School Nutrition Announcements September 18, 2018

School Nutrition Programs Policy

All USDA memos for School Nutrition Programs can be found here

Summer Food Service Program Policy

2018 Turnip the Beet Award
Summer Sponsors,
We are pleased to share that the 2018 Turnip the Beet Award materials are now available at
The Turnip the Beet Award, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), recognizes outstanding Summer Meal Program sponsors who work hard to offer high quality meals that are appetizing, appealing, and nutritious.
Sponsors may submit a self-nomination or be nominated by another party.  The deadline to send in nomination materials to MT School Nutrition Programs is October 16, 2018.  Return your nominations to Emily Dunklee, SFSP Manager, at

What are the prizes?
Three award levels are available: bronze, silver, and gold.
1. All winners receive a certificate and are featured in FNS’s Summer Newsletter.
2. Silver and gold winners will be featured on USDA’s blog. 
3. Gold winners will be identified as Turnip the Beet winners on FNS’s Capacity Builder map.

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.

Montana No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Grants
Grants up to $5,000 are available to revamp your school breakfast program! Grants are being offered by Montana No Kid Hungry to support schools in implementing a new breakfast program or transitioning to an alternative breakfast model like Breakfast in the Classroom or Grab and Go. Over $350,000 in grant funds have already been awarded to 94 schools across Montana for Breakfast After the Bell programming. As a result, Montana teachers are seeing increased student engagement and more positive classroom environments, while many food service directors are bringing in more revenue due to higher federal reimbursements and increased student participation in school meals. Grant applications will be accepted from October 1st – November 5th.
Visit or email Linda Cleatus at to apply today!

Whole Kids Foundation Gardens Grant Program
Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible garden.

Press and Events
October is National Farm to School Month!
Join us and thousands of schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations across the country as we celebrate food education, school gardens and lunch trays filled with healthy, local ingredients. Everyone can celebrate!

National School Lunch Week October 15-19
National School Lunch Week 2018 is just a few weeks away—October 15-19! Check out the resources on the Marketing & PR page of the NSLW website and our media outreach section of the toolkit for ideas on how you can raise awareness of all the love that goes into your program. Don’t settle for simply trying to reach students—go beyond the brick walls to engage their parents and other stakeholders in the community! SNA has compiled some terrific tips to get you started.

One way to show parents the benefits of healthy school lunches is by providing them with our infographic. This one-page flyer contains key facts about the National School Lunch Program and the healthy components required for every school lunch in a colorful, fun and easy-to-read format. You can also share images of the infographic on social media. 

Another great way to spread the word is through the local media. Check out SNA’s members-only media resources and contact your local television news affiliate, radio station or newspaper to let them know why NSLW is important. (If your school or district has a communications office, be sure to touch base with them first.) Use our customizable media release to outline to reporters why NSLW is a newsworthy event, and start sending it out to reporters and bloggers 1-2 weeks prior to #NSLW18.
Get your elected officials involved in the #NSLW18 and spread the fun city-wide through an official proclamation. Use SNA’s customizable proclamation to submit a request to the office of your mayor or city council, asking that they declare October 15-19 National School Lunch Week in your community. Follow up with an invite to all elected officials—local, state and national—to visit your cafeteria and enjoy lunch with the kids. Make sure to reach out now, well ahead of NSLW!

Training and Resources

A Guide to Smart Snacks in School
Updated for School Year 2018–2019, this guide provides information about smart snack standards. People who manage school fundraisers, vending machines, and snack bars will find this guide very useful.

Menu Planner for School Meals: 2018-2019
The Menu Planner for School Meals assists school nutrition professionals in developing healthy, safe, affordable, and appealing school breakfasts, lunches, and snacks that meet the meal pattern requirements. This resource contains features such as school spotlights, short quizzes, food safety tips, and much more.

Team Nutrition Cooks!
Spice up your afterschool and out-of-school time programs with these hands-on cooking activities that give kids a taste of healthy eating.