Nutrition Program Bulletin for the Week of January 6, 2020

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of January 6, 2020

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

Food and Nutrition Website Improvement Survey

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) wants to better understand how our users experience our website, including the issues they face when using it and any ideas for improvement.

If you use the FNS website, please take the FNS Website Improvement survey to help us identify specific improvements to implement. This survey should take about 15-20 minutes to complete.

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New USDA Memos Table

Starting today, you'll notice a new resource on the left sidebar of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website: a USDA Memos page. Here's a snapshot of this new page:

USDA Memos Page Screenshot

This webpage contains a list of USDA memos that MDE staff have identified as being frequently referenced. The page allows you to search for memos by keyword, or to filter memos by Program or Topic using the dropdown menus on the left sidebar. 

We hope you enjoy this new resource! Please email any feedback you have regarding this page's performance to

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Website Improvement Focus Group in Marshall

Join a small group of fellow nutrition program sponsors in Marshall for a focus group conversation on the issues with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website, and any ideas for improvement.

  • Date: January 28, 2020, 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Location: Southwest West Central Service Cooperative, 1420 E College Dr., #800, Marshall, MN 56258
  • Audience: anyone who uses our website to accomplish tasks related to operating their child nutrition program

Learn more about the focus group on the MDE calendar or register for the website improvement focus group.

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School Nutrition Programs (SNP)

Procurement Webinar Series Starting this Thursday

A Procurement Basics webinar series will be offered every other Thursday at 2 p.m. starting in January. The first session will be held on January 9, 2020, and subsequent webinars with be held through April. Each webinar will be approximately 90 minutes in length.

The series will cover procurement requirements for federal grant programs focusing on school nutrition program operations. The target audience for this webinar series is school nutrition program directors/managers, school business officers and purchasing officers.

Learn more and register: Procurement Basics Webinar Series.

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Procuring a Food Service Management Contract Tuesday @ 2 Webinar Rescheduled

The "Procuring a Food Service Management Contract" Tuesday @ 2 webinar that was scheduled for December 17, 2019, has been rescheduled to Thursday, January 30, 2020, at 2 p.m. The later webinar date will allow us to introduce updated Request For Proposal (RFP) templates for both fixed-price and cost-reimbursable contracts.

During the webinar, we will discuss:

  • the pros and cons of fixed-price versus cost-reimbursable contract options,
  • the process for contracting with a food service management company (FSMC) to manage part or all of the school nutrition program.

Because schools that utilize an FSMC spend the majority of federal and state reimbursements toward one purchase, MDE requires specific documents and a step-by-step process for these procurements. This session will go through those FSMC procurement requirements in detail. 

Key Area: Operations Learning Code: 2400

Register for the Procuring a Food Service Management Contract webinar.

Upcoming Tuesdays @ 2 Webinars

Listed below are the upcoming Tuesdays @ 2 webinar trainings for SNP sponsors:

  • Procuring a Distributor for Regular and Net Off Invoice (NOI) USDA Foods (January 7, 2020, at 2 p.m.)
  • Have you done your Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment? (January 14, 2020, at 2 p.m.)
  • Silver Linings from the Administrative Review (January 21, 2020, at 2 p.m.)

Learn more and register: Tuesdays @ 2 webinars.

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Opportunities from Our Partners

No Kid Hungry Request for Proposals: improving young people's access to food in rural areas during the summer

Proposal Deadline: January 20, 2020

No Kid Hungry seeks promising ideas and practices designed to answer the question: How might we ensure that more kids in rural communities have access to food in the summer?  

Proposals must be submitted to by January 20, 2020. Selected organizations will meet at an in-person training in April, and receive technical assistance and $10,000 to pilot their idea. View four ideas that were tested last summer. Interested? View the request for proposal.

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Free Recipes: 30 Kid-Approved, Plant-Forward Recipes

The Chef Ann Foundation is excited to announce that the Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Kids Collaborative, with support from Whole Kids Foundation, has created 30 culinary-inspired, kid-approved, plant-forward recipes available FREE for all K-12 schools!

Access the recipes and learn more at the Plant Forward page of the Chef Ann Foundation website.

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