School Nutrition Announcements March 13, 2017


School Nutrition

2017 School Breakfast Week Thank-You Letter

For more than 50 years, the School Breakfast Program has provided schoolchildren across the nation a well-balanced first meal of the day. In honor of National School Breakfast Week, the Food and Nutrition Service has published a letter to thank local program operators for their efforts to serve children breakfast. The letter is available on the School Breakfast Program webpage, along with other resources State and local agencies can use to make school breakfast a success:


School Food Service Director Hiring Standards

Professional standards established hiring requirements for new food service directors based on school enrollment.  School districts with less than 500 students may request approval to hire a food service director candidate who does not meet education or work experience requirements. OPI School Nutrition Programs will work with school districts to meet these hiring requirements.

For more information, contact School Nutrition Programs, 406-444-2501


Summer Food Service Program

Greetings SFSP Sponsors,

Do you need help preparing meals, serving meals, conducting outreach, or planning site activities this summer?  Do you want to grow participation at your site but need an extra set of hands to help you manage the daily tasks of operation/promotion?  Are you low on funds to pay for these efforts?  Then look no further.  Your SFSP site could host an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate for little or no cost to you.  

Here's how it works: 

The Montana Campus Compact (MTCC) is working to connect Montana college and university students with meaningful service this summer in communities across Montana. The MTCC is seeking school and nonprofit partners to host an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate (or several) for ten-week terms of service. Summer Associates serve full-time May 22 - July 31 or June 1 - August 9 to help address community needs like summer nutrition and preventing summer learning loss. Summer Associates receive a modest living allowance and Education Award, and get a chance to make a difference in a Montana community. Apply to host a Summer Associate here.  The MTCC will accept applications on a rolling basis depending on available resources. Apply soon to access this opportunity!

VISTA Summer Associates cost the host site $850 for 10 weeks of full-time help.  What a deal!  Still don't have that kind of cash?  No problem.  Montana No Kid Hungry has grants available to help cover the cost of Summer Associates.  Check out these resources from Montana No Kid Hungry to help guide your efforts:

  • Sample VISTA Summer Associate Assignment Description (a required component of the application to get a Summer Associate).
  • Summer NKH Grants may be leveraged to support the Summer Associate match payment ($850) requirement.  Deadline to apply for a NKH grant is April 14th, 2017.  
  • Learn more about leveraging VISTA Summer Associates with help from NKH Grant Funding by listening in to this webinar .  

If you have questions about VISTA Summer Associates please contact Josh Vaneck at 406-243-5175 or Erin Barstow at 406-243-5458.

If you have questions about applying for a MT NKH grant to cover the Summer Associate cost match requirement contact Danielle Anderson at

As always, if you have questions about the Summer Food Service Program contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406-444-2501 or


Summer Meal Newsletters

Every month, FNS makes available a newsletter highlighting new national resources available to assist with Program administration and best practices to support the Program expansion. The template is available as a Word Publisher file and can be edited and reformatted.

March 2017 [PDF][Publisher]


Grants and Contests

On behalf of the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), a project of the Tides Center, we are pleased to announce a new mini-grant project: Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School.

Native peoples of North America have been celebrating our connection to land, food, and community for generations. Farm to school is a new term for an ancient concept: that we learn about people, place, and tradition, and care for our physical and spiritual health, through food.

Working with Native partners, the National Farm to School Network is exploring the unique opportunities for and challenges of expanding and sustaining farm to school in Native communities across the country. Farm to school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following:

  • Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
  • Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
  • School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.

From developing school menus that include traditional foods like blue corn and bison to working with Native producers, planting heritage orchards, and connecting classroom education with tribal seed banks, together we are breaking down barriers and reinvigorating traditional food ways.

The Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School project aims to expand farm to school activities (procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and food and agriculture education) in Native communities as a strategy to leverage community-wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty and towards revitalizing use of traditional foods. The project will provide five Native schools a mini- grant in the amount of $5,900 to expand and promote farm to school. 

