Friday, May 7, is School Lunch Hero Day! School nutrition professionals are everyday heroes – they prepare healthy meals, adhere to nutrition guidelines, navigate a bevy of food allergies, and make a positive impact on a whole generation of kids. However, this last year has catapulted them into Superhero status! Between remote learning, social distancing, and fighting to keep everyone safe during the pandemic, school nutrition professionals consistently found creative ways to ensure all students have access to healthy, nutritious meals.
Take time to showcase your hardworking School Lunch Heroes in style. The School Nutrition Association has a wealth of resources to make it easy to celebrate: from printable thank you cards to student activity sheets to downloadable artwork, you can find something to celebrate your school nutrition professionals.
School Lunch Hero Day is a great way to shine a light on the incredible difference school nutrition professionals make in the lives of children every single day.
On Tuesday, April 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a series of nationwide waivers that allow flexibility to school meal programs for the 2021-22 school year. School Nutrition has opted into all waivers for the state of Colorado.
School Food Authorities (SFAs) have the option to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) in school year 2021-22:
SFAs that opt to participate in SSO can provide free meals to all students at any school site. Meals served under the SSO will be reimbursed at the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) rate.
SFAs that opt to participate in the NSLP and School Breakfast Program (SBP) will charge students for meals based on student eligibility. Meals served under the NSLP or SBP will be reimbursed at the applicable NSLP and SBP rates.
School Nutrition will provide an overview of all waivers and answer questions during the Tuesday, May 27 on the Menu call. The back-to-school planning webpage includes current guidance and will be updated with additional information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have questions, please submit them through the FAQ form.
Update your SFSP application
Sponsors should update their Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) applications to reflect summer 2021 operations. Submit updates to applications, such as adding new sites, updating site end dates, updates to meal service times, etc., at least one week prior to implementing the change. Notify the person assigned to your application if you will stop operating the SFSP at the end of this school year. Application resources can be found on the SFSP how to apply webpage.
For questions, contact the person assigned to your application.
P-EBT mini grant opportunity
CDE School Nutrition has been approved to award funding to reimburse eligible SFAs for administrative costs associated with the Fiscal Year 2021 P-EBT program. The funds reimburse SFAs for allowable administrative costs incurred during the delivery of the P-EBT benefits. These funds allow SFAs to reimburse salaries of personnel, supplies, support services (including contracts for staffing or system-related work), or other expenses associated with the Fiscal Year 2021 P-EBT program. Other examples outlined below are not meant to be exhaustive but reflect possible costs local entities may incur during the administration of the P-EBT program:
Reporting student-level eligibility or school’s classroom learning modes to CDE
Designated staff to respond to parent requests and questions about eligibility and student schedules
Collecting and processing school meal applications specifically to establish eligibility for P-EBT
Unallowable costs are those expenses that are not necessary or reasonable for the administration of the Fiscal Year 2021 P-EBT Program and expenses already reimbursed under another federal award. SFAs will have two reporting periods in May and August 2021.
Applications for May open Friday, May 7, and closes Monday, May 24, 2021. The application and instructions are forthcoming. Applications submitted in May should include the initial administrative P-EBT related costs through March 2021 and reimbursements will be distributed in June 2021.
Information and timeline for the August application is forthcoming. August 2021 application submission should include estimated total reimbursement needs for costs incurred through Sept, 30, 2021. The reimbursements will be distributed once all supporting documentation has been submitted to and approved by CDE.
May’s On the Menu call takes place on Thursday, May 27, from 2 to 3 p.m. The call covers the waivers released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allows flexibilities to school meal programs for the 2021-22 school year and answers questions submitted through the FAQ form. Registration information is forthcoming.
Tune into SNA's webinar on a guide to reopen schools: best practices in food safety and COVID-19 prevention
Join the School Nutrition Association (SNA) on Wednesday, May 19, and learn best practices for COVID-19 mitigation and school-reopening from CDC and USDA speakers. This webinar is free for SNA members and $20 for non-members.
Watch recorded trainings: meal quality training No. 4 recording & April’s On the Menu call
The fourth meal quality training recording, hosted by Nourish Colorado and School Nutrition, is available. The training builds upon concepts from prior training, dives deeper into time management practices, and delves into culinary techniques and recipes. This training and the training certificate can be found on the training webpage.
April's On the Menu call recording is available. Participants learned ways to reduce food waste and tips to increase sustainability in menu planning to honor Earth Day. Participants receive one hour of professional standards training.