Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of August 3, 2020

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Nutrition Program Bulletin – Week of August 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

2020-21 Reimbursement Rates Announced

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notified state agencies of the updated 2020-21 federal nutrition program reimbursement rates. More information on the rates is included below in the Child and Adult Care Food Programs (CACFP) and School Nutrition Program (SNP) sections.

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Child and Adult Care Food Programs

2020-21 Reimbursement Rates

The USDA announced the 2020-21 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) reimbursement rates for the following programs:

The donated food or cash in lieu of donated foods reimbursement rate for 2020-21 is 24.5 cents per lunch or supper.

View the Federal Register Notice of 2020-21 CACFP Reimbursements Rates.


2020-21 CACFP Renewal Applications

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) applications are now available to submit online in the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS). Applications should be completed on or before August 30, 2020, to ensure adequate approval time prior to the new fiscal year. Be sure to update the contact information on both the sponsor and site applications.

Refer to the CACFP Application Renewal Instructions on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website for directions, and log in to CLiCS to renew your applications.

Note for multi-site sponsors: All multi-site sponsors should now have their Management Plans uploaded into the CACFP Centers SharePoint site. If you don’t have access to the SharePoint site, follow the SharePoint Online Access and Log in Instructions to set up your access.

Contact the FNS Applications Team if you have any questions at 651-582-8526 (local) or 1-800-366-8922 (Minnesota toll-free) or email To facilitate our response, please include your CLiCS Sponsor identification (ID) number in all correspondence.

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School Nutrition Programs

2020-21 Federal Reimbursement Rates

The USDA announced the 2020-21 School Nutrition Program reimbursement rates for the following programs:

  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program
  • Special Milk Program
  • Food Distribution Program (USDA Foods)
  • Afterschool Care Snack Program
  • Milk Programs

View the Federal Register Notice of 2020-21 SNP Reimbursement Rates.


2020-21 School Nutrition Program Renewal Applications 

School Nutrition Program (SNP) applications must be updated in the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS) before any meal reimbursements can be made this fall. Required: Sponsors must ensure that the email address and contact information on the sponsor and site application(s) are current and accurate.

The following renewal applications are available online in CLiCS and must be submitted as soon as possible.

  • School Nutrition Program (SNP)
  • Federal Special Milk Program (SMP)
  • Minnesota Kindergarten Milk Program (MKMP)

Access CLiCS to renew your applications.

Refer to the Application Renewal Instructions for School Nutrition Programs 2020-21 and Milk Programs Application Renewal Instructions 2020-21 on the MDE Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website.

When an application renewal is approved for the 2020-21 program year, a CLiCS system-generated email confirming approval will be sent to the email address for the contact person listed on the sponsor application.

Contact the FNS applications team with any questions at 651-582-8526, 1-800-366-8922 (Minnesota toll-free) or email To facilitate our response, include your CLiCS sponsor identification (ID) number in all correspondence.


National School Lunch Program will Operate in the Fall

USDA has not authorized School Food Authorities (SFAs) to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in the 2020-21 school year. When the normal school year begins this fall, schools will need to operate under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) regulations. This is a reminder of some of the regulations that must be followed:

  • Operate meal service following the NSLP and SBP regulations.
  • An “Application for Educational Benefits” must be distributed to all households.
  • The NSLP and SBP meal pattern must be followed. Currently, there is no flexibility allowed for the vegetable subgroups. Minnesota has applied for a waiver for portion size flexibility, milk choices and potable water. USDA has not approved these waivers at this time.
  • Meals may be served to enrolled students on instructional school days only; weekends, holidays and scheduled student days off may not be included in meal service counts claimed for reimbursement.
  • Meal counts at the point of service must be taken and are counted by student eligibility: free, reduced-price or paid. Pre-counts are not allowed.
  • USDA waivers will remain in place to allow for curbside distribution or home delivery during distance and hybrid learning, bundled meals (excluding weekends, holidays and days off), parent/guardian pick up, and not requiring offer versus serve (OVS) for grades 9-12.


