, parents and community members

Register at Action for Healthy Kids.  

All questions can be directed to Ann Kisch, RDN, LD Minnesota State Coordinator at 763-425-2955 or

Back to top