Eligible entities are as follows:

  • Native schools will be selected through an open application process to partner on this project. 
  • Eligible schools will include those operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (on-and off-reservation schools) as well as public, tribal, and charter schools serving a majority (50% or more) children of Native origin. 
  • Schools must be organized and operated as an IRS-designated 501(c) (3) nonprofit or organized for charitable purposes in the U.S. or abroad. This includes 501(c)(3) public charities and private foundations, government entities, fiscally sponsored organizations, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, incorporated organizations with exemption pending, and other organizations with a qualifying tax status. Schools must not be prohibited from receiving funds from the U.S. 
  • One representative from the applicant school must be available to attend NFSN’s Annual Meeting May 2-3, 2017 in Denver, Colorado (expenses are covered through the $5,900 mini-grant).
  • Applicants must document the need for financial support in order to undertake the proposed farm to school activities.
  • Applicants must document need for technical support to undertake the proposed farm to school activities.
  • Applicants must have some level of previous experience in farm to school (experience with school gardens, food and agriculture education, and/or local, traditional food procurement).
  • Applicants must be ready and committed to scaling up and institutionalizing previous farm to school efforts. 

The Application Deadline is Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 6pm ET.

If you have any questions please contact or 715-209-8536 (please leave a detailed voicemail with your name, number and tribal organization).


Action for Healthy Kids School Grant

We are now accepting grant applications for the 2017-2018 school year: 

  • Breakfast grants to pilot or expand school breakfast programs are available, thanks to support from Walmart Foundation.
  • Game On grants to support physical activity and nutrition initiatives are available, thanks to support from CSX, GoGo squeeZ, Saputo and Target.
  • Parents for Healthy Kids grants are available that focus on implementing Game On, thanks to support from ALDI and our promotional partner, National PTA. Programs with a parent engagement component will be given priority, and parent-led groups are encouraged to apply (e.g. PTAs, PTOs and school wellness teams with parent members). Select Game On grants on our school grants portal and complete the parent-specific questions to get priority points.  

Visit to learn more and apply for a grant. Deadline is Friday, April 7. Access our archived webinars to help you with grant applications.


Press and Events

Breakfast After the Bell

'It's gone flawlessy': Officials tout educational benefits of school breakfast program


Training and Resources

Team Nutrition's new kid-friendly standardized recipes help bridge the gap from winter to spring by offering a variety of delectable dishes that range from cozy cups of soup to scrumptious vegetable blends. Check out these new recipes on Team Nutrition's USDA Standardized Recipes site!


Montana Team Nutrition Program is proud to offer a Montana Cook Fresh Class on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Paris Gibson Education Center in Great Falls

This hands-on, free class helps participants learn knife skills along with quick and easy techniques for preparing local, fresh foods in school meals programs. Serving fresh, whole foods in school meals is a priority for a growing number of schools throughout Montana and nationwide. Montana Cook Fresh (9 am to 1 pm) is a hands-on cooking course. Learn tips and tricks from a local chef and child nutrition professionals on how to prepare and present delicious foods from scratch with pizzazz!    This class is targeted to cooks and cook’s assistants.

Pre-registration is required. Sign up today as space is limited to 22 participants. This class is being marketed to childcare program providers too.  To register, go to this link:

This class has been offered around the state and will be offered in June, 2017 at the MT School Nutrition Association Conference in Billings, and in Glendive in August.

For more information, contact Katie Bark at (406) 994-5641 or by email at


Action for Healthy Kids Webinars

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.


FRAC Webinars

Breakfast Matters

Community Eligibility Adoption in the 2016-2017 School Year
March 23, 2017 - 3:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Central, 1:00 PM Mountain, 12:00 Noon Pacific)
FRAC will be releasing new data on schools and districts participating in the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2016-217 school year. Community eligibility allows high poverty schools to offer free breakfast and lunch and reduce administrative work. Join us to hear how your state compares in take up of community eligibility and trends that are emerging in the third year of nationwide availability. We’ll also cover tips for using our interactive database of eligible and participating schools.

Afterschool Meals Matter

Libraries and Museums Operating the Afterschool Meal Program
March 16, 2017 – 1:00 PM Eastern (12:00 Noon Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific)
Libraries and museums provide a perfect setting for the Afterschool Meal Program. Learn from advocates, libraries, and museums strategies for making afterschool meals work at these community locations.