Face Masks Mandatory for Food Service Employees

Governor Walz recently signed Executive Order 20-81 which states that beginning on Friday, July 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., Minnesotans must wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. This mandate includes both public and private schools. Please read more about face mask requirements in the MDH Fall Planning Guidance. The last page of the MDH Fall Planning Guidance has a variety of web links to resources about face coverings and face shields for staff, students and families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend use of clear face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings because of a lack of evidence of their effectiveness for source control.

However, there may be situations when a cloth face mask is not appropriate, such as when working with hearing impaired students and staff, when there are medical conditions or disabilities and when wearing a face covering would be difficult or unsafe. School food service directors are in the best position to determine when face shields rather than cloth face masks should be used. If you have questions about the use of a clear face shield or cloth mask, please contact your local sanitarian or MDH.


New: “COVID-19 Wednesday Webinar” on August 12, 2020

Next week the MDE School Nutrition Program staff will offer a special edition webinar to address “Back to School with COVID” questions and answers.  The webinar will be offered on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, at 2 p.m. Register for the Back to School With COVID Questions and Answers Webinar.

MDE’s school nutrition program staff will share some of the common questions that we have received from sponsors about operating nutrition programs for the upcoming school year.  Please join us for this informative virtual session!


Tuesdays @ 2 Webinars

Join school nutrition staff for a training webinar every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Read session descriptions and register for Tuesdays @ 2 webinars

  • Approving Income Applications for Educational Benefits (August 11, 2020)
  • Uploading Enrollment for Direct Certification (August 18, 2020)
  • Approving Case Number and Foster Applications (August 25, 2020)

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Summer Food Service Program

Desk Reviews in the Summer Food Service Program (COVID-19)

A document titled Desk Reviews in the Summer Food Service Program (COVID-19) is now posted on MDE’s website on the Summer Food Service Program Monitoring webpage. The document provides guidance for sponsors to conduct a desk review of a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) site in summer 2020.

USDA issued a nationwide waiver that waives onsite monitoring requirements for sponsoring organizations in the SFSP to support social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure Program integrity during this time, SFSP sponsoring organizations should, to the maximum extent practicable, continue monitoring activities of Program operations offsite, for example, through a desk review. See Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for Sponsoring Organizations in the Summer Food Service Program.


SFSP Meal Pattern Waiver Extension

USDA Food and Nutrition Service recently released a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meal pattern flexibility waiver extension through August 31, 2020. SFSP sponsors in Minnesota can utilize this waiver for meal pattern flexibility due to disruptions to the availability of foods. Please read the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Summer Food Service Program – EXTENSION 5 for more information. To utilize this waiver, please complete the Meal Pattern Waiver Request Form. Minnesota sponsors previously approved for use of this waiver in SFSP can continue to do so without reapplying.

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Opportunities from Our Partners

Food Resources for Families

The governor’s Food Security Workgroup compiled a list of food resources to support families experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food Resources for Families document includes information on food assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food shelves and food banks, free meals from private partners, and school and community nutrition programs. Similar information is available on the Minnesota COVID-19 Response website.


Rapid Response Grant for Schools – Funding Still Available!

The Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation Program (AGRI) Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Schools 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). Schools may apply for $1,000 to $5,000 with no required match. Applications are accepted until August 12, 2020.

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 to ask farm to school-related questions.


New Team Nutrition CACFP Resources in Spanish

USDA Team Nutrition recently released six new Spanish-language worksheets for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators. The CACFP Meal Pattern Training Worksheets are available for download in English and Spanish.

  • Using the Nutrition Facts Label in the CACFP
  • Serving Vegetables in the CACFP
  • Serving Snacks in the CACFP
  • How to Spot Whole Grain-Rich Foods for the CACFP
  • Using the WIC Food Lists to Identify Grains for the CACFP
  • Is My Recipe Whole Grain-Rich in the CACFP?

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