School Nutrition Announcements February 28, 2018


Grants and Contests

Montana No Kid Hungry Grants Galore

The time has come to submit your application for Montana No Kid Hungry’s school breakfast, afterschool meal, and summer meal grants!  When kids are hungry to eat, they cannot be hungry to learn. These grants improve food access to students so they can learn. To learn more about NKH grants and how they can help expand meal programs, visit





Action for Healthy Kids

School Grants Now Available

Help your school become healthier with a Game On or School Breakfast grant for the 2018-2019 school year. Receive funding and technical assistance to increase physical activity opportunities, improve nutrition initiatives, or increase breakfast participation. Learn more, and apply before the deadline on April 6, 2018.


Agriculture in the Classroom

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture in the Classroom Program (AITC) serves nearly 5 million students and 60,000 teachers annually through workshops, conferences, field trips, farm tours, and other educational activities. AITC programs include working with state AITC activities engaged in a variety of issues relating to agricultural literacy. Other programs emphasized by the NIFA AITC office include:

    • Science literacy;
    • Agricultural careers;
    • Nutrition; and,
    • Pre-service and professional develop opportunities for teachers.

Applications may be submitted by State agricultural experiment stations, State cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research or educational institutions or organizations, Federal and private agencies and organization and individuals.

Check out the Request for Applications now! Applications are due Tuesday, May 1, 2018.


Montana Harvest of the Month Taste Test Competition Now Open!

Ready, set, taste test! Montana K-12 students can now enter the Montana Harvest of the Month (HOM) Taste Test Competition! The HOM Taste Test Competition is open to all Montana students enrolled in K-12 school, Montana K-12 schools, and Montana student clubs including, but not limited to: FCCLA, FFA, etc.

To participate students will take a leadership role in researching, preparing and/or serving a HOM taste test with Montana grown or raised foods from the HOM calendar in January through April 2018. Students are encouraged to conduct a taste test each month during the contest period. One entry per school or club per month can be submitted by the deadline May 4, 2018. Three entries will be selected to receive $100 for their school or student club.

This competition provides students an opportunity to lead their school or student club in eating healthy foods and promoting Montana agriculture. The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana schools and communities. For more information, contest rules, and to enter, go to: or contact Aubree Roth, Montana Team Nutrition Program,, (406) 994-5996.


Press and Events

Celebrate Nutrition for Heart-Healthy Kids!

Engage your school and community with these fun and active Team Nutrition Events:

Color Days: A Celebration of Fruits and Vegetables

Launch Your Day With Breakfast: Fuel Up To Help Your Day Take Off (National School Breakfast Week is March 5-9, 2018)


USDA and HHS Announce New Step Toward Added Transparency in Development of 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines



Training and Resources

Montana Financial Education Coalition Conference in Bozeman being held April 3, 2018 at the Best Western Plus Gran Tree Inn 

The Montana Financial Education Coalition (MFEC) strives to improve the personal financial knowledge and decision making ability of Montana citizens by promoting public awareness of the need for personal financial education, providing a platform for promoting the agenda of Montana financial education providers and building the capacity of their programs.  This conference helps achieve this mission.

The conference committee is busy organizing the content and will continue to update the website as details are finalized.  Here are things to think about right away if you are making plans to attend:

  • Consider putting together a Presenter RFP to have a breakout session.  You can share your outstanding successes and information as it pertains to financial education.  Deadline is February 26, 2018.

    • Register for the conference and bring all your friends.  Besides supporting MFEC there are great resources shared and many networking opportunities for all.  This year registration is $75 per person but NEW, students and teachers are FREE!
    • Share this conference opportunity with others who might be interested in attending!
    • Secure your hotel room as we do have state government rates for all attendees.  The block does expire on March 2 so reserve now.

All of these things can be done at the MFEC Conference Webpage.  Just click HERE!


#Beefinar a success, new resources! 

If you missed the Beef to School Webinar on February 13, now known as the #Beefinar, you won’t want to miss the resources shared by the Mountain Plains Farm to School Regional Lead Andrea Northup, Montana’s Farm to School Coordinator Aubree Roth, Whitefish Food Service Director Jay Stagg (Montana) and Greeley-Evans School District Executive Chef Matt Poling (Colorado)! Check out the Beef to School Webinar slide show or view the webinar recording

The purpose of the webinar was to launch new beef to school solicitation templates created to help school districts purchase local beef while following USDA’s procurement rules. 

