School Nutrition Announcements August 31, 2017

New School Nutrition Programs Staff

Caroline Rowe grew up in Great Falls, MT – a proud graduate of Great Falls High School (go bison). She then attended MSU Bozeman, where her interest in school nutrition began while working as an intern for Montana Team Nutrition. In 2015, she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Food & Nutrition with a focus in Dietetics.

After taking a year off, she completed the Montana Dietetic Internship, graduating last June. Currently, her spare time is spent preparing for the RD exam while also planning her September wedding. Caroline is honored and excited to join the OPI team as a School Nutrition Programs Specialist, and looks forward to serving as a resource for schools across the state. ‚Äč


2017-18 Agreements

Please remember to submit your school year 2017-18 School Nutrition Programs annual application in the new Montana Agreement and Payment System (MAPS). If your district operated in August, you will need to submit your agreement by September 10. With the new system, you can no longer combine your August and September claims.


OPI School Nutrition Programs Fall Workshops

 Please plan on joining the OPI School Nutrition Programs specialists for FREE training this fall!

 Administrative and Foodservice Fall Workshops will be split into two separate 3-hour sessions. Foodservice workshops are being hosted in the mornings from 9 AM-12 PM and Administrative Workshops will be hosted in the afternoons from 1 PM-4 PM. Please see the attached agenda for specific workshop topics. Each 3-hour workshop session counts toward professional standards training requirements.  Lunch will not be provided this year.






September 7

Double Tree by Hilton

27 N 27th St, Billings, MT 59101


Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM

Great Falls

September 13

Holiday Inn Great Falls
1100 5th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405

Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM


September 14

Lewistown School District Office

Board Room, 215 7th Ave S, Lewistown, MT 59457


Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM

Miles City

September 20

Sleep Inn

1006 S Haynes Ave, Miles City, MT 59301


Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM


September 21

Wingate by Wyndham

1490 South Central Avenue, Sidney, MT 59270


Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM


September 27

Courtyard by Marriott
4559 N Reserve St, Missoula, MT 59808

Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM


September 28

The Firebrand Hotel

650 E 3rd St, Whitefish, MT 59937


Foodservice: 9 AM- 12 PM

Administrative: 1 PM-4 PM



Please sign up for this year’s workshops in MAPS. Registration will close two days prior to each workshop date.

Please contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 444-2501 with questions about the upcoming Fall Workshops!


Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Estimator Tool

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is pleased to announce the release of the updated Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Estimator Tool with SY 2017-18 reimbursement rates.

The Estimator is available on the CEP Resource Center.

Food Distribution Disaster Assistance

If your school is a congregate feeding site/shelter because of wildfires and you would like to ask about using USDA Foods, please contact Tessa Bailly at 406-444-4412.


School Nutrition



2018 Direct Certification Improvement Grant RFA



Summer Food Service Program


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.

August 2017 [PDF][Publisher]


Press and Events

USDA Awards $5.3 million in Grants for School, Child Care Nutrition Efforts

FNS Office of the Chief Communications Officer (703) 305-2281

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 – New resources for nutrition education and food service training are coming to schools during this back to school season in 11 states selected to receive a total of $5.3 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture grants awarded today.

Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Brandon Lipps, said the Team Nutrition Training Grants underscore USDA’s commitment to supporting the health of America’s children and the efforts of nutrition and related professionals working in schools and child care facilities across the country.

“With children eating as many as two meals a day at school, it’s clear that providing nutritious school meals is a crucial part of helping kids grow and thrive and achieve in the classroom,” Lipps said. “Therefore, it’s vital that we provide nutrition professionals working in schools and child care facilities the training they need to manage successful meal programs that work for the children they serve."

Team Nutrition Training Grants are competitive three-year grants of up to $500,000 per state awarded annually as part of USDA's Team Nutrition initiative, which provides resources, training, and nutrition education lessons for schools and child care providers.

States receiving grants include: Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information on the grantees and projects can be found on the Team Nutrition website.

Grantees will use these funds for a variety of purposes including training in menu planning, food preparation, nutrition education, and local school wellness policies. At the completion of the grants, the best practices and materials developed with these grants will be shared with all states so that others may also benefit from the investment.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children,  and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America's nutrition safety net. For more information, visit

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Farm to School, Meet Trout to Tray!

