Farm to Summer is a great opportunity to support local agriculture and serve fresh, seasonal produce. During the week of July 11, participate in the Farm to Summer Challenge by incorporating at least one local product, providing a nutrition education activity and sharing your stories on social media. Sponsors who join the challenge may also be nominated for the USDA Turnip the Beet Award.
Use this Farm to Summer toolkit for resources on tasting, teaching and connecting youth to locally grown products. View this local produce resource to see what produce is available each season in Colorado. Each produce selection has an accompanying handout to share with children and their families to encourage them to try new fruits and vegetables, including easy, delicious recipes to make at home.
CDE, in partnership with LunchAssist, created this Seamless Summer Option Toolkit to help sponsors navigate current waivers and operations for the 2021-22 school year. This toolkit includes regulations and flexibilities, safety recommendations, menu planning, outreach materials to encourage families to submit household income information and additional resources. The toolkit can be found on the back to school guidance webpage.
For questions about school year operations, contact your point person.
Colorado’s free and reduced-price school meal policy for the 2021-22 school year
The free and reduced-price school meals public release (English, Spanish) was published today on behalf of all sponsors that will operate the Seamless Summer Option or National School Lunch Program during the 2021-22 school year.
Sponsors will use the 2021-22 income eligibility guidelines for determining eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals and to determine eligibility for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. Children from families whose incomes are at or below the levels outlined are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals for sponsors operating the NSLP. Sponsors operating SSO can continue to provide meals at no cost no matter a student’s eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals. However, free and reduced-price school meal applications will still be distributed, collected and processed for purposes of determining eligibility for the P-EBT program. To support outreach to families, CDE, in partnership with LunchAssist, created a flyer and sample social media posts highlighting the importance of providing household income for this school year for purposes of P-EBT. Outreach materials can be found on the back to school guidance webpage.
Sponsors participating in SSO will first apply in School Year 2020-21. Once the 2020-21 application is approved, sponsors will reapply in School Year 2021-22. This ensures important application data will roll over and less data input is required in the 2021-22 application.
Sponsors participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program or sites offering the Afterschool Snack Program will apply in School Year 2021-22.
Do not make any changes in the 2021-22 school year at this time.
Throughout the application process, sponsors can contact their assigned point person for program-related questions and support with the application, reviews, and training and technical assistance needs.
View the updated Pandemic-EBT resource
The P-EBT Benefits for Students During School Year 2020-21 and Summer 2021 resource has been combined to address frequently asked questions and provide the support center information all in one place. Pertinent updates include approval of the P-EBT Child Care plan, P-EBT eligibility and application submission timeframes and important information about household P-EBT cards.
New direct certification module guidance and training coming soon
The CDE School Nutrition Unit will introduce a newly enhanced direct certification module in the CO Child Nutrition Portal for the 2021-22 school year. The new module will operate similar to past years but will look different and will offer users more features easing the matching process. The new module will not be live on July 1, but should be ready to access within a few weeks. Once it is ready for district use, the Dish will have all related guidance including a brand new online training presentation. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks. We appreciate your patience throughout this process.
Join the July On the Menu call Thursday, July 22, from 2 to 3 p.m. This call will provide an update on free and reduced-price meal applications and resources for the 2021-22 school year for both the National School Lunch Program and the Seamless Summer Option. On the Menu calls will now be via Zoom. Register for this call via Zoom here.