Commodity Supplemental Food Program Special Edition: September 2019

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commodity supplemental food program - special edition - food package updates

September 2019

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Nutrition and the Enhanced CSFP Food Package: Focus on Dairy

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Last month we highlighted the nutrition benefits of the Grains Food Group and changes made to the CSFP Food Package that will simplify distribution and improve variety and flexibility. This month, we are highlighting the Dairy Food Group in the enhanced CSFP Food Package.  This article will review the nutrition benefits of eating these foods and how the enhanced CSFP Food Package better aligns with MyPlate recommendations.

MyPlate recommendations are based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  According to MyPlate, all fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group as well as foods made from milk that retain their calcium content.

The enhanced CSFP monthly food package divides dairy into two categories:

Cheese Category – No changes were made to this category.  Participants will continue to receive one 2 lb. package of cheese each month.

Milk Category – Non-fat dry milk package size will be reduced to eliminate bimonthly distribution. The new package size increases flexibility to swap with ultra-high temperature fluid milk.

We encourage CSFP providers to make both milk options available for participants each month.

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Here are some benefits of eating foods from the Dairy Food Group: 

  • Dairy products are a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
  • Calcium is used for building bones and teeth and maintaining bone mass.
  • Potassium helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Vitamin D helps the body maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorus, which helps the body to build and maintain bones and teeth.
  • Regular consumption of dairy products can reduce osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure.

Visit for more information.  It is important to remember that MyPlate recommendations are not written for individuals with chronic disease conditions.  Those individuals should follow the advice of their medical provider or a Registered Dietitian who is familiar with their health status.  

Featured Food: Raisins


Raisins are a new option that will be added to the Fruits and Juice category in the enhanced CSFP Food Package.  Raisins do not contain added sweetener, and like other dried fruit the nutrition value is concentrated in a small portion.  In fact, ¼ cup of raisins counts as ½ cup fruit in the MyPlate recommendations. 

Raisins provide a variety of nutrients such as fiber, iron, potassium, and B vitamins.  As with other new items, we encourage programs to include this item in a distribution and then ask for feedback from participants to determine how frequently they would like to receive this item in the future. 

Webinar Recap

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Webinar Recording Available 

If you missed the latest CSFP Food Package webinar on September 19, 2019, do not fear, the recording is now available!

Title: Are you Ready for the CSFP Food Package Changes?

Description: Join us to find out if you are ready for the CSFP Enhanced Food Package that goes into effect November 1st 2019. This webinar covered transition updates regarding direct shipment purchase status’ and food availability from the National Warehouses including when to expect new foods and package sizes to be available for multi-food ordering.  In addition, attendees had the opportunity to ask any additional questions before implementing the enhanced food package.

Click here to listen!

Communications and Training Tips

  • Train staff and volunteers on upcoming changes. A handout for staff is available in the CSFP Food Package Toolkit to help you.
  • If you pack boxes in advance, make sure you have what you need to pack the food packages for the November distribution using the new guide rate!
  • Notify your participants that the food package will be changing beginning November 1.  Consider including a handout for clients with the food packages you distribute this month.
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Planning Tips

  • Review remaining inventory of items that will be transitioning to new pack sizes.  Ensure that you have plans to distribute these items as soon as possible.
  • Review your orders and anticipated receiving dates for new items and new pack sizes.  Plan to incorporate these new items into your food boxes as soon as possible after November 1.
  • Monitor your inventory and orders closely in food package categories that will be changing. Be sure you have enough food to start distributing the revised food package in November. Be sure that your orders for the foods that you will distribute beginning in November will fit within the target inventory range of 1.5-3 months on hand.

How to Stay in the Know with CSFP Communications

1. Click here to review or modify your subscription preferences. 

2. Enter your email address and click "Submit."

3. Check the boxes to select your topic(s) of interest. For CSFP communications, scroll down to the Food Distribution category and click the plus sign to the left of the check box to expand the list and view all the topics. For webinars, scroll down to the Webinars category.

*CSFP Food Package Updates --> receive this special monthly e-letter with news, resources, and tips to prepare for the rollout of the enhanced CSFP Food Package in November 2019

*CSFP Nutrition Education --> receive a quarterly e-letter with updates about the latest resources added to the CSFP Sharing Gallery

*Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) --> receive our regular "Household Highlights" e-letter covering CSFP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) every four months

*Webinars - CSFP --> receive all webinar announcements related to CSFP

4. Visit the subscriber preferences page any time you would like to review, add, or delete subscriptions. Questions? Contact

5. Share the new subscriber link with interested colleagues and friends!

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