We think of farm to school as incorporating local produce, dairy, grains and meat into school meals, but let’s not forget fish! Innovative high school students in Livingston, Montana are growing fish in an aquaponics system just a few steps from the cafeteria as part of a new Trout to Tray program.

The ultimate goal of Trout to Tray is to feature student-raised native Montana fish in school meals. As part of a pilot project in 2017, students harvested and sold 13 pounds of butterfly filleted Rainbow and Cutthroat trout to Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. Trout to Tray requires significant teamwork with community partners including the Livingston School District, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Montana Roots, Trout Culture and Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. 

Trout to Tray is part of the growing Livingston Farm to School program, which aims to bring together delicious, healthy, sustainable school meals with hands-on learning opportunities in school gardens and classrooms.  The Livingston School District received a USDA Farm to School Grant in 2013 to support its early work. Farm to school efforts center on the Park High School Plant Growth Center (PGC) – a learning laboratory for students and the community located adjacent to the high school central kitchen, where school lunches incorporating student-grown produce from the PGC are prepared each day. Production in the PGC focuses on soil-based cultivation methods and a state-of-the-art aquaponics system. 

Livingston Farm to School is creating a movement where youth are engaged and act on healthy foods, further understanding the unique Montana ecosystem and agricultural industry, within a culture where locally-sourced foods are promoted and the community thrives.


Children's Food Security and USDA Child Nutrition Programs

This report presents updated statistics on food insecurity among households with school-age children from the Food Security Supplement to the Current Population Survey for 2014 and 2015. It summarizes recent research on the effects of child nutrition programs on children’s food security and diets and discusses recent developments in nutrition assistance for school-age children.


Training and Resources

Registration Open: September Montana Farm to School Regional Workshops

Two Montana Farm to School Regional Workshops showcase Montana schools that are making farm to school happen! Each event will include farm to school resources, tours, networking, and roundtable discussion and goal setting to help all attendees get involved. Also learn about the Montana Harvest of the Month program ( and how it is benefiting Montana schools and communities. Hinsdale School (September 22) and Plevna School (September 29) will host the workshops providing tours and information about their inspiring school gardens, local purchasing, and student engagement.


Hinsdale, MT – Friday, September 22 – 9am – 3pm

600 Montana St, Hinsdale, MT

Come explore Hinsdale School’s garden, greenhouse, root cellar, and kitchen that all work together to provide a vibrant farm to school experience for students and staff. Students at Hinsdale School are growing food for their school’s tasty meals! This event will also feature a hands-on cooking demonstration for using more Montana Harvest of the Month and local foods in your meals at school or home. Learn how this program started and where it is headed under the leadership of Patti Armbrister. Lunch provided.


Plevna, MT – Friday, September 29 – 9am – 3pm

327 N. Main Street, Plevna, MT

Purple potatoes? See what students at Plevna School are growing in their school garden and what they bring into their school kitchen. Plevna School staff will share their journey in participating in the Montana Harvest of the Month program and how they make farm to school work as a team effort from the classroom to the cafeteria. Lunch provided. Photo credit: Fallon County Extra

All individuals interested in support farm to school programs are welcome to attend these free events. Due to limited space, pre-registration is required. Learn more and register at:

For more information contact Aubree Roth, Montana Team Nutrition at or (406) 994-5996.


Breakfast Blueprint

The American Federation of Teachers and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) partnered to hear from nearly 600 teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, school health professionals, and food service workers. Their diverse experiences and perspectives inform the Breakfast Blueprint, our new guide with resources and best practices for implementing breakfast after the bell programs. The guide features:

an overview of research on the impact of hunger on learning and the benefits of school breakfast;

step-by-step questions to develop a district plan;

recommendations for how to choose the best model(s) and evaluation metrics; and

features some of the best practices being implemented across the country.

The Breakfast Blueprint is designed to meet the needs of schools and districts, regardless of whether they are starting a new breakfast model or looking to improve their existing model.


