School Nutrition Announcements April 4, 2018


School Nutrition Programs

Policy – All USDA memos for School Nutrition Programs can be found HERE.


Summer Food Service Program Newsletters

Every month, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service creates newsletters highlighting new resources available to assist with coordination and operation of the Summer Food Service Program.


Grants and Contests

Action for Healthy Kids School Grants

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

USDA is ending the HealthierUS School Challenge Award Program –as of July 1, 2018

As part of USDA’s commitment to ensure that all our programs are delivered efficiently and effectively, and to avoid duplicating the efforts of the private sector, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service will no longer be accepting applications for the HealthierUS School Challenge (formally known as the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms or HUSSC: SL) Award Program, effective July 1, 2018.

USDA recognizes the value the award program has had to our stakeholders and is committed to maintaining the program through the end of the 2017-2018 school year (June 30, 2018). USDA will continue to work with schools during this phase-out period and provide support as they close-out the application process. Any applications submitted to State agencies by June 30, 2018 will be reviewed for approval. The USDA National Office will announce the final set of awards by December 31, 2018. Please email any questions you may have related to the completion of HUSSC:

If any Montana schools did want to apply, NOW is the time to do so.  Applications must be sent to USDA by June 30, 2018, which means that the application would need to be sent to MT Team Nutrition by May 30, 2018. If you plan to do this, please contact Molly Stenberg ( and Katie Bark ( right away.

We are proud of the 100+ Montana Schools received this prestigious healthy schools award, since it started in 2004!

Lolo Elementary School was the first.  Target Range Elementary School and Target Range Middle School are the most recent.   

See a list of all of our Montana Award winners here:

Schools with a current HUSSC Award:

Schools with previous HUSSC Awards:  

Thanks to all of you for making this award program successful in your schools!

Sincerely, Molly Stenberg


Every Kid Healthy Week 2018

Anyone can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting programs in schools. Schools are invited to host an event during Every Kid Healthy Week or anytime in April. Consider making your field day or other school-wide event health focused.

Monday, April 23, 2018 to Friday, April 27, 2018

Learn More Here!


Training and Resources

Registration Deadline 4/9 for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Help put Montana’s farm to cafeteria efforts on the map and join us! Registration closes April 9 - so don’t delay. Learn more at


2018 Montana Cook Fresh School Nutrition Program Institute

Montana Team Nutrition is hosting a week-long workshop for new directors/managers designed to improve food service management and culinary skills.  The Montana Cook Fresh SNP Institute will be held August 6-10, 2018 at Montana State University. Class size is limited to 20 participants so early registration is recommended.  With support from Montana No Kid Hungry and the USDA Team Nutrition Grant, the cost of the workshop is only $250. Partial lodging/meals/parking support is also included in the registration fee.   To register: For more information, contact Katie Bark at or (406)994-5641.


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: 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

Summer Meals Matter

Getting the Word Out About Summer Meals
April 5, 2018 11 a.m. 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

Community Eligibility: Basics, Benefits and Best Practices
April 12, 2018 1 p.m. 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.

Afterschool Meals Matter

Improving Afterschool Meal Quality and Reducing Waste
April 19, 2018 11 a.m. 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.


For more information, check out our website: