Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of March 19, 2018

department of education

Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of March 19, 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 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and will cover the same content. For more details and to register to attend a session at one of the locations listed below, visit the CACFP Training page and select Child and Adult Care Food Program New Training Opportunities.

  • Wednesday, April 18: Lakes Country Service Cooperative – Fergus Falls
  • Wednesday, May 23: Blandin Foundation – Grand Rapids

School Nutrition Program Updates

Unpaid Student Meal Debt Survey

As you may be aware, unpaid student meal debt is increasingly gaining attention in Minnesota. In order to better understand the issue, we are collecting information from all public school districts and charter schools in the state about their unpaid student meal debt. On Wednesday, March 14, an email with survey link was sent to all food service contacts. If you did not receive the email and think you should have, please email with “survey” in the subject line.

Information must be submitted by Friday, March 30. All respondents will receive a summary report with key findings. Districts and schools will not be identified in any report produced with this data. We greatly appreciate your help!


Scratch Cooking School Meals! – March 29 Webinar

Scratch cooking allows schools to have more control over flavor and nutrients in school meals. How can schools transition to more scratch cooking in their kitchens?

Hear from Boston Public Schools who will share their story on how they transitioned from heat and serve to scratch cooking. USDA’s Team Nutrition will also do a live demonstration of the new Food Buying Guide Mobile App.

To register for this webinar scheduled for Thursday, March 29, 2018, 2-3 p.m., visit Scratch Cooking School Meals! 


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Summer Food Service Program Updates

Tuesdays@2 Webinars

A variety of topics will be offered during this year’s 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 

March 27 – Using the Food Buying Guide

If you haven’t pulled your Food Buying Guide off the shelf recently, this is the session for you. This session will provide an overview of the Food Buying Guide and how to use it to determine creditable portions for school meals.

Registration – Using the Food Buying Guide


April 3 – Breakfast Encourages Students to Thrive (BEST)!

Learn about MDE’s new “BE Your Best” resources to promote the School Breakfast Program, increase participation rates, expand your service options, and effectively communication with students, staff, and parents.

Registration – Breakfast Encourages Students to Thrive


April 10 – Best Practices for Implementing Share Tables

Share tables seem like an effective way to reduce food waste while giving students who might otherwise leave the cafeteria hungry a way to get some more to eat. This session will provide an overview of share tables and best practices for implementation.

Registration – Best Practices for Implementing Share Tables

Upcoming 2018 USDA Summer Meals Webinars

To register, select the webinars that interest you:

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Public School Grant Opportunity

Looking to increase breakfast participation in your schools? The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has grants available to support school districts with implementing universal breakfast after the bell models. School districts can apply for funds to implement the program in schools with either 70 percent free or reduced-price certified students or that already offer free breakfast to all students. The grant provides up to $8,000 per school to cover the costs of transitioning and implementing a sustainable breakfast model and offers technical assistance to schools as needed. The grants are made possible through the generous support of the General Mills Foundation. For additional information, contact Qwamel Hanks (


Action for Healthy Kids Grant Opportunities 

School Grants for Healthy Kids awards funding to implement school health and wellness practices that help students eat better, stay physically active, and be better prepared to learn. Funded schools will also receive technical assistance to help implement a successful project that leads to sustainable change.

Priority areas include:

  • School Breakfast Grants: Funding to include alternative breakfast programs (breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, breakfast after first period, breakfast on the school bus) and universal breakfast programs
  • Game On Grants: Available in Minnesota, this program provides physical activity grants with an optional nutrition component to support becoming recognized as a health-promoting school
  • Parents for Healthy Kids Grants: Funding for parents or parent groups to implement physical activity and nutrition initiatives


Parents, schools, PTO/PTA, or school health and wellness teams can apply for funding. Priority will be given to schools with greater than 50 percent of students eligible for free/reduced-priced meals.

For more information and to apply, visit School Grants for Healthy Kids.


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