Nutrition Program Bulletin - Week of February 3, 2020

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of February 3, 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

USDA Proposed Rule Changes for SNP, CACFP and SFSP: Comments due March 23, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently released the Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the NSLP and SBP proposed rule and is asking for feedback (Note: NSLP is the National School Lunch Program and SBP is the School Breakfast Program). Based on information collected from program operators, these proposed changes include a number of optional flexibilities and are intended to help state agencies and local School Food Authorities (SFAs) overcome operational challenges. Please note that while the majority of these changes are specific to School Nutrition Programs, there are changes in this rule proposal that would also impact the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). USDA has provided a Q&A to assist sponsors in their understanding of the proposed NSLP and SBP regulations.

In tandem with the above regulation proposal, USDA has also released the Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the Summer Food Program proposed rule and is requesting feedback. The proposed changes, including flexibilities, are intended to clarify, simplify, and streamline program administration. Please note that while the majority of these changes are specific to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), there are changes in this proposal that would also impact the NSLP, SBP, School Milk Program, and CACFP.

It is important to remember that the proposed regulations have not been approved by USDA. At this time, they are just looking for comments and feedback to the proposed changes. The anticipated timeline is to have the rules finalized by the end of the year. Once the rules are finalized, USDA will post implementation timeframes. We encourage all sponsors to share your input on the proposals. 

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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP Basic Training

CACFP Basic Training is an in-person workshop that provides basic information on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). A certificate of attendance will be provided after the workshop. Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) staff will facilitate these four-hour workshops in the following locations around the state:

View the CACFP Basics Training page for more details about this series of trainings.

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Food Distribution Program

Special Announcement Series #2: User Accessibility Testing for New System Begins

The Food Distribution Program (FDP) is excited for our launch of the new FDP2 system in the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System 2 (CLiCS2). Starting on Monday, January 27, and through February, the FDP staff will be dedicating about half of their time to User Accessibility Testing (UAT) to identify and fix usability issues. During this time, response time to phone and email questions may be delayed. The FDP staff will answer questions as soon as they are able. 

In preparation for the launch of our new USDA Foods Ordering system in March, please log in to your CLiCS 2 account and go to the "User Information" tab to confirm the name and email information listed is correct. We will use this information to create the user profile for the person(s) responsible for ordering your USDA commodities.

USDA Foods Training: Webinar and Expo

Sponsors who want to learn more about ordering USDA Foods should register for the “Ready-Set-Survey” webinar on February 11, 2020, at 2 p.m. In addition, FDP staff will be presenting a training and information session at 9 a.m. on Friday, February 14, 2020, in St. Cloud. The expo, held at the St. Cloud River Center, is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free to school food service professionals. No registration is necessary. 

USDA Foods Processing Changes

There are two processors that will discontinue Net-Off-Invoice after the 2019-20 school year:

  • Tyson – AdvancePierre will no longer process 100397-Peanut Butter
  • Lamb Weston will no longer process 100506-Potatoes and 100980-Sweet Potatoes

USDA Processor Balances

The goal is for processors is to have zero balances by the end of this school year. Please review your balances in the K12 Foodservice and ProcessorLink portals. If you will not be able to use your remaining pounds, please contact the FDP staff at so another sponsor can utilize the pounds. If you have what looks to be an excess balance but have a plan to use it, please communicate that as well.

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School Nutrition Programs (SNP)

Recent USDA Memos

USDA has recently released a variety of memos pertaining to School Nutrition Program (SNP) operations:

Breakfast Flexibility for Vegetables Allowed Through June 30, 2021

This memo extends the allowance for school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the School Breakfast Program to credit any vegetable in place of fruit. This option was originally offered for a limited period of time but has now been extended through June 30, 2021. For more information, please review School Breakfast Program: Continuation of the Substitution of Vegetables for Fruit Flexibility (SP 06-2020).

Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards

This memo rescinds and replaces Questions & Answers on the Final Rule "Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010" (SP 38-2016). The memo provides an overview of policies related to Professional Standards in addition to guidance via questions and answers. For more information, please review Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel (SP 05-2020).


Procurement Webinar Series

Remember to participate in the Procurement Basics webinar series, offered every other Thursday at 2 p.m. through April 2020. 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.


Upcoming Tuesdays @ 2 Webinars

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

  • Summer Meal Options for Schools (February 4, 2020, at 2 p.m.)
  • Ready, Set, Survey (February 11, 2020, at 2 p.m.)
  • Special Provision Options for Schools (February 18, 2020, at 2 p.m.)

Learn more and register: Tuesdays @ 2 webinars.

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Schoolyard Garden and Garden-to-Plate Conference 2020

Registration for the Schoolyard Garden Conference and the Garden-to-Plate Workshop is now open.

The Schoolyard Garden Conference will feature keynote speaker and superintendent Stephen Jones from Little Falls Community Schools. Attendees will also learn how to meet academic standards, promote healthy eating and cultural competency, and discover ways to sustain a school garden. In its second year, the Garden-to-Plate Workshop will showcase The Good Acre’s culinary education coordinator, Lachelle Cunningham. Participants will actively learn food preparation skills and the latest research, methods, and best practices to ensure food safety when using garden produce.

Schoolyard Garden Conference – Friday, March 6, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Garden-to-Plate Workshop – Saturday, March 7, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Attend both days and receive a discounted registration rate.

To learn more and register, visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum website.


Workshops for School Food Service Professionals

The University of Minnesota Extension has five two-hour training sessions available for school nutrition professionals.

Topics include: Wake Up to School Breakfast, A New Look at Fruits and Vegetables, Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Participation and Reduce Waste, Lose the Sodium – Add Flavor and Managing Food Allergens in School Nutrition Programs.

For more information, visit the Workshops for school food service professionals webpage, or contact Kelly Kunkel at or 507-389-6721.

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