Nutrition Program Bulletin - Week of March 23, 2020

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of March 23, 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 Programs

FNS Site Map

Food and Nutrition Service Sitemap

The homepage of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website now has a sitemap. This resource provides a full list of all pages and sub-pages on the FNS section of the MDE website. Click a link within the sitemap to be taken directly to that webpage.

This was a frequently requested resource in the usability testing and focus groups for the website improvement project. Please email any questions or comments on the sitemap to

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School Nutrition Programs (SNP)

Picking Up Meals from Distribution Sites

We have received a number of questions from School Food Authorities (SFAs) about meal distribution to students. School nutrition directors, school administrators and other officials are asking if a parent can pick up meals for their children. Minnesota is waiting on further U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidance. The best practice is for students to pick up meals to ensure that meals are for the student’s consumption. We understand there will be times when it is not in the best interest of the health and safety of a student to be present at the meal distribution site. These situations could include when a student is ill or immunocompromised, has special needs that make it difficult for them to travel, are assisting with the care of younger siblings, and other unique situations. In an effort to provide some leniency for these situations, parents/caregivers may on occasion pick up meals without the student being present.


Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Operations Requirements

Meal pattern and point of service requirements for the SFSP differ from the National School Breakfast and Lunch requirements. See the Summer Food Service webpage for more information. Refer to Meal Pattern Card for the meal pattern requirements. Point of service counts can be taken using one of three meal count forms available on the Summer Food Service webpage.


Upcoming Tuesdays@2 Webinars

The Tuesday@2 webinar on Hiring Requirements for New School Nutrition Directors scheduled for March 24, 2020, will be canceled so that an update on school nutrition program operations related to the COVID-19 outbreak can be presented.  At this time, no other changes will be made to the Tuesday@2 schedule for the remaining school year.


Webinar: School Nutrition Programs and COVID-19 Update,
March 24, 2020, 2 p.m.

MDE-FNS will be offering another webinar regarding School Nutrition Programs and COVID-19 on March 24, 2020 at 2 p.m. This webinar will review the SFSP application process in the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS), SFSP meal pattern and menu planning, closed-enrolled site distribution updates, point of service meal counting and Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards (UFARS) coding. The webinar will replace the previously scheduled webinar on “Hiring Requirements for School Nutrition Directors.” Webinar registration.


USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) Application Open Now

Applications for the FFVP will be open in CLiCS beginning March 10. Applications are due April 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

The award period is anticipated to be July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be an elementary school; and
  • Currently participate in the National School Lunch Program; and
  • Have at least 50 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Funding priority will be given to schools with the highest level of free and reduced-price eligibility. These numbers will be automatically calculated and uploaded into the CLiCS application.

The application instructions, supplemental documents, and more program details are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s FFVP website. School Food Authorities can begin their application by logging into the CLiCS website.


Local Wellness Policy--Triennial Assessment Reminder

School Food Authorities (SFAs) are required to complete their first Local Wellness Policy triennial assessments by June 30, 2020. The triennial assessment is monitored through the administrative review. The following resources can assist you with components of the triennial assessment.

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Relief Grants Available to School Food Authorities

School Food Authorities (SFAs) and other community organizations can seek financial assistance through emergency grants from No Kid Hungry. The grants can be used to support local efforts like home-delivered meals, grab ‘n’ go meal programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs and other initiatives. No Kid Hungry is providing $1 million in grant funding immediately. For further information and to see if you’re eligible for a grant, complete the application process from No Kid Hungry.


Action for Healthy Kids Grants

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) has the following grant opportunities available until April 3. Learn more about AFHK grant opportunities.

  1. Game On Physical activity or nutrition projects: $1,000 (pre-K through grade 12 schools are eligible)
  2. Game On Physical activity and nutrition: $2,500 (pre-K through grade 12 schools are eligible)
  3. Game On Nutrition Grant: $2,500 (pre-K through grade eight schools are eligible). Priority given to schools in or near Greater Minneapolis metro area including: Monticello, Elk River, Hopkins, and Northern Suburbs.
  4. Parent Grants: starts at $1,000 (pre-K through grade 12 schools are eligible). Promotes partnerships between parents/caregivers, including Parent Teacher Association (PTA)/Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) groups, and school teachers. Preference given to schools located within 20 miles of an Aldi grocery store, but all are encouraged to apply.

Contact Kristie Probst (, Minnesota State Coordinator, with questions.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture – Milk Cooler Grants

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will award up to $220,000 to eligible schools and early care institutions to increase students’ access to Minnesota dairy. The MDA’s Milk Cooler Grant program provides grant funding to schools for milk coolers and milk dispensing equipment. Schools and early care institutions are eligible to apply for up to $1,500 per proposal. A maximum of three proposals will be accepted for each school district or organization. Eligible costs include the cost of the equipment and associated installation expenses.

Applications for equipment grants must be submitted by 4 p.m. on April 17, 2020. For more information and to apply, visit MDA’s website.

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