Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of June 3, 2019

department of education

Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of June 3, 2019

Each section contains updates relevant to those nutrition programs. You can jump to the section you're interested in by clicking the link.

All Nutrition Programs

Remember to Re-Subscribe to the Nutrition Program Bulletin by June 17!

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is updating the bulletin subscriber list! Our goal with this update is to ensure we have up-to-date and accurate information for those who administer nutrition programs.

To continue receiving the bulletin, you must subscribe using the new Quick Subscribe link before June 17, 2019. After this date, only those who have subscribed via the Quick Subscribe link will receive the bulletin. 

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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Upcoming CACFP Trainings

Infant Meal Pattern and Infant Feeding Workshop – June 12

This in-person workshop on the infant meal pattern and infant feeding is intended for infant room staff and other staff who need to understand the CACFP infant meal pattern requirements and feeding best practices. All attendees will receive a copy of the new Feeding Infants guide and a certificate of attendance.

  • June 12, 2019 (8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) Lincoln Community Center, Mankato

Access further information and register for the in-person Infant Feeding workshop.

Ounce Equivalents Live Webinar – June 17

This live webinar provides tools, resources and information to correctly modify your food program documents and to train staff regarding ounce equivalents before October 1, 2019. This training will be helpful to all CACFP sponsors.

  • June 17, 2019 (1:30–2:30 p.m.)

Access further information and register for the Ounce Equivalent Webinar.

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Food Distribution Program

USDA Foods Received Report for the Auditor is Available

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods Received Report for the Auditor for School Year (SY) 2019-20 has been posted on the Minnesota Department of Education website. This report identifies the value of USDA Foods that were allocated to a sponsor within this completed program year. Channels of distribution represented on this report are the Regular USDA Foods, and, if applicable, the Fee-For-Service, Net Off Invoice and Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (DoD Fresh).

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School Nutrition Programs

School Lunch: What's On Your Playlist?

National School Lunch Week (NSLW) will be celebrated the week of October 14-18, 2019. This year's theme is "School Lunch: What's On Your Playlist?" Be sure to read the NSLW Preview article in the April 2019 issue of School Nutrition and get pumped up for this year's celebration.

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Verification Sampling Method – Standard 3 Percent Error Prone

The list of School Food Authorities (SFAs) that are required to use the Standard 3 Percent Error-Prone Sampling Method is posted on the MDE Website. This sampling method is required for SFAs with a 20 percent or greater non-response rate from households chosen for verification for the previous school year. Please check the list to determine if you are required to use this sampling method when determining your verification sample for School Year (SY) 2019-20. If your SFA is on the list, a separate communication will be sent to the Food Service Director with further instruction.

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2019-20 Renewal Applications

The following renewal applications are now available to submit online in the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS) on or before June 10, 2019.

  • School Nutrition Program (SNP)
  • Federal Special Milk Program (SMP)
  • Minnesota Kindergarten Milk Program (MKMP)

Access CLiCS to renew your applications.

Refer to the Application Renewal Instructions for School Nutrition Programs 2019-20 and Milk Programs Application Renewal Instructions 2019-20 on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) – Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website.

Required: Sponsors must ensure that the email address and contact information on the sponsor and site application(s) are current and accurate.

When an application renewal is approved for the 2019-20 program year, a CLiCS system-generated email confirming approval will be sent to the email address for the contact person listed on the sponsor application.

Contact the Applications Team with any questions at 651-582-8526, 1-800-366-8922 (Minnesota toll-free) or email To facilitate our response, include your CLiCS sponsor identification (ID) number in all correspondence.

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Reminder: Community Eligibility Provision Application

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) applications for School Year 2019-20 are due no later than June 28, 2019.

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows eligible districts and/or schools in low-income areas to provide school lunches and breakfasts at no charge to all students, using simplified meal counting and claiming procedures. More information about CEP and the application process is available on the CEP webpage.

School Nutrition Back to School 2019 Training in August

The annual Back to School Essentials training will be held 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. in six locations in Minnesota on August 13 and 14, 2019. Meal service basics will be covered on Tuesday, August 13, and the free and reduced-price process will be the topic for Wednesday, August 14. The six locations include:

Morning refreshments will be available. There will be an hour break for lunch on your own. Registration is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information and registration, select Back to School Essentials 2019.

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Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Farm to Summer Week in Minnesota is July 15-18!

