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The DISH is here!
Welcome to the first edition of The Dish, a monthly newsletter from the School Nutrition Unit! The Dish will be sent the first Thursday of each month, replacing and combining the weekly Thursday Update and monthly Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Update. The goal of this newsletter is to highlight the positive impact Child Nutrition Programs are having on students and communities across the state while providing the latest program updates and information to School Food Authorities (SFAs).

For questions, please use the contact information listed under each item. Thank you for your patience as we work to make our content more meaningful!

CDE, including the School Nutrition Unit, will be closed on Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Participate in statewide efforts to eliminate food insecurity
The School Nutrition Unit, in collaboration with the Evaluation Unit at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is conducting a statewide needs assessment as part of the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger. This initiative will help identify opportunities and barriers to increasing participation in and access to federal Child Nutrition Programs.
Child Nutrition Directors listed in the Child Nutrition Hub have been emailed an invitation to complete a short survey, SFAs can have one survey submission. 

Feedback from SFAs will be critical to ensuring Colorado’s Child Nutrition Programs reach all students and families across the state. For more information visit the School Nutrition website or contact Gabriella Warner at or 720-827-5144.

Reminder: on-site monitoring due Feb. 1
School Food Authorities with more than one site are required to complete on-site monitoring by Feb. 1 of each school year. Requirements and templates can be found on the School Nutrition website.

For questions, contact Kerri Link at or 303-866-3686.

Hub Help
Check out the new Hub Help section on the School Nutrition website for useful tips and tricks to better navigate the Colorado Child Nutrition Hub! This month learn how simple it is to update Sponsor Applications to reflect important personnel contact changes.


Update on Partial Government Shutdown
The second continuing resolution for fiscal year 2019 expired on Dec. 21, 2018. Due to a lapse in appropriations for the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, a partial shutdown of operations has resulted. Funding for the USDA, including Child Nutrition Programs, is not impacted at this time. KEEP READING
Save the Date for LiveWell’s Local Procurement Colorado Regional Workshop
LiveWell’s Local Procurement Colorado (LoProCO) program is a farm-to-institution initiative that provides tools and training for partners to procure, prepare and serve food from local 
farmers and ranchers while creating healthier, more resilient communities. For information about how to expand your farm-to-school activities or to get started, join LiveWell Colorado from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the UCCS Campus, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.

For more information or questions contact Jonathan Padia at or 303-866-3685.

ACSN February webinar
The next Advisory Council for School Nutrition (ACSN) meeting is scheduled for 
Feb.13. During this meeting, ACSN members will discuss various topics with School Nutrition staff. Contact your ACSN member today to ensure your voice is heard at the meeting.
For questions, contact Vivien Skrupskis at or 303-866-6661.
New School Nutrition Training webpage
The School Nutrition Unit's new training webpage 
is now available. Quickly browse through available School Nutrition in-person and online training sessions that increase professionals’ skills and knowledge in operating Child Nutrition Programs.

For more information or questions contact Alicia Grove at or 720-795-2038. 
2018-19 USDA Equipment Assistance Grant now open
Eligible SFAs participating in the National School Lunch Program may apply to receive funding for equipment purchases through the USDA Equipment Assistance Grant. Each SFA may request no more than two pieces of equipment, ranked by highest priority. Applications are due Wednesday, Feb.13, via Survey Monkey. The grant application is available on the Grants and Awards webpage.

For questions, contact Megan Johnson at or 303-866-5983. 

Reimbursement Claim Due Dates
Reimbursement Claim Due Dates are posted (PDF): November 2018 claims are due Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Register for Summer Sponsor Training
Registration is now open for the annual Summer Sponsor Training. Learn how to run a compliant summer program and hear successful program strategies from other sponsors. This training is required for all new summer sponsors and highly encouraged for new staff overseeing the program. Returning sponsors are also encouraged to attend. Training will be from  8 a.m. to noon on Friday, March 1, at Adams 12 Conference Center, 1500 E 128th Ave, Thornton, CO 80241. Visit the Summer Sponsor Training webpage for full details and to register. An online
training will be available for experienced sponsor staff members who do not attend in-person training.
For questions, contact McKenna Pullen at or 720-520-0335.

Public Notice
Help ensure children in your community have access to summer meals by sponsoring the Summer Meals Program. Learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting the Summer Food Service Program webpage.

Summer planning
After reflecting on the successes and lessons learned from last summer, it's time for Summer Food Service Program sponsors to set goals and start preparing for this year's summer program. Check out the January Action Plan (PDF) resource from the Food Research and Action Center.

Summer Meals Program Memorandum Rescission
In November 2019, the School Nutrition Unit submitted four state-wide waivers to the USDA Mountain Plains Regional Office for the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option ... KEEP READING

2019 state-wide goals
The School Nutrition Unit has been busy evaluating the impact of the 2018 summer meals program and setting goals to reach more youth in 2019. The first 2019 goal is to increase access in underserved areas, specifically Prowers, Gilpin and Eagle counties, by maximizing the types of meal services offered (e.g. adding breakfast, snack or supper) and implementing innovative feeding models (e.g. mobile meals and non-traditional site locations). The second goal for 2019 is to increase program participation through community outreach and promotion and sponsor training and support.

Visit the Summer Food Service Program webpage for more information and how to get involved.
Updates to Summer Food Service Program webpage 
Check out the new Summer Food Service Program webpage. Quickly navigate through popular links and find information about how to apply to become a sponsor, the process for submitting claims, program requirements and outreach tools.
For questions, contact Vivien Skrupskis at or 303-866-6661. 
For general questions about the Summer Food Service Program contact Ashley Moen at or 303-866-6653.
Copyright © 2019 Colorado Department of Education, All rights reserved.

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