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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.