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June 2019

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE), including the School Nutrition Unit, will be closed on Thursday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. The DISH e-newsletter will be sent on Thursday, July 11. 



Child Nutrition training opportunities

The School Nutrition Unit offers a variety of training options to meet the needs of sponsor organizations. Last year, approximately 115 in-person, online, webinar and tailored one-on-one training sessions were held across the state. Attending these training sessions can; reduce non-compliance findings during Administrative Reviews, promote understanding the “why” behind regulations, provide opportunities to ask questions in real time, help meet professional development training requirements, build new skills and allow networking with peers. Sponsor feedback and training evaluations provide valuable information to help continually improve and update training options. For example, the recent Summer Sponsor training evolved from traditional classroom-style training into conference style training, with flexible breakout sessions. Based on this feedback, short Summer Sponsor training videos were also added to the online training catalog. Thank you for continuing to share thoughts and ideas on how to improve training.

Visit School Nutrition’s new training webpage to enroll in upcoming in-person training sessions throughout the summer and as well as browse current online training opportunities. Also, download the School Nutrition At-A-Glance Training Schedule for the 2019-20 school year.

Upcoming in-person training includes:

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

Administrative Reviews for the 2019-20 school year

The Administrative Review (AR) cycle for the 2019-20 school year is now posted on the AR webpage. The review cycle may vary pending approval of a waiver request submitted by the School Nutrition Unit for flexibility of the Administrative Review Cycle requirement; however, if your school food authority (SFA) is not scheduled for a review during the 2019-20 school year, a review will not be conducted next year. The School Nutrition Unit will send an update as soon as possible.

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

Celebrating School Lunch Heroes

Thank you to Joni Bilderbeck, Alamosa Schools nutrition director, and her team for being some of Colorado’s most dedicated school lunch heroes! Also, thank you to all districts and sponsor organizations for the continued support of child nutrition programs to ensure students are offered healthy and delicious meals and snacks every day. The School Nutrition Unit appreciates everything Colorado’s child nutrition professionals do.

For information about how to be featured as a School Lunch Hero, contact Vivien Skrupskis at or 303-866-6661.

‘How to Claim’ webpage update

The School Nutrition Unit has a new How to Claim webpage. Visit this webpage to quickly find resources to help you submit meal claims into the CO Child Nutrition Hub.

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

A fond farewell 

Denise Meredith is leaving the School Nutrition Unit for her next adventure - retirement! Over the past two years, Denise has provided support, training and technical assistance to SFAs and sponsor organizations across the state. Her positive attitude and commitment to the School Nutrition team’s mission helped ensure the success of child nutrition programs. We wish her all the best!

For questions or comments after Friday, June 21, please contact the Summer Meals team at


Incentives for purchasing local foods

The state legislature recently passed a bill that provides incentives for purchasing local food, HB 19-1132. Funding for this program is limited and SFAs will need to apply to receive incentives. The program begins with a three-year pilot which will provide additional incentives for the purchase of local food in addition to a grant that will be awarded to a statewide non-profit organization to provide technical assistance to SFAs to strengthen their Farm to School program. The School Nutrition Unit is working on processes and procedures to streamline the program and will release more information as it becomes available.

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


Provide input on Hunger Free Colorado’s Meal Application Outreach

Hunger Free Colorado is working with the School Nutrition Unit to better understand the needs and challenges of SFAs through its needs assessment. Hunger Free Colorado would like valuable input from SFAs to help increase awareness of school meal applications for families. SFAs operating the National School Lunch Program are encouraged to have individuals who oversee and/or support the free & reduced-price application process to fill out this survey. Feedback from the survey will help Hunger Free Colorado identify how to best support enrollment in Colorado's school nutrition programs.

For questions, contact Taylor Washington at or 303-228-7944.

Eat lunch with your Advisory Council for School Nutrition member  

Chat, eat lunch and network with your SFA’s or sponsor organization’s Advisory Council for School Nutrition (ACSN) representative next Tuesday, June 11 at the Colorado School Nutrition Association’s Summer Conference. Visit CDE’s website for more information about ACSN and how to get involved. The School Nutrition Unit asks that only one representative from each school district attend this event.

For questions, contact Vivien Skrupskis at or 303-866-6661.


Register for School Nutrition Programs Academy training

The School Nutrition Unit will host an in-person School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Academy training on Thursday, July 25. This training is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills required to successfully operate a food service program. The training is intended for new food service directors. To learn more and to register, visit CDE’s Professional Development webpage.

For questions, contact Kristi Rolfsen at or 303-866-5985.

Smarter Lunchrooms Training: Part Three

To learn more about Smarter Lunchrooms, take the third on-demand 30-minute training on the four-step path: spot, plan, do and prove. The four-step path to a Smarter Lunchroom helps identify actionable changes in the lunchroom.

For questions, contact Kristi Rolfsen at or 303-866-5985.

Reimbursement Claim due dates

Reimbursement Claim due dates are posted on the School Nutrition website. April 2019 claims are due Saturday, June 29.


Application updates

As a reminder, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors can add new sites to their application throughout the summer. Since new site applications must be approved prior to program operation, please submit applications at least two weeks prior to the site’s start date. Also, please be sure to keep applications updated with the most current information. Changes to meal service times, contact information and other relevant information should be continuously updated.

For questions, contact McKenna Pullen at or 720-520-0335.

Lunch Lizard Video Series

In the third video of the four-part video series, learn about how Mesa County Valley School District 51 creates menus and sources local foods for the Lunch Lizard Summer Program.


Free site signage now available

Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger provided funding to equip each summer meal site with a yard sign. Signs will be available at the following locations/opportunities:

Incorporate site activities with summer meals

Activities that are paired with summer meals help kids and teens stay active and keep learning during the summer. Activities have also been shown to increase participation. View the summer activity guide created by Hunger Free Colorado to learn how your summer site can incorporate simple, fun and engaging activities.


Double Up Food Bucks promotion

Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) doubles the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits spent at participating markets and food retail stores, helping families bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables while supporting local farmers. Sponsors can help promote this program at summer meal sites by ordering promotional materials available in English and Spanish. View the Double Up Food Buck’s webpage to download and order materials for your own sites.

For questions, contact McKenna Pullen at or 720-520-0335.

Summer Administrative Review preparation

Use this comprehensive review checklist to help prepare for summer Administrative Reviews. View this year’s review schedule as well as additional review resources on the SFSP Review webpage.

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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