UPDATED – Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of May 25, 2020

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UPDATED Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of May 25, 2020

The previous bulletin for the week of May 25 inadvertently missed one announcement related to School Nutrition Program webinars. All other information remains the same. We apologize for any confusion.

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

Waiver Extension Requests

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) requested extensions from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the following three waivers.

Currently, all three waivers remain in effect through June 30, 2020, or upon expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier. More information on MDE’s request to extend these waivers through September 30, 2020, will be included in future bulletins.


Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) Waivers Memo

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently released a memo containing questions and answers around operating summer feeding programs during COVID-19. This memo is intended to provide clarification on closed enrolled site eligibility in SFSP and SSO, first week site visits in SFSP, offer versus serve in SFSP, and meal service time restrictions in SFSP and SSO. For more information, please review SFSP and NSLP SSO Nationwide Waivers – Questions and Answers (SP 18-2020, SFSP 10-2020).

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Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP Monitoring Waiver Request

MDE submitted a request to extend the following flexibilities for CACFP-sponsoring organizations:

  • Meal service does not need to be observed during an unannounced review;
  • More than six months may elapse between reviews; and
  • Desk audits may be allowed for new CACFP facility reviews.

Additionally, we requested desk audits count toward the CACFP-sponsoring organization’s required annual facility reviews for this program year. Finally, because performing an unannounced visit via an off-site desk audit is impractical, we requested the unannounced visit requirement be waived. We asked for these flexibilities be granted through September 30, 2020. We will update you as soon as we have more information. If you have any further questions, please contact our office at 651-582-8526 or 1-800-366-8922.


CACFP Basic Training Webinars Part 1 and Part 2

CACFP Basic Training resumes this July and October as a two-part, interactive webinar series for child care centers, adult care centers, emergency shelters and outside school hours care centers. This webinar series targets new staff, such as center directors, food production staff and staff with CACFP responsibilities. Each session requires 30 minutes of prework, which will be emailed to you at least two weeks prior to the webinar. Your attention during the training webinars must be uninterrupted with no distractions or multi-tasking as this will slow the progress of the webinar for everyone. If you are new to your position or want a refresher of CACFP requirements, and are able to commit to the time requirements of each session, please register now.

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School Nutrition Program (SNP)

School Nutrition COVID-19 Webinars

Weekly webinars will be held on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. to update school nutrition program staff on issues related to COVID-19. Select the links below to register for the webinars.


Adult Meal Pricing Requirements for School Year (SY) 2020-21

The required minimum meal prices for adults for SY 2020-21 are shown below. The calculation is based on the previous year’s state and federal reimbursement rates, plus the national average per meal value of USDA Foods.

Sponsors contracting with a Vended Meal Provider or Food Service Management Company may need to adjust upwards in order to cover the full cost of the meal.

Minimum Adult Prices for SY 2020-21:

  • Breakfast: $1.90
  • Lunch: $3.85


Direct Certification for School Year (SY) 2020-21

As a reminder, the first direct certification file for SY 2020-21 will be generated in July 2020. The Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS) notification sent in June 2020 is for SY 2019-20 and must not be used to directly certify students for SY 2020-21.

CLiCS contacts for school districts and charter schools are notified throughout the year with the direct certification module access. Please forward this message to the person responsible for direct certification in your district or school. Nonpublic sponsors should refer to the Direct Certification page on our website for more information about obtaining a list of directly certified students.


New Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Waiver Requests

MDE calculates the number of SFSP reviews based on overall program meal reimbursements. The inclusion of sites that participated in SFSP during the distance learning period will create an inflated reimbursement total leading to a large increase in the number of SFSP sponsor reviews that need to be completed. To help alleviate this burden, MDE submitted a request to USDA to waive the requirement to include SFSP sites not operating during the normal summer months.

Additionally, MDE received an overwhelming number of applications to operate SFSP during the distance learning period and applications for regular SFSP starting July 1. To assist MDE staff with this increased workload, MDE requested USDA waive the requirements that MDE respond to incomplete applications within 15 days and approve or deny completed applications within 30 days of receipt.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) During COVID-19

The USDA FNS recently released a second memo containing questions and answers to provide clarification on operating FFVP during COVID-19. Please read Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program during COVID-19: Questions and Answers #2 to learn more.

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Professional Development Opportunities from the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN)

In lieu of in-person training, the ICN is currently offering a series of virtual courses and webinars for child nutrition professionals on a variety of topics, including food safety. View the ICN eLearning Portal for more information and to register.


Online Resources from Team Nutrition

Support distance learning with these Digital Nutrition Resources for Kids from Team Nutrition.

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