  • Check out the Farm to Summer Fact Sheet on our Summer Food Service Program webpage for more information about how your site can celebrate and be involved.
  • Participate in the first annual cucumber crunch! This can be a simple way to feature your Farm to Summer work in a loud way. At the busiest serving time on Thursday, July 18, 2019, crunch into a delicious local cucumber to show support for Farm to Summer week.
  • Serve a local Minnesota Thursday menu. Participating sponsors and sites have the opportunity to serve a variation of the following menu on July 18: turkey drumstick, whole wheat breadstick or roll, cucumber slices, berries and milk. A Minnesota Thursday toolkit, developed by Minneapolis Public Schools can help sites plan, promote and prepare their Minnesota Thursday meal.
  • To learn more about Farm to Summer, visit USDA’s Farm to Summer website.

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Opportunities from our Partners

USDA NIFA Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program

Due: June 4, 2019

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) for fiscal year (FY) 2019 to increase knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children. The anticipated amount of grant funds available in FY 2019 is $869,498. FASLP is intended to increase the knowledge of agriculture and improve the nutritional health of children and to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system, including school cafeterias and classrooms. Learn more at the NIFA website.

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USDA Meal Planning Resources

Refresh your fall menus for next school year with these menu planning tools and resources:

Child Nutrition (CN) Labeling Verification and Reporting System

The CN Label Verification System helps State agencies, program operators, and the food industry to check that CN labels are current and valid. The report also includes the serving size and the meal pattern contribution of the product.

Check your CN labels with two monthly reports:

USDA-Approved Software Can Help with Your Menu Planning Process

Enhance your menu planning and documentation process with USDA-approved software! USDA approves two types of commercially available software. Learn more using the links below:

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USDA Foods Toolkit for Child Nutrition Programs

The USDA Foods Toolkit is a collection of valuable resources to assist child nutrition professionals in effectively using their USDA Foods entitlement and to help them educate students, staff, and the community about the healthy contributions that USDA Foods provide to their meal programs. The toolkit includes cost analysis tools, recipes, marketing tools, training webinars, fact sheets and colorful infographics.

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Record Your Training Hours with the Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool 

USDA's free, web-based Professional Standards Training Tracker Tool provides easy navigation and user-friendly time-saving features, such as:

  • Record trainings for all staff at once,
  • Auto-populate training information from training database,
  • Edit user profiles to update job roles and job titles, 
  • Send staff automatic email reminders to complete required training hours,
  • Print a certificate of completion for all employees, and

Step-by-step instructions and training videos on how to use the tool can be accessed via the "Help" tab of the Training Tracker Tool's web interface. 

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The Professional Standards Training Database has a new look!

Check it out! In May 2019, the USDA Professional Standards Training Database launched a new platform and also received a makeover. The interactive site features tools to assist you in locating trainings to meet your professional development needs.

New features of the site:

  • Easy filtering options when searching for trainings (e.g., search by state, cost, key area, and training topic)
  • Statistics regarding the listing of trainings available (e.g., number of state-developed trainings, number of total trainings, number of free trainings)
  • Links to the most popular trainings, on the home page for direct access, and
  • Upcoming events (e.g., upcoming Food and Nutrition Service led webinars and trainings and Institute of Child Nutrition led trainings).

Visit the Professional Standards Training Database for a great new experience and to locate a training today to take your professional development to the next level!

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USDA Webinars

Webinar: Crediting Popcorn, Hominy, Corn Masa and other Corn Products in Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (1-2 p.m. CT)

The fourth webinar in USDA’s Crediting Updates for Child Nutrition Programs: Be in the Know! series will assist with implementation of the recent changes in the memo on Crediting Popcorn, Coconut, Hominy, Corn Masa, and Corn Flour in the Child Nutrition Programs. In addition, attendees will learn about the tools and resources available to assist with menu planning needs in CNP settings.

Register for the free June 5 webinar: Crediting Popcorn, Hominy, Corn Masa and other Corn Products in CNPs.


Webinar: Afterschool Meals Myths and Misconceptions

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 (2-3 p.m. CT)

Are you confused about your options for serving meals and snacks in afterschool and out-of-school-time programs? Are you unsure of the requirements for the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program? This webinar will answer your questions! No Kid Hungry is teaming up with the USDA to tackle common myths and misconceptions as well as audience questions. Please submit your question in advance when you register. Register for the June 25 Afterschool Meals Myths and Misconceptions webinar.

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Now Available in Spanish! Local Food for Little Eaters: A Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Guide to Local Food Purchasing

The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems is pleased to announce Spanish translations of Local Food for Little Eaters: A Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Guide to Local Food Purchasing and profiles of successful Farm to Migrant & Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs nationwide. This guide gives step-by-step instructions and interactive tools that MSHS programs can use to begin purchasing and using more local foods. Download the Spanish translation of the guide on the MSU website.

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