FRAC Webinars

Afterschool Meals Matter

Weekend Meals, Holidays and Emergency Closures
September 21, 2017 11:00 AM Mountain
Serving meals during weekends and holidays ensures access to nutritious meals for the children attending your program during the week, and greatly increases the number of meals you can claim for reimbursement to help maintain the financial health of your afterschool program. Join us to learn more about what it would mean for your afterschool program to extend its service into weekends and school holidays. We will also discuss how to address emergency closures, specifically with vendors, meal storage, and participant communication.

Summer Meals Matter

Debriefing Summer and Setting Goals for Next Year
September 7, 2017 11:00 AM Mountain
With summer meals wrapping up, early fall is the perfect time to debrief with partners, identify your program's strengths and weaknesses, and to create goals for next year. Join this call to learn about ways to look back and evaluate your summer program’s challenges and successes and use the knowledge to increase participation next year.

Breakfast Matters

Unpaid School Meal Fees
September 14, 2017 1:00 PM Mountain
Over the summer, school districts were required by USDA to put into effect an official, unpaid meal policy that addresses what happens when a hungry student cannot pay for their school meal. What is included in the various district policies, and how have several states gotten involved? This webinar will explore the recent outcomes of USDA’s unpaid meal policy mandate and share resources for implementing an effective policy that does not harm or shame students. 


Action for Healthy Kids Fall 2017 Webinars

Check out our can't-miss fall webinars to help you transform your school in an effort to make every kid healthy. 

Register for one or all of them today. Continue reading for the full list of upcoming webinars. 

Wellness Wednesday: Pumping Up P.E.
Wednesday, September 13, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)
Are you looking for ways to pump up your physical education class to include more moderate to vigorous activity? Join our first Wellness Wednesday webinar of the year to explore research, recommendations and strategies around physical activity.

School Breakfast: Moving Meals Improves Participation
Tuesday, October 10, 1 - 2 pm (MT)
Join our webinar to discover the many benefits of moving school meals out of the cafeteria and before the bell.

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Celebrations are More Fun
Wednesday, October 11, 2 – 3 pm (MT)
Learn how to have fun with healthy classroom parties and school celebrations. Join this webinar for ideas and resources for parents, teachers and students to incorporate into your next party.

Recess: Why it Should Rock
Tuesday, October 24, 1- 2 pm (MT)
Learn why recess is an evidence-based strategy to enhance learning environments and active schools during this webinar. 

Wellness Wednesday: Integrating Movement into a Well-Rounded Education
Wednesday, November 8, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)
Join this webinar to learn about integrating movement into a well-rounded education. Hear examples from AFHK schools and create active classrooms through simple and manageable movement strategies, games and lesson ideas.

Family and Community Engagement 101: Maximizing Volunteers for School Health
Thursday, November 16, 1 - 2 pm (MT)
It’s essential to make the most out of your family and community volunteers and partners to make the most out of your school health programs. This webinar will prepare you on how to best use the parent and community volunteers you already have, and how to find the best volunteers to meet your school health needs.

Game On for Child Nutrition Professionals
Thursday, November 30, 2 - 3 pm (MT)
Game On supports America’s schools in creating healthier school environments. This webinar will introduce Game On to child nutrition professionals. Discover the many resources Game On offers to support your role as the healthy eating experts at your school.

Game On for Healthy and Physical Education Teachers
Tuesday, December 5, 1 - 2 pm (MT)
This webinar will provide specific examples and tips on how to integrate Game On into health and physical education; address the professional role health and physical educators play in coordinating and sustaining school wellness initiatives.

Wellness Wednesday: Integrating Nutrition Education into a Well-Rounded Education
Wednesday, December 13, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)
Learn how your school can integrate nutrition education into core subjects. Strategies, tips and lesson ideas can be used at all levels and in multiple subjects. 

Wellness Wednesday: Is Your School Ready to Take the SuperFit School Challenge? 
Wednesday, January 10, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)
Join us to learn about our new fundraising program, SuperFit School Challenge, and how your school can focus on helping students become healthier while raising more funds.

Get Recognized as a Healthy School with the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative
Thursday, January 25, 12 - 1 pm (MT)
Join this webinar to learn more about the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms initiative and get tips and tricks for submitting a successful application. 

The Latest and Greatest on Local School Wellness Policies
Tuesday, January 30, 1 - 2 pm (MT)
Learn about the latest trends, research and resources for your district's Local School Wellness Policy to ensure compliance with requirements.