Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of September 2, 2019

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Nutrition Program Bulletin Week of September 2

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

New USDA Memo: Crediting Coconut, Hominy, Corn Masa, and Masa Harina

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently released the Crediting Coconut, Hominy, Corn Masa, and Masa Harina in the Child Nutrition Programs Memo (SP 34 CACFP 15 SFSP 15-2019).  This memo, which rescinds and replaces Crediting Coconut, Hominy, Corn Masa, and Corn Flour in the Child Nutrition Programs (SP 22 CACFP 09 SFSP 08-2019), provides updated guidance on crediting coconut (including dried coconut), hominy, corn masa, and masa harina.  It also provides direction on identifying corn products that credit toward the grain requirement.

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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

USDA Foods Entitlement for Program Year 2019-20

The per meal rate notice, titled Food Distribution Program: Value of Donated Foods from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020” was recently published in the Federal Register.

The CACFP per meal rate will increase to 23.75 cents for program year (PY) 2020, which is an increase of one quarter of a cent per meal from PY 2019.

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Join us for the next Minnesota Farm to Early Care Coalition meeting

Are you interested in serving local foods and gardening? Or interested in offering nutrition, gardening and agriculture education in your early care & education program? Are you already doing these things? If so, please join us for an upcoming Farm to Early Care Coalition meeting.

The Farm to Early Care Coalition is a statewide group of early care providers and organizations who meet virtually (via computer video call or phone) every other month to discuss Farm to Early Care related projects, events, and resources. We also discuss shared strategies and brainstorm solutions to common barriers we face.

The next meeting is Tuesday, September 17 September 17, 1-2:30 p.m., and we will be discussing the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Farm to Early Care grant opportunity. If you’re interested, please contact Molly Turnquist Butala at

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Brighton eLearning Modules

Want a new CACFP online training experience? Then check out the new Brighton CACFP Online Trainings. These trainings are interactive and fun! You move through the training at your own pace while answering questions and receiving immediate feedback. Giving correct answers moves you forward, while giving incorrect responses prompts you to review recent content.

All five of these new modules provide a certificate for one hour of training. Create an account and begin today!

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School Nutrition Programs

Now Available: List of School Food Authorities (SFAs) Receiving an Administrative Review in 2019-20

The revised list of School Food Authorities (SFAs) receiving a School Nutrition Program Administrative Review in the 2019-20 school year has been posted.

Due to a waiver that MDE submitted to USDA, the list of SFAs receiving an administrative review in the 2019-2020 school year has been revised from the original list posted in May 2019. Only SFAs listed will receive a review in the 2019-20 school year.

The SFA sponsor and food service contacts that were listed in the 2020 CLiCS applications have received an email with a link to a survey that was due August 30, 2019. Once the survey is completed (one response per SFA), your assigned reviewer will contact you to set up the dates of the review.

Several 10-minute training videos and other resources to assist SFAs in preparing for the administrative review are available on the MDE website.

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USDA Foods Entitlement for School Year (SY) 2019-20

The per meal rate notice, titled Food Distribution Program: Value of Donated Foods from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020” was recently published in the Federal Register.

School food authorities (SFAs) will receive 36.25 cents for SY 2020. This includes the per meal rate of 23.75 cents, plus an additional 12.5 cents per meal to support breakfast food items.

The Fiscal Year 2019 Agriculture Appropriations Bill contained an additional $20 million to support USDA Foods purchases for the School Breakfast Program. However, there is no specific requirement for states or SFAs to use the additional entitlement for breakfast items. We encourage SFAs to use the many USDA food items that can be used to compliment a breakfast program, including egg patties, pancakes, orange juice, new cereal items, cheese, ham, potatoes, and a variety of fruit products.

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2019-20 State Attendance Factor Set at 94 Percent

The state attendance factor used by School Food Authorities (SFAs) to determine average daily attendance for School Year (SY) 2019-20 is 94 percent. The attendance factor is used to complete the required School Daily-Monthly Claims Edit Check and to calculate the average daily attendance reported for monthly CLiCS claims for reimbursement.  

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Have you entered your 2019-20 Paid Lunch Prices in CLiCS?

