School Nutrition Announcements April 19, 2018


School Nutrition Programs

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

Paid Lunch Equity: Guidance for School Year 2018-19

In Section 776 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law 115-141) (the Act), Congress provides that only school food authorities (SFAs) that had a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account as of January 31, 2018, shall be required to establish prices for paid lunches according to the Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) provisions in Section 12(p) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1760(p) and implemented in National School Lunch Program regulations at 7 CFR 210.14(e).

Consistent with the terms of the Act this memorandum provides notice that any SFA with a positive or zero balance in its nonprofit school food service account as of January 31, 2018, is exempt from PLE requirements found at 7 CFR 210.14(e) for school year (SY) 2018-19. SFAs that had a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account as of January 31, 2018 must follow PLE requirements when establishing their prices for paid lunches in SY 2018-19. Please note, the SY 2018-19 PLE tool and instructions will be provided in a separate communication.  


Summer Food Service Program

Sponsor Applications for the Summer Food Service Program are due May 4

Please complete the application process now to avoid delays in program operation. 

All sponsors are required to attend a state agency workshop before the application will be approved.

A few application reminders and important notes:


    1. Only Claim Contacts are able to modify/submit application packets and claims.
    1. You can now reset your own password from the log-in page.
    1. If you have new staff, be sure to set them up with a log-in using the MAPS New User Access Request Form

Sponsor Application Order

    • Remember, the MAPS Sponsor Application must be filled out in a specific order to ensure accuracy:
      1. Sponsor Application Sheet
      1. Management Plan
      1. Production Facility
      1. Site Applications
      1. Budget
      1. Checklist

Sponsor Application Reminders

    • Enter the date someone from your agency attended/plans to attend an OPI SFSP Workshop - Q20, 30, 35 OR 36 & 37.
    • Enter the date the sponsor trained all site staff and volunteers on program requirements - Q42-44.

Site Application Reminders

    • Q25 -26 - OPI will enter this data for you before you submit your application for approval.
    • Q45-48 - Use your previous year Racial and Ethnic Data Form to fill out these questions for each site.

Please call or email our office if you have questions on your application.  


SFSP 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

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

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

Institute of Child Nutrition Webinar

Thursday, April 26 at 1-2 PM MT

Immerse your students in the food culture and get them excited about tasty school meals! Join USDA’s Team Nutrition and the Institute of Child Nutrition for a webinar on fun, engaging student activities and events in school nutrition programs.  You’ll hear from three amazing school districts who have a few creative strategies up their aprons to turn their students into school meal foodies!

Register for Webinar

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: How to Show Your Volunteers They’re Valued 
 May 9 at 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) 
 May 17 at 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 call – Keeping Participation Up All Summer
May 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM Mountain
Hosting ongoing awareness events during the summer — such as kick-offs, blitz days, awareness weeks, and spike events — are great ways to raise awareness and keep participation up all summer long. These events provide a platform to share information about site locations, energize partners and communities, and showcase the great programs in your community. Join us to learn about ways to maintain momentum during the summer, such as planning inclusive family and community events.

Breakfast Matters: Back to School webinarl
May 10, 2018 at 1:00 PM Mountain
Another school year is ending, but the preparation for another successful school year has already begun! Join us as we share tips and tools for planning your school district’s school meal strategies for the 2018-2019 school year. Topics will include increasing school breakfast participation for varying grade levels, reducing school meal debt accumulation, and taking full advantage of the afterschool meal program.

Afterschool Meals Matter call – Exploring Afterschool Meal Program Service Models

May 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM Mountain
As the school year wraps up, now is the time to think about different Afterschool Meal Program service models and best practices to implement next fall. On this call we will hear from sponsors and sites about successful logistics, lessons learned, and creative service models for reaching more children with afterschool meals.