School Nutrition Announcements January 31, 2017


School Nutrition


SP 17-2017

Paid Lunch Equity: Guidance for School Year 2017-18



State Agencies Selected for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 National School Lunch Program Management Evaluations (ME)


Press and Events

Check out our School Nutrition Programs 2016 Annual Report


The 2nd annual USDA Foods “Show Us Your Tray” photo contest is underway!

Last year, schools submitted over 200 photos of their schools meals highlighting USDA Foods.

Please submit pictures of your school meals. Included in the November Spotlight on Schools e-letter, you will find all of the contest information.

Submitting a photo is as easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1: Take a picture of your school meal (Please ensure that photos are taken in good lighting in the highest resolution possible).   

Step 2: Include your name, school district, state, and which items are USDA Foods in your email (Meals must contain direct delivered (brown box) USDA Foods. Photos may contain processed items or DoD Fresh items, but photos containing only processed items or DoD Fresh products will not be judged).

Step 3: Send your photo to the mailbox.

Contest ends at midnight on February 15th, the winner will be announced in the March, Spotlight on Schools e-letter.


MT NKH School Meal Photo Contest

In partnership with the School Nutrition Association and the Office of Public Instruction, Montana No Kid Hungry is excited to announce the launch of #MTschooleats, a photo contest designed to showcase the healthy food your school is serving!  The contest is open to ALL Montana public school students, food service personnel, faculty, staff, and school volunteers.  Photos for the first round will be accepted from Jan. 1st through March 3rd, and the second round will run from March 4th through April 30th.  One first place winner and one runner-up will be chosen for each round.  First place winners will receive a $250 Amazon gift card, and $500 will be awarded to the food service program responsible for preparing the meal depicted; runners up will receive a $125 Amazon gift card and $250 for their school’s food service program.  This is a great opportunity to recognize your school’s food service staff, and to show your appreciation for all of the hard work they do every day!  For instructions on how to enter, visit us online at, find us on Facebook at or search @mtnokidhungry on Instagram.

Montana $aves $cavenger Hunt


Materials for Teachers, Parents, or Guardians

Montana State University Extension is offering the Montana $aves $cavenger Hunt as a part of the America Saves program during 2016-2017.  This version of the hunt is specifically designed for students between the ages of 13 and 19 (as of September 1, 2016). Students will learn about the benefits saving and investing, how credit can be a friend for foe, and how to be in control of their money.

Students who complete the Montana $aves $cavenger Hunt are eligible for a drawing for one of 17 cash awards of $100 in each age group during America Saves week February 27 – March 4, 2017. The deadline for completing the hunt is Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Click below for materials for teachers, parents, or guardians.

Montana $aves $cavenger Hunt

Enrollment directions, Website link for the School Technology Coordinator, a marketing Poster, and steps to record the quizzes are included.


Celebrate International School Meals Day – Thursday, March 9th 2017

The fourth International School Meals Day theme is fresh and healthy local foods. We hope that the day can contribute to healthy neighborhoods where communities have a better understanding of how food is grown and how food affects their health and wellbeing. We encourage children and young people across the world (with support from their teachers) to connect and talk to each other and share their food experiences, stories and news about food and the part it plays in their lives. Many schools already have farm to school programs, or have school and community gardens that support nutrition, education and healthy eating, while farmers play a huge role in strengthening local economies and contributing to vibrant communities – these would be great things to share across the world!

For more information, ideas on how to celebrate and resources go to this link:


Mushrooms in Schools


Training and Resources

SNAP: Strengthening Schools and Communities

Did you know that community participation in SNAP can help strengthen your School Meal programs?  SNAP participation allows more kids to be directly certified for free school meals, which streamlines administration and helps your school qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision. We will highlight how it is all tied together and how SNAP outreach benefits not only families but also supports schools and communities. Attend the webinar to learn more about how you can help families get enrolled in SNAP and how it benefits students and schools!


Montana Team Nutrition Webinar Series:

Montana School Wellness Policy Success Stories Part 2

February 9, 2:00-2:30

Register Here!

Montana Harvest of the Month Educator Focused

February 16, 3:00-4:00 

Register Here!


Action for Healthy Kids Webinars

Get Recognized as a Health Promoting School: It's Time to Apply
Tuesday, February 7, 2 - 3 pm (CT)
You've worked hard to promote health and wellness in your school or district. Now, it's time to get recognized for your efforts. Become recognized as a health promoting school by applying for the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms initiative, a voluntary initiative run through the United States Department of Agriculture to congratulate schools excelling in school nutrition and physical activity. Join this webinar to learn more about the initiative and get tips and tricks for submitting a successful application.

Wellness Wednesday: Celebrating National Nutrition Month and School Breakfast Week
Wednesday, February 8, 3 - 3:30 pm (CT)
Get ready to celebrate National Nutrition Month and School Breakfast Week in March. Learn creative ways to celebrate National School Breakfast Week during March 6 - 10, 2017 and all through March. Hear examples from AFHK partner schools on ways to highlight healthy foods as part of your celebrations.

How to Plan the Best Every Kid Healthy Week Event
Thursday, February 16, 1 - 2 pm (CT)
Action for Healthy Kids is proud to work with schools nationwide to promote the 5th annual Every Kid Healthy Week™ – an annual focus on making schools healthier places. Every Kid Healthy Week brings attention to the childhood obesity epidemic and, more importantly, to its solutions including, sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting school programs. Action for Healthy Kids and our school partners across the country will celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week during the last week of April (April 24 - 28, 2017) and throughout the month with events that encourage students to eat better and be active every day. Join this webinar for additional information and resources to make your Every Kid Healthy Week event the best ever.

Wellness Wednesday: Engaging Volunteers through Game On Activities
Wednesday, March 8, 3 - 3:30 pm (CT)
Game On activities can be a great way to get volunteers involved in your school’s wellness plan. Join us for this month’s Wellness Wednesday webinar for tips on how to recruit and engage parents and community members in one-time and ongoing activities and learn about our resources to help build your volunteer network.

School Breakfast: Making Breakfast Part of the School Day
Tuesday, March 14, 3 - 4 pm (CT)
Learn how teachers, principals, district administrators and states have found ways to make breakfast an integral part of the school day. 

Making Your Life Easier with Technology: Creating Events and Managing Volunteers in the AFHK School Portal
Tuesday, March 21, 1 - 2 pm (CT)
As Every Kid Healthy Week approaches, join us to learn more about the resources AFHK provides to help schools manage volunteer recruitment, registration and engagement for events. AFHK experts will answer your questions and provide tips and ideas on how to ensure the resources work for your school.

Wellness Wednesday: Promoting Screen-free Activities at School 
Wednesday, April 12, 3 - 3:30 pm (CT)
Our kids consume an average of seven hours of screen media per day. Reducing screen time can help children be more physically active, have a healthier diet and perform better in school. Join us for April’s Wellness Wednesday Webinar to learn how to organize Screen-Free Week and promote screen-free activities all year round for students and families in your school community.

Celebrating Your Volunteers: Wrapping Up the Year with a Big "Thank You" 
Tuesday, May 9, 1 - 2 pm (CT)
Join us for tips and ideas on how to recognize and thank all your awesome volunteers for their hard work this year and empower them to become even more engaged in the future.

Wellness Wednesday: Offering Healthy Snacks at School 
Wednesday, May 10, 3 - 3:30 pm (CT)
Snacks can make or break a healthy diet for both adults and kids. The right snacks can supply our bodies with nutrients we wouldn’t normally eat during meals and give students the energy need to learn and focus during class. Join this webinar to learn from schools across the country on ways to successfully serve healthy snacks to students during the school day.