Presenters shared other resources available from Montana's Beef to School Project and participants heard from two school districts serving local beef. Additional resources provided during the webinar include: 

USDA Geographic Preference Fact Sheet


2018 Montana Farm to School Summit

Mark your calendars to attend the 2018 Farm to School Summit on September 13-14, 2018 in Missoula.  This summit will inspire you and allow you to learn from and network with farm to school champions from our state and the nation.  The intent of the conference is to bring together farm to school stakeholders across Montana to learn and gain inspiration from each other while strengthening and building relationships with the end goal of increasing and enhancing farm to school programs throughout the state. This event will provide an opportunity to showcase outstanding programs and projects in the Missoula area to a statewide and national audience. The conference will increase engagement throughout the state by providing opportunities for student engagement, integrating native foods and culture, and connecting to rural food systems.  For more information: or contact Aubree Roth 406-994-5996


Action for Healthy Kids Fall 2017 Webinars

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga in the Classroom
Wednesday, March 14, 1:00 PM Mountain
Learn about integrating yoga into a classroom environment, including how to use simple yoga-based movements and practices to increase physical fitness, student focus and academic performance! 

Helping Kids Learn Better with Healthy School Meals
Thursday, March 22, 12:00 PM Mountain
Kids who eat healthy school meals have fewer absences and higher academic achievement. Learn how national school meal programs work and how parents and community members can deepen support, trust and meaningful collaboration with nutrition services staff to create a healthier school food culture.

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Snacking
Wednesday, April 11, 2:00 PM Mountain
Join us for tips to help spice up your snacking routine with fun and healthy snacks for all ages. Learn about easy, healthy snacks you can serve during or after school and as part of school celebrations.

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic...and Recess
Thursday, April 19, 11:00 AM Mountain
Recess is more than just fun and games. It helps kids think creatively, make friends, share and resolve conflicts. Kids need recess, but schools are cutting out that time for more academics. Join us to learn more about why recess is important and how you can advocate for better recess in your schools.

Wellness Wednesday: How to Show Your Volunteers They’re Valued
Wednesday, May 9, 2:00 PM Mountain
The end of the school year is a great time to show all the family and community members who have helped support your school health efforts throughout the year just how much you appreciate them. Join us to hear some creative ways other schools have thanked their volunteers and engaged them to become even more active in the future.

School Digs (or Raising the Bar and Profits with Healthy School Fundraisers)
Thursday, May 17, 11:00 AM Mountain
Whether it’s the cafeteria, the playground, the classroom or another area on your campus, kids need to get the same message everywhere: Be Active & Eat Healthy! This webinar is designed to show you where campuses can improve to make sure that kids are getting the right message.


FRAC Webinars

Afterschool Meals Matter

Streamlining and Simplifying the Afterschool Meal Program
March 15, 2018 11:00 AM Mountain
There are many opportunities to streamline and simplify the process and administrative requirements for schools and sponsors operating multiple child nutrition programs. Learn how states are implementing the streamlining options that are available to them.

Improving Afterschool Meal Quality and Reducing Waste
April 19, 2018 11:00 AM Mountain
Healthy, high-quality meals help to attract children to come to educational and enrichment programming and keep them coming throughout the school year, while also reducing waste. Communicating with vendors, incorporating feedback from children, and farm to school initiatives are just some successful strategies. Join us to learn how afterschool programs, advocates, and community partners can improve meal quality and appeal while being conscious of ways to reduce food waste.

Summer Meals Matter

Showcasing Summer Meal Programs and Service Models
March 1, 2018 11:00 AM Mountain
Summer Meal Program operations are shaped by the needs of the community and the capacity of the program. But whether you’re new to summer meals or a veteran, there are tips and tricks for fine-tuning operations for a more sustainable, cost-effective program. This call will highlight Summer Meal Programs that use different service models, as well as best practices for staff training and volunteers; meal service and vendor relations; menu planning and site staff; and programming activities.

Getting the Word Out About Summer Meals
April 5, 2018 11:00 AM Mountain
State agencies, summer programs, and advocates can boost participation by utilizing different strategies for spreading the word about the availability of summer meals to families leading up to summer and once programs begin. On this call you will hear about effective methods and resources to promote programs, raise awareness, and ensure more families are connected to summer meals this year.

Breakfast Matters

Breakfast Matters will take the month of March off, and resume in April with:

Community Eligibility: Basics, Benefits and Best Practices
April 12, 2018 1:00 PM Mountain
Community eligibility is a huge success, reducing paperwork for schools and increasing school breakfast and lunch participation. Still, many eligible schools have not yet implemented this beneficial option. School districts will need to decide if they want to opt in for the 2018-2019 school year by June 30, 2018. While this date seems far off, now is the time to determine if your school or district is eligible for community eligibility. Deciding to implement can take time and requires collaboration among school administrators and sometimes involves getting approval from the school board—so it’s not too soon to start thinking about whether community eligibility is a good fit for your school district. This webinar will cover the basics of how community eligibility works, important dates to remember and why schools should consider opting in.