School Nutrition Announcements January 2, 2018

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.

December 2017 [PDF] [Publisher]


Grants and Contests

Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.


Montana Crunch Time Share Your Story Contest

Geraldine School was selected as the winner of our recent Farm to School Month Stories contest and will receive a commercial salad spinner! Their story was so fantastic that I wanted to share it with you all as an excellent way to kick-off 2018. Also, remember that you can submit your farm to school stories, recipes, photos, etc. anytime using the Share Your Story form. Each one is a ray of farm to school sunshine! Cheers!

"Our school cook, Elaine Clark, is a very strong supporter of the Farm to School program and is very faithful with her Fresh Fruits and Vegetables program.  Regularly, we see Elaine meeting with our students and explaining the nutritional benefits of the particular fruit or vegetable "of the day" and she shows the students on the map where the product came from.

During the Montana Crunch Time event, Elaine went to significant effort to line up some Montana grown apples for all of our P-12 students. Elaine contacted the very nice folks at O'Farrell's Orchard in Bigfork Montana and made arrangements for enough apples for all of our students and faculty to participate in October 24th's Montana Crunch.  Geraldine is nearly 300 miles and the crossing of the Continental Divide from Bigfork.  Elaine and her husband drove their own vehicle at their own expense, (her husband had to temporarily abandon his fall harvest) to O'Ferrall Orchard to retrieve the apples for our participation in Montana Crunch.  

O'Ferrall Orchard refused payment for the apples and cheerfully donated them to Geraldine School for the Montana Crunch program.  Elaine came back with a great variety of Montana grown apples that grew on the shores of Flathead Lake.  

Just before 2:00 PM on October 24, all of our students and faculty assembled in the gymnasium and Elaine gave a wonderful presentation about the different growing "zone" near Flathead Lake and how different "Zone 3" is around Geraldine.  Elaine explained the uniqueness of each apple variety that had been given to us and some of the apples were "Old-World" selections that are never seen in typical Montana grocery stores.  

Precisely at 2:00 PM our entire student body and faculty "crunched" into the apples.  It was a very enjoyable and educational experience for all of us; even one of our school bus drivers showed up for the event.  Montana Crunch was a significant event for us at Geraldine School and thanks to our new friends at O'Ferrall Orchard in Bigfork and our, "I'll do whatever I can for these kids" head cook Elaine, we had a real "Montana Crunch"! "


Press and Events

Free breakfast provided to West, Kennedy students in Butte


National School Breakfast Week

March 5-9, 2018

Mark your calendar for National School Breakfast Week! This year’s theme, “I Heart School Breakfast,” encourages parents, students, and school officials to get social over school breakfast. Speaking a language kids understand, we’re ready to show-and-tell all the benefits of a healthy school breakfast.


Training and Resources

Great Falls School Wellness Workshop - January 31, 2018 12:30 to 4:00

WHAT: This workshop will review the benefits of a strong wellness policy, USDA requirements for the school wellness policy and showcase best practices and available tools (for assessing and outreach).  It will include inspiring presentations, resources, networking, roundtable discussion, and goal setting to help all attendees get involved.  We recommend bringing a team (2-3) people from your school.

WHO: School wellness coordinators and champions, school board trustees, administrators, school nutrition directors, health enhancement teachers, health professionals, parents, and community partners. Come learn, share, and get inspired!

WHEN & WHERE: Great Falls – January 31st, 2018. The workshop is from 12:30 to 4 pm. This workshop will be repeated in Butte, Kalispell and Miles City in the fall 2018.  

If these dates don’t work for you or you would like to host a school wellness workshop for your area, we are happy to provide the training and/or technical assistance. 

Continuing Education: 3 OPI renewal units or USDA Professional Standards will be available for participants.

REGISTER: Space is limited, so register early (for free) at:

Come learn, share, and get inspired!   

For more information, contact Katie Bark, from Montana Team Nutrition at or by phone at 406-994-5641.


Action for Healthy Kids Fall 2017 Webinars

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.


FRAC Webinars

Breakfast Matters

Let’s Celebrate School Breakfast
January 11, 2018 - 3pm Eastern (2:00 PM Central, 1:00 PM Mountain, 12:00 PM Pacific)
Are you ready for National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)? Students, parents, food service staff, educators, public officials, and advocates from across the country will be celebrating school breakfast during NSBW — March 5-9, 2018. Join this webinar for ideas on how to celebrate and advocate for school breakfast during NSBW and year round.

Summer Meals Matter

Recruiting and Retaining Summer Meal Program Sites
January 4, 2018 - 1:00 PM Eastern (12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific)
Retaining experienced sponsors and sites is an important strategy for maintaining your community’s Summer Nutrition Programs year after year. State agencies and advocates can work with community partners to recruit and strengthen the number of sites serving summer meals and also give them the support they need to stay involved. Learn about best practices, training and communication strategies to increase the number of sites and sponsors engaged and participating, as well as strategies to support and mentor new ones.

Afterschool Meals Matter

Partnerships for Building More Sustainable Afterschool Meal Programs
January 18, 2018 - 1:00 PM Eastern (12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific)
Partnerships are an important part of growing and sustaining Afterschool Meal Programs. Partners can pool resources together and offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Join this call to learn about ways to increase sustainability of your program by collaborating with diverse community partners.