Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of July 20, 2020

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of July 20, 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

Waiver Requests

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is requesting the following new and extension waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use through the 2020-21 school year.

  • The extension of the Nationwide Waiver of Meal Service Time Restrictions in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) will allow programs to continue to serve meals and snacks outside of required times;
  • The SFSP Expanded Area Eligibility Waiver will allow program participation in areas with less than 50 percent free or reduced-price meal eligibility;
  • The Milk Variety Waiver for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) will allow schools to serve a single type of milk with each meal;
  • The NSLP Waiver to Utilize the Grades 6-8 Meal Pattern in Grades 9-12 will allow for streamlined food preparation and service;
  • The NSLP Potable Water Requirement Waiver will waive the requirement to make potable water available during school lunch service at times when this is not feasible;
  • The Unanticipated School Closure Waiver to operate SFSP or NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO) in the event of an unplanned closure to Minnesota schools;
  • The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Waiver to Allow Offsite Sponsor Monitoring Reviews;
  • The extension of the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Area Eligibility for Closed Enrolled Sites in the SFSP;
  • The extension of the Nationwide Waiver to Waive First Week Site Visits in the SFSP;
  • The extension of the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Offer Versus Serve Flexibilities in the SFSP;
  • The State Agency Onsite Monitoring Requirements Waiver for NSLP and SBP will allow MDE to conduct Administrative Reviews via offsite visits and finalize reviews started during the 2019-20 school year;
  • The SFSP State Agency Annual Review Requirements Waiver will allow MDE to adjust the calculation used to determine the number of SFSP sponsor reviews required to be completed in the current program year;
  • The extension of the Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for State Agencies in the CACFP will continue to allow MDE to perform offsite monitoring visits;
  • The extension of the Nationwide Waiver of Annual Review Requirements for State Agencies in the CACFP will continue to allow MDE to waive certain CACFP monitoring requirements;
  • The School Milk Program (SMP) Onsite Monitoring Waiver will allow MDE to perform offsite monitoring of the SMP;
  • The Non-congregate Dining Waivers for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), SMP and SFSP will allow meals and snacks to be consumed offsite;
  • The Parent Pick Up Waivers for FFVP, SMP and SFSP will allow parents or guardians to pick up children’s meals and snacks without the children being present;
  • The Afterschool Activity Requirement Waiver will allow for service of afterschool meals and snacks without providing an enrichment activity; and
  • The FFVP Alternate Site Service Waiver to allow FFVP snacks to be served out of locations other than elementary schools.

Updated information on MDE’s waiver requests will be included in future bulletins.

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Child and Adult Care food Programs

Meal Pattern Posters

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) now has infant, child and adult meal patterns available for ordering. Request meal patterns to be sent to your organization (allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.) You may also print or download copies of the CACFP meal patterns from the CACFP Meal Patterns webpage.

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Food Distribution Program

USDA Foods Arriving

USDA Foods for school year 2020-21 have started to be delivered to Americold (formerly Newport Cold Storage). Sponsors need to verify their distributor in CLiCS 2 to receive their food. Instructions for selecting your distributor and verifying your contact information is posted on the Food Distribution Program webpage

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School Nutrition Programs

School Nutrition “Back to School” with COVID-19 Webinars

Join us for a webinar series designed to get you thinking about what your food service operation will look like as you go back to school with COVID. The series will be offered on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. from July 7 through August 4, 2020. Read the session descriptions and select the links below to register for the webinars.

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Hennepin County Food Insecurity Grants

The Hennepin County Food Insecurity Grant offers financial support to organizations helping with the food insecurity needs of Hennepin County communities impacted by COVID-19. The deadline for applications is August 1, 2020. View the grant application instructions for details and eligibility requirements.


School Nutrition Foundation Grant Opportunity

The national School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) established the GoFundMe campaign “Help Feed School Kids Now!” to raise money for grants to School Food Authorities (SFAs). To date, SNF has raised over $300,000 and awarded seventy-nine (79) $1,500 grants to school districts across the nation. In addition to the grant money, each recipient has been shipped two professional sealing machines from Innoseal Systems, which can be a valuable tool for packaging individual food items during COVID-19 meal distribution.

This grant is ongoing and open through December 31, 2021. You may apply for a minimum of $1,500 and maximum of $5,000 in funding per school district. Each school district may submit only one application. Apply for the SNF Help Feed School Kids Now COVID-19 Summer Feeding Grant.


Hunger Relief Opportunity for School Districts

Program Overview

USDA is partnering with farmers, ranchers, specialty crop producers, food processors, distributors and non-profit organizations to ensure that all Americans have access to food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 17, 2020, USDA announced that the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP) is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute up the $3 billion of agricultural products to serve those in need. Minnesota farmers and distributors whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service entities have an opportunity to partner with USDA and regional distributors to sell fresh produce, dairy and meat to support those in need. The distributors will then provide pre-approved boxes of fresh produce, dairy and meat products to food banks, community and faith based organizations and other non-profits serving Minnesotans in need.

Opportunities for School Districts to Partner on Distribution

School districts and school nutrition authorities are eligible to receive food boxes, which they can distribute to families. School districts must be able to demonstrate that they have the operational and financial capability to receive, store and distribute requested food items or partner with a non-profit organization to collaborate on the management of these logistics. You can find more information on regional distributors on the USDA website. Distributors will work directly with non-profit organizations and school districts to determine details regarding delivery, including volume and delivery schedules. See more information about Farmers to Families Food Box program.

For more information on the program in Minnesota, please contact:

Aisha Ellis
Program Manager of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet
Minnesota Management and Budget
Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan
651-259-3667 (office) I 651-338-7965 (mobile)

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