Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of August 19, 2019

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Nutrition Program Bulletin Week of August 19, 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

Farm Bill Implementation Memo: Donated Traditional Foods and Civil Liability 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently released the Farm Bill Implementation Memo (SP 31 CACFP 14 SFSP 14-2019) notifying child nutrition program operators of the 2018 Farm Bill’s expansion of the provision stating that certain groups are not liable in civil cases regarding the donation and service of traditional foods. This provision only applies to food service programs at public and nonprofit facilities that primarily serve American Indians, including those operated by Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations.

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Planning this year's afterschool programs? Don't forget afterschool meals!

The new school year is almost here, and that means the start of afterschool programming too. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursement funding to help afterschool programs serve free, healthy meals and snacks to kids in their care at eligible locations through the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program. Programs can apply at any time of year, but now is the best time to get ready for a September or October start.

There are two ways to check if you’re eligible to apply for the program:

  1. Child Nutrition Programs Eligibility Map. Just make sure “School Data” is checked under the “NSLP Snack or CACFP At-Risk Snack/Meals” tab, and then go enter the location to see if you are located in the dotted red area indicating eligibility.
  2. View a list of eligible public schools and their attendance areas for the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals program on the Public School List with Percentage of Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Students from School Year 2018-19. You can view eligible schools by school district or county using the spreadsheet tabs.

For more information, visit the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals webpages or contact Food and Nutrition Services at 651-582-8526 or

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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

2019-20 Reimbursement Rate for Donated Foods or Cash in Lieu of Donated Foods

The USDA has announced the 2019-20 reimbursement rates for donated foods or cash in lieu of donated foods, which is 23.75 cents per lunch or supper served by participating programs. This information has been published by the USDA and can be found in the Federal Register

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School Nutrition Programs

USDA Request for Public Comment: Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

USDA FNS has released a proposed rule revising categorical eligibility in SNAP and is soliciting public comment. Broad-based categorical eligibility is a federal policy though which households may become “categorically” eligible for SNAP if they also qualify for a non-cash Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefit. 

The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) data on households eligible for SNAP or the Minnesota Family Investment Plan (MFIP) can be used by schools to directly certify students for free meals without requiring an application for educational benefits from the household. 


USDA Memo SP 30-2019: Requirements for Students Transferring from Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and Provision 2/3 Schools to Non-Provision Schools

Effective July 1, 2019, local educational agencies are required to provide free, reimbursable meals to students who transfer during the school year and received free meals at their previous CEP or Provision 2 or 3 eligible school. Minnesota schools must provide these students with free, reimbursable meals for up to 30 operating school days or until a new eligibility determination for the current school year is made, whichever comes first. For more information, please read Policy Memo SP 30-2019.

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Upcoming School Nutrition Program Training Opportunities

All training opportunities are listed on the School Nutrition's Training and Professional Standards webpage.

Tuesdays @ 2 Webinars

  • Approving Income Applications for Educational Benefits (September 10, 2019, at 2 p.m.)
  • Farm to School Round-up (September 17, 2019, at 2 p.m.)
  • Uploading Enrollment for Direct Certification (Plus a special message from Deb Lukkonen, Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs) (September 24, 2019, at 2 p.m.)

Access further information and registration for Tuesdays @ 2 webinars.

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Now Available! The Exhibit A Grains Tool on the Food Buying Guide (FBG) for Child Nutrition Programs Mobile App

On August 12, 2019, the USDA FNS released the Exhibit A Grains Tool as a new feature on the FBG mobile app, available on the Apple and Google app stores. The Exhibit A Grains Tool was first released on the FBG interactive web-based tool to allow users to search their grain product (as listed on Exhibit A) and enter in the serving size as listed on the product label. The tool then determines:  

  • the ounce equivalent (oz. eq) grains or grains/bread serving(s) for the grain product
  • the amount of the grain product to serve to obtain a specific meal pattern contribution.

Learn more about the app on the USDA website, or download it via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Check to ensure you have the most current version of the app on your mobile devices!

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Farm to School and Early Care

Celebrate Farm to School and Early Care Month

October is farm to school and early care month – a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the state between schools, early care organizations, and local food! Get ready and join the celebration. October is right around the corner, so check out the Farm to School Month opportunities and what works for you and your school or early care organization.

Want to stay up to date in all things farm to school? Sign up and subscribe for Farm to School in Minnesota, a quarterly newsletter for Minnesota’s farm to school advocates.

Share your story and spread the word by using these hashtags:

  • #MNAppleCrunch
  • #MNfarmtoschool

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Farm to School Census is Coming Soon

The USDA FNS will begin data collection for the third Farm to School Census this September. To be better prepared, review USDA’s Farm to School Census 2019 Facts and Preparation Worksheet located on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Farm to School webpage.

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Minnesota Farm to School and Early Care Grant Proposals Now Open – Due November 7, 2019

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will make Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Farm to School and Early Care Grants available for K-12 institutions that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and early care organizations that participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). 

The MDA will award up to $400,000 to eligible organizations to increase the use of Minnesota grown and raised foods through planning and feasibility studies or equipment purchases and physical improvements.   

To learn about how past AGRI grantees have used their funds, and to apply for the grant, visit:

Applications for AGRI Farm to School and Early Care Grants must be submitted by 4 p.m. CST on November 7, 2019

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Opportunities from Our Partners

"Gro More Good" Garden Grant Applications Open

The National Head Start Association and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation are accepting applications for early childhood garden grants. All Head Start programs are eligible. The application deadline is October 11, 2019. More information and application materials are available on the Gro More Good Garden Grants website.

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