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October 2019


Celebrate National School Lunch Week 

National School Lunch Week is Oct. 14-18! This year’s theme is “School Lunch: What’s on Your Playlist?” which spotlights the wide variety of flavors, dishes and delivery options that are available in school lunch every day. Recognizing the National School Lunch Program in your schools and district helps: 

  • Increase student participation
  • Spread the word to parents, teachers and administrators that school meals are healthy and delicious 
  • Earn media coverage from local papers, TV stations and bloggers

To help plan your celebration, check out the School Nutrition Association toolkit, which includes marketing and public relations resources. 

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

Food Safety Inspection reporting 

Mandatory Food Safety Inspection Reporting for the 2018-19 school year is due Thursday, Oct. 31. Learn more about this required reporting on the Food Safety Inspection webpage and view submission instructions here. Please note that food safety reporting does not apply to Special Milk-only programs

For questions, contact Alicia Grove at or 720-795-2038. 

Direct certification system - migrant data nightly updates

The School Nutrition Unit is pleased to announce that data about migrant students will be updated in the Colorado Child Nutrition Hub's direct certification system on a nightly basis. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) data will continue to be updated monthly. If a student is classified as BOTH, a SNAP/MIGRANT or BOTH/MIGRANT in the Qualify column of the direct certification system, the SNAP classification always takes precedence over any other status and this student must be categorized and reported as “Free Direct Certification – SNAP.” If a student is classified as MIGRANT only, this student should be categorized as “Free Direct Certification – Migrant”. A MIGRANT-only status does not extend eligibility. School food authorities (SFAs) with a high population of migrant students are encouraged to upload those students often. 

For questions, email Free&

New School Nutrition staff

The School Nutrition Unit welcomes Erin Opgenorth and Cefton Springer. Erin will oversee the local food purchasing grant, conduct administrative reviews and provide training and technical assistance to child nutrition program sponsors. Cefton Springer will be the implementation project manager of the new technology system. He has worked for the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment for the past 10 years on all levels of information technology and business projects. His expertise will be invaluable to the School Nutrition Unit’s technology project

For more information about the new technology system, please visit the School Nutrition Communications page and view the project overview

2019 Farm to School Census 

The Farm to School Census measures the impact of farm to school activities while informing decisions on available grant funding, resource development and training strategies. Even SFAs that do not participate in farm to school are encouraged to complete the farm to school census. The goal is for Colorado to achieve a 100% response rate and provide important program information to support future farm to school program efforts. The first 25 SFAs to complete the census will be entered into a raffle to win a sectionizer and other promotional materials.

For questions, email or 855-452-5794.


Market the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application 

Use these creative and bright marketing templates from HungerFree Colorado to market free and reduced-price meal applications before the 30-day carryover period ends. The marketing templates come in different languages and are tailored for several grade levels. Help families reapply for meal benefits before the carryover period ends.

For questions, contact Rachael Burnham at or 303-866-6450. 

Complete Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program funds and equipment justification forms

To fully use Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (FFVP) funds, districts may need to re-allocate funds. These re-allocations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please complete the FFVP Re-Allocation of Funds Form to: request a re-allocation of funds to sites within the same SFA; return funds to CDE; or to request excess funds from CDE. To indicate transfers between multiple sites simultaneously, please fill out one form and attach a separate file stating the transfers.

Single item purchases over $250 require prior approval. Complete the FFVP Equipment Justification Form to request equipment approval within the FFVP. If a piece of equipment is being split with another child nutrition program, only the percentage that will be used for the grant may be charged to FFVP.

For questions, contact Erica Boyd at or 303-866-6306. 

Reduced-Price Lunch prices in the Hub 

All public sites serving lunch to pre-kindergarten to 12 grade should not be charging a $0.40 co-payment to students identified as reduced-price lunch eligible. The School Nutrition Unit will contact SFAs that indicated a $0.40 reduced-priced lunch price on their site applications to inform them of the required change. Public school districts or sites that have been charging the $0.40 co-payment to reduced-price students this year are required to refund the payments to the families who remitted them. 

For questions, Benjamin Wetherbee at or 303-866-6529. 


Buy American update 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a memo, SP 32-2019, which specifies that fish used in school nutrition programs must be harvested within the United States or any territory or possession of the United States. Wild-caught fish must be harvested within the Exclusive Economic Zone, territory sea baseline and sea, of the United States or a United States flagged vessel.

For questions, contact Becca Boone at or 720-450-4357. 

Updated School Meal Guidance

The USDA released 5 new memos with updates on Child Nutrition Program meal pattern requirements. The memos include clarification and crediting updates for commonly asked questions about recent meal pattern changes including milk, whole grains and sodium requirement flexibilities, milk and water requirements, smoothies and salad bars requirements. These memos apply to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program and the Summer Food Service Program when appropriate. 

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


CACFP and NSLP claiming clarification

A school district may not claim meals and snacks under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) for the same children over the same hours of the day. If the child is enrolled in a preschool program and participates in NSLP and School Breakfast Program (SBP), that child cannot also be enrolled in the CACFP to receive an additional snack or meal over the same hours of the day. Visit the pre-k webpage for more information.

For questions, contact Erica Boyd at or 303-866-6306. 

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Smart Prep Produce Guide 

LiveWell Colorado has created a Smart Prep Produce Guide to help districts participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) rethink how to prepare and serve produce. 

For questions, contact Erica Boyd at or 303-866-6306. 

USDA standardized recipes moving to the Institute of Child Nutrition’s Recipe Box

The Child Nutrition Recipe Box provides healthy and appealing recipes that meet meal pattern requirements. These standardized recipes provide meal pattern crediting information for all meal pattern components and include recipes made with legumes, whole grains and vegetables from the vegetable subgroups including dark green, red and/or orange vegetables.

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

Reimbursement Claim Due Date Dates

Reimbursement Claim due dates are posted on the School Nutrition website. August 2019 claims are due Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Upcoming Webinar

  • Local Food Program: 2 - 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22. Register now and join the webinar. For questions, contact McKenna Pullen at or 720-644-7259.

August claiming deadline 

The deadline for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) August claim is Wednesday, Oct. 30. For additional guidance on reimbursement claims, visit the SFSP How to Claim webpage

For questions, email


SFSP Area Eligibility Data now available 

Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) released updated census data that can be used to determine SFSP site eligibility. The FNS mapping tools have also been updated to reflect the new data. View the map and learn more about using census data to establish area eligibility for SFSP sites, read this policy memo


Upcoming debrief webinar 

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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