Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of June 15, 2020

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of June 15, 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

Upcoming Grant Opportunity: Expanded Food Access for Minnesota Children and Families

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) was funded $10 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to develop a grant process for Minnesota nonprofits (including faith-based organizations), educational institutions (e.g., early care, K-12 school districts, higher education), tribal nations and local governmental units to provide meals to children, youth, adults without families and families experiencing increased food insecurity as a result of COVID-19.

These funds will supplement existing funds in order to enhance the grantee’s capacity to meet the increased demand for meals. Projects may address needs on a statewide, regional or local level. Grant award amounts will vary depending upon the size and quantity of grant applications received. Eligible expenditures include food purchases, transportation costs, supplies for meal distribution, supplies to follow public health guidelines, and salaries of staff managing food operation activities. The CRF cannot be used to fill behind lost revenues or pay for expenditures that will be reimbursed under another federal program.

The CARES Act specifies that payments under the CRF must meet the following conditions:

  1. Expenditures must be a necessary result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  2. Costs must not be accounted for in the current biennial budget; and
  3. Funds must be expended (not merely encumbered) by December 30, 2020.

More information on this upcoming grant opportunity will be released in the coming weeks. Details will be shared on the MDE website and in a future Nutrition Program Bulletin when the Request for Proposals is available.


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Child and Adult Care Food Programs

CACFP Webinars

Navigating SharePoint and CACFP Management Plans

July 8, 2020, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Register for the Navigating SharePoint and CACFP Management Plans webinar

Target audience: This course is for multi-site sponsor’s executive directors and business management staff and the individuals who are responsible for ensuring the CACFP management plan is complete, updated and accurate.

CACFP Budgeting for Multi-Site Sponsors

July 14, 2020, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Register for the CACFP Budgeting for Multi-Site Sponsors webinar

Target audience: This financial management training is for CACFP Multi-Site Sponsors. Individuals who manage the financial aspects of CACFP are encouraged to attend.

Planning Your CACFP Budget for Independent Sponsors

July 16, 2020, 1-3 p.m.

Register for the Planning Your CACFP Budget for Independent Sponsors webinar

Target audience: This financial management training is for CACFP Sponsors of Independent Centers. Individuals who manage the financial aspects of CACFP are encouraged to attend.

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 that is emailed two weeks prior to the webinar. If you are new to your position or want a refresher of CACFP requirements, please register now. Register for only one Part 1 session and one Part 2 session.

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Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Farm to Summer

Local foods benefit everyone! It’s a win, win, win – kids win, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors and sites win, and communities win. Summer Meal Programs are a ripe opportunity to serve local foods. More than ever, it is time to support our local food producers and growers.

Farm to summer brings the core elements of farm to school into SFSP to ensure kids receive nutritious meals when school is out of session. Summer meal sponsors can improve meal quality with local and seasonal fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and meats. To learn more about farm to summer, visit our Farm to Summer Week Fact Sheet.

School Nutrition Programs

Meal Contract Renewals and USDA Commodity Crediting Requirements

Guidance and templates about the renewal of vended meal and food service management company (FSMC) contracts are available on the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) Meal Service Contracts webpage. Please read the following reminders:

  • All meal service contract renewal submissions must include a completed Reconciliation of Credits for USDA Foods form.
  • Vended meal renewal contracts will be reviewed; non-compliant contracts may delay reimbursements.
  • Renewal contracts and reconciliation forms for FSMC contracts must be emailed to MDE at for approval prior to execution of the contract.
  • Vended renewal contracts and USDA reconciliation forms must be uploaded to the 2020-21 Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS) sponsor application.
  • SFAs with FSMC contracts will be approved in CLiCS following approval of the renewal contract.

Concerning COVID-19, USDA has made no changes or amendments to 7 CFR 250.51, the policy that governs food service management companies. As a result, FSMCs are expected to fulfill their obligation and credit the value of all ordered USDA foods in both fixed-price and cost-reimbursable contracts to the recipient agency (RA) for SY2019-2020. To review policy 7 CFR 250.51, please visit USDA's website. To receive a copy of USDA’s letter regarding this matter, you may email our offices at


Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment Deadline Extension

USDA is allowing local educational agencies (LEAs) to postpone the due date of the first Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment to June 30, 2021.

If you want to utilize this deadline extension, you must complete the Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment Deadline Extension survey by June 30, 2020. LEAs not completing the survey are expected to have the first triennial assessment complete by the original due date of June 30, 2020.

Not sure how to assess your local wellness policy? Check out resources, including a template for the triennial assessment and report, on MDE’s School Nutrition Programs Wellness webpage.


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.

Register for School Nutrition COVID-19 Update 6-23-2020

Register for School Nutrition COVID-19 Update 6-30-2020

Register for School Nutrition COVID-19 Update 7-7-2020

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Opportunities from Our Partners

New USDA Team Nutrition Resources

The following resources provide information about using bulk foods and distributing multiple meals at a time.

Tip Sheets—Providing Multiple Meals at a Time for Children during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic:

Find all Team Nutrition COVID-19 Resources at USDA’s Team Nutrition website.


Rapid Response Grant for Schools

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation Program (AGRI) Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Schools. The grant provides financial assistance to school districts to begin, diversify and expand purchasing from Minnesota producers during the COVID-19 pandemic (summer and fall of 2020). MDA expects to award up to $124,000 to build farm to school capacity in Minnesota. Schools may apply for $1,000 to $5,000 with no required match. Applications are accepted until August 12, 2020, or until all funds are gone, whichever is first. MDA will review applications on a biweekly basis, prioritizing those that create market opportunity and relationships for Emerging Farmers, including women, immigrant farmers, and farmers of color. Availability of funds will be updated biweekly on MDA’s website. To learn more, visit the AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Schools webpage. Contact Lisa Sawyer at 651-201-6277 or with any questions related to the grant opportunity. Contact Sami Burington at 651-582-8376 or to brainstorm grant ideas or for farm to school-related questions.

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