Each year, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) must report to USDA every SFA’s student-paid lunch price for the current year. In order to gather this data, we require that each SFA enter the data in CLiCS by close of business (5 p.m.) on September 30, 2019. Failure to report by this date will result in school nutrition program payments being withheld until the SFA has reported the appropriate student-paid lunch prices. Detailed instructions on entering paid lunch prices can be found on the MDE website.

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New USDA Memo: Buy American and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently released the Buy American and Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 Memo (SP 32-2019). This memo addresses national school meal program requirements regarding the Buy American provision. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 specifies that, in order to be compliant, agricultural commodities and the products of agricultural commodities shall be processed in the United States. The Act also provides clarification on the treatment of harvested fish.

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Save the Date: Procurement for Small to Medium-Sized School Nutrition Programs

Save the date for a two-day training on procurement focusing on small- to medium-sized school nutrition programs. The training will be held during the MEA break on October 17-18, 2019, at five locations: Thief River Falls, Fergus Falls, Sartell, Mountain Iron and Rochester. Registration will be available on the Training and Professional Standards webpage in early September.

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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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Farm to School and Early Care

Farm to Head Start in Minnesota

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is excited to share their recent Farm to Head Start resources: a set of seven Farm to Head Start Case Studies and three Farm to Head Start videos highlighting how Minnesota Head Start partners have adapted IATP’s Farm to Early Care model to fit the needs of their communities.

Learn more about these resources on the IATP blog post introducing them.

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Farm to School Census Coming Soon

The USDA has contracted with Abt Associates Inc. to conduct the Farm to School Census with all public, charter and private school food authorities (SFAs) that participate in the National School Lunch Program nationwide. The week of September 9, 2019, Abt Associates will email each SFA a link to the census along with instructions. All SFAs are encouraged to complete the census, regardless of participation in farm to school activities.

Each SFA must provide information related to their district or school’s local purchasing and farm to school activities for school year 2018-2019. Only one response to the census needs to be completed by each SFA.

Learn more and prepare using the USDA Farm to School Census 2019 Facts and Preparation Worksheet.

As an SFA, the Farm to School Census data can be used to:

  • Track progress of farm to school activities over time;
  • Compare progress to other SFAs across the country; and
  • Gain insight into farm to school initiatives taking place in your schools.  

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Serve Local on Minnesota Thursday!

Kick off Farm to School month and Minnesota Thursdays by serving a healthy, locally sourced lunch menu on Thursday, October 3, 2019!

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

  • #MNAppleCrunch
  • #MNfarmtoschool

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Resources for Child Nutrition Professionals

Team Nutrition's Healthy Meals Resource System (HMRS) has moved to the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) and is now part of the ICN's new Child Nutrition Sharing Site.

The ICN's Child Nutrition Sharing Site (CNSS) is an online resource center providing Child Nutrition Programs with a means for sharing valuable resources related to program operations. The CNSS gives child nutrition professionals a one-stop shop to access high-quality resources and training materials in the child nutrition community that support current Federal regulations, policies, and guidance.

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Certified Food Protection Manager Training and Exam in Somali

The City of Minneapolis Department of Health is hosting a “Certified Food Protection Manager” training and exam in the Somali language on September 25, 26, and 27, with the exam taking place on September 27. This will take place at All Welcomed Adult Care (AWAC) Services at 2305 Snelling Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. For registration information, call Farhiya Farah at 612-702-5051. The training cost is $75 for staff and operators working in a Minneapolis-licensed facility and $175 for non-Minneapolis licensed facilities.

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USDA Webinar: Using the Nondiscrimination Statement in Child Nutrition Programs

Register now for the upcoming webinar hosted by the USDA: “Using the Nondiscrimination Statement in Child Nutrition Programs: Where, When, Why, and How?”

Time: Monday, September 16, 2019, Noon to 1 p.m.

This webinar is for all local program operators of one or more Child Nutrition Programs. Attendees will learn where and when to use the appropriate Nondiscrimination Statement and which version of the statement is to be used. In addition, this webinar will clarify for sponsors of the National School Lunch Program where households should send completed applications, verification materials, and questions about account balances. USDA will provide several examples and answer questions at the end of the webinar.

Register for the Nondiscrimination Statement webinar.

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