Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of September 16, 2019

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of

September 16

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

Understanding the Federal "Public Charge Rule"

Expanded rule will go into effect on October 15, 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently finalized a rule which will make it easier to deny an immigrant’s application to enter the United States, obtain a visa, or adjust their immigration status (e.g., receive a Green Card) on the grounds that they are likely to become a “public charge.” The rule has the potential to spread fear and confusion among immigrant communities who may wish to access public assistance. It has also prompted questions among county staff and other service providers who administer benefits.

This Public Charge FAQ document addresses common questions related to the rule and provides information about data privacy protections for people enrolled in public benefit programs. The FAQ also clarifies the following nutrition programs are NOT considered under the rule including:

  • the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, including Seamless Summer Option
  • Afterschool Meal Supplement
  • Special Milk Program
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
  • Summer Food Service Program
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP Meal Pattern Training Slides

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Nutrition initiative has released presentation slides for the CACFP Meal Pattern Training. These ready-to-go presentation slides may be used by sponsoring organizations, operators, and menu planners.

There are 11 presentations, available in both English and Spanish, which are designed for interactive 30-minute trainings. Training worksheets that can be used with these slides are available for download on the CACFP Training Tools page. Print copies may also be requested on the USDA Team Nutrition Resource Page

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School Nutrition Programs

Serving Pre-K Meal Patterns Update

Do you serve preschool students? If so, you are required to serve their meals according to the preschool meal pattern if they are served separately from older students (i.e., K-5 students). Here are some ways the preschool meal pattern differs from the K-5 meal pattern:

  • Preschool students are not allowed to be served flavored milk
  • Grain-based desserts are not creditable for preschool students
  • The daily portion requirement for meat/meat alternate for preschool students is 1.5 ounce equivalents.

For more details, refer to Preschool Breakfast and Lunch Meal Patterns – Effective October 2017.

If preschool students are co-mingled with older students (i.e., they are served in the same place and at the same time), their meals may follow either the preschool meal pattern OR the K-5 meal pattern. Refer to Meal Patterns for Preschoolers: Which One Should I Use? (CACFP and SNP) for more information about separate versus co-mingled preschool meal services.

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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

  • 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.)
  • Verification Process for School Nutrition Programs (October 1, 2019, at 2 p.m.)

Access further information and registration for Tuesdays @ 2 webinars.


Procurement Basics for Small- to Medium-Sized School Nutrition Programs

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)'s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is excited to offer the annual two-day School Nutrition Director training on October 17-18, 2019. This year we will focus on procurement basics for small- to medium-sized school nutrition programs.

We will train using a blended method, where content is broadcast from MDE to five different locations. MDE staff will facilitate discussion and hands on activities. View more information and register for your preferred training location using the links below:

Registration is limited to school nutrition programs with enrollments under 5000 students, and space is limited by location. There will be an hour break for lunch on your own. Please feel free to bring your lunch and eat on site.

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Farm to School and Early Care

3-2-1 CRUNCH!

Join schools throughout Minnesota by crunching into a locally or regionally grown apple at lunch time (or anytime) on Thursday, October 10, to show your school’s support for Farm to School Month. Register for the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch by September 30 to receive free stickers and enter to win a surprise visit from the Minnesota Timberwolves’ mascot, Crunch! Minnesota’s apple crunch goal is to have at least 250,000 crunchers!

Download one of the Minnesota Apple Crunch Guides to help you plan, carry out, and share your celebratory crunch. There are guides available for K-12 schools and Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs, including Family Care centers.

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

  • #MNAppleCrunch
  • #MNfarmtoschool

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Team Nutrition Recipes Available on Institute for Child Nutrition (ICN) Website

USDA standardized recipes will be moving to the Institute of Child Nutrition’s (ICN) Child Nutrition Recipe Box (CNRB) webpage. The CNRB provides child nutrition program operators with recipes to prepare healthy and delicious meals that meet meal pattern requirements.

The ICN Child Nutrition Recipe Box will be rolled out in multiple phases:

Phase One (available September 16): Child nutrition programs will be able to access a growing collection of USDA standardized recipes on the CNRB website. Recipes will be organized by main entrées, vegetables, fruits, and grains, as well as alphabetically. Users will be able to download and print recipes as needed.

Phase Two (available Spring 2020): The CNRB will provide tools and resources to help program operators navigate and implement standardized recipes. These resources will include search tools to find recipes, a “Build My Cookbook” tool, shopping list features, and consumer-friendly features such as star ratings and recipe reviews.

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Save the Date for CACFP Trainings

Mark your calendars for two upcoming CACFP webinars offered by the USDA Team Nutrition:

CACFP Halftime Thirty on Thursdays Webinar –
In-Grained: Easy Tools to Determine Serving Amounts

  • Thursday, November 14, 2 to 2:30 p.m.

See CACFP Halftime Webinar Series webpage for more details.

CACFP Trainers' Circle Webinar –
A Sneak Peek Inside the New Feeding Infants Trainer’s Kit

  • Thursday, December 12, 2019, 1 to 2 p.m.

See CACFP Trainers' Circle Webinar Series webpage for more details.

Registration for these webinars will be available soon. Stay tuned to the bulletin for more!

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Target Field Trip Grants

Deadline: October 1, 2019

Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. That's why Target is helping give students a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience through field trips (like visits to a local farm!). As part of the program, Target stores award Target Field Trip™ grants to K-12 schools nationwide.

Learn more about Target field trip grants.

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Annie’s Grant for Edible School Gardens

Deadline: November 1, 2019

Want a school garden? Apply for Annie’s Grants for Gardens for K-12 public, private, or charter schools to help your school garden get started. Annie’s believes that showing future generations how sustainable food is grown changes their lives. Connecting kids to gardens helps them to start thinking more holistically about their food, their communities, and the planet.

Learn more about the grant and apply on the Annie’s Grants for Gardens website.

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School Nutrition Grants

Whole Kids Foundation – School Garden, Beehive and Salad Bar Grants

Deadline: October 15

The Whole Kids Foundation is accepting grant applications from schools for their school garden, beehive, and salad bar grants. Learn more at the Whole Kids Foundation website.


Chef Ann Foundation – Get Schools Cooking Grants

Deadline: October 28 

Get Schools Cooking (GSC) is an intensive three-year assessment and strategic planning program that provides schools with the operational knowledge to transition from a heat and serve to scratch cook operational model. Learn more and apply at the Chef Ann Foundation website.

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