The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) creates healthier school environments by expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed by elementary school children, at no cost to students. The FFVP is an effective way to introduce students to fresh and healthy snack options outside of school breakfast and lunch programs. Staff, teacher and administrative support for the FFVP is key to program success. At Bishop Elementary in the Englewood School District, FFVP is served during physical education class. The teacher enthusiastically conducts taste tests and teaches about nutrition to get students excited about the variety of fruits and vegetables served. At Cañon City School District, the kitchen staff is excited to serve students with a unique variety of fruit and vegetables. They recently worked with administrators and teachers to create a more streamlined approach to the FFVP. On Wednesday, May 1, the FFVP application opened in the CO Child Nutrition Hub, applications are due Monday, June 3.
On April 25, the state legislature passed HB 19-1171 extending the school lunch copay of $0.40 to all students in public schools, pre-K through 12th grade. This expansion of the school lunch copay will be in effect for the 2019-20 school year.
Federal purchasing thresholds for Child Nutrition Programs
The SP20-2019 USDA memo outlines changes allowing sponsors participating in the National School Lunch and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to adopt the new federal purchasing thresholds that were increased in June 2018. Local purchasing thresholds that are more restrictive still apply.
Crediting new food items in Child Nutrition Programs
The USDA released guidance on appropriate crediting methods for newly creditable food items: shelf-stable, dried and semi-dried meat; poultry and seafood products; coconut, hominy, corn masa and corn flour; popcorn; surimi seafood; tempeh; and pasta products made of vegetable flour. Crediting guidance applies to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Afterschool Snack Program and the Summer Food Service Program.
2019 Colorado School Nutrition Association Summer Conference, June 10-12
Join the Colorado School Nutrition Association (CSNA), CDE’s School Nutrition Unit and Colorado Department of Human Services for the CSNA Summer Conference. This year's conference will return to the Embassy Suites in Loveland for educational sessions, keynote speakers, a brand new revamped Chef’s Challenge video production, a food show and networking events. The School Nutrition Unit will be holding two mini School Nutrition Academy training sessions for directors and kitchen managers on Monday, June 9, before the conference starts. Visit the CSNA website for more details and registration.
The School Nutrition Unit has a new School Meal Eligibility webpage. Visit this webpage to quickly find resources, templates and available training related to Direct Certification, Free and Reduced-Price Applications and Income Verification.
The CDE Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) tool will be released to sponsors in early May and collected back by Tuesday, June 28. The USDA is offering an Exemption option for the 2019-20 school year.
To be considered for an exemption, the school food authority’s nonprofit food service account must be at a positive or zero balance as of Dec. 31, 2018. Please submit a completed PLE tool along with the nonprofit food service account, Fund 21, balance sheet as of Dec. 31, 2018, to GFPLE@cde.state.co.us.
Community Eligibility Provision Training: Considerations for Implementation
Now that the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2019-20 school year has been reported and published, SFAs may be considering if CEP is right for them at the district or site level. Watch this short video to learn about CEP implementation including program benefits, requirements and operations.
To learn more about Smarter Lunchrooms, take the second on-demand 30-minute training about the last four categories of change on the Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard: boosting reimbursable meals, improving the lunchroom atmosphere, increasing student involvement and increasing school community involvement.
Offer versus Serve (OVS) is a menu planning option for Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites that allows children to decline some of the food offered in a reimbursable breakfast, lunch or supper. It is important to note that children must be able to decline more than one component when OVS is implemented at lunch/supper. For example, OVS is not implemented correctly if a pre-packaged meal is provided and children only have the option to decline the milk component. This scenario is allowable for field trip meals. Reference the OVS Tip Sheet for more information.
Site Monitoring Guidance
The approved SFSP statewide monitoring waiver specifies that first-week site visits are waived for returning sites and for SFA and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors. This means that sponsors that are not SFA or CACFP sponsors are not required to conduct first-week site visits for returning sites that operated successfully the previous summer. This also waives the requirement for first-week site visits for all sites under SFA or CACFP sponsors in good standing. Additional information on site monitoring requirements can be found in the Administrative Guide.
The Lunch Lizard video series
In the second of a four-part video series, learn about Mesa County Valley School District 51's Lunch Lizard Summer Program and the district's strategies for successful promotion and community engagement.
The SP20-2019 USDA memo allows sponsors participating in the SFSP to adopt the new federal purchasing thresholds that were increased in June 2018. Local purchasing thresholds that are more restrictive still apply.
Crediting new food items in Child Nutrition Programs
The USDA released guidance on appropriate crediting methods for newly creditable food items: shelf-stable, dried, and semi-dried meat, poultry, and seafood products; coconut, hominy, corn masa, and corn flour; popcorn; surimi seafood; tempeh; and pasta products made of vegetable flour.
The week of June 10th is National Summer Meal Program kickoff week. Start planning your event now to help build awareness among parents and caregivers and engage your community. View this No Kid Hungry toolkit for more information on planning a kick-off event.
For support with outreach efforts or to invite School Nutrition Unit staff to your event, contact Ashley Moen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-866-6653.