School Nutrition Announcements October 17, 2018
2018 National School Lunch Week: Thank you!
Dear Program Operators,
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy created National School Lunch Week (NSLW) to celebrate school nutrition staff and the valuable service they provide our country by ensuring that America’s school children can show up to class well-nourished and ready to learn. In honor of NSLW (October 15-19, 2018), we thank you for feeding our school children.
America’s schools play a critical role in the future of our Nation. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides meals to more than 30 million children each school day. In 2017, more than 6 million children across America lived in food-insecure households, meaning they did not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. For many children, the food they eat at school is the only consistent source of the nutritious food they need to grow and thrive.
More than seven decades ago, in 1946, President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act, reminding us that “In the long view, no nation is any healthier than its children.” There is “Lots 2 Love” about school lunch this week. We applaud the progress that school nutrition professionals have achieved in increasing nutritious options for our Nation’s children. We also realize some schools continue to face challenges implementing the nutrition standards. As such, we continue to consider ways we can improve the NSLP and stand ready to help you meet this important mission. In addition, Team Nutrition has resources to help program operators serve wholesome lunches, including creative tips for serving fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
As the Food and Nutrition Service acknowledges the importance of school lunch this week, we are grateful for you – the hardworking folks that make NSLP successful. We appreciate your dedication, and our partnership, that aims to ensure that children across the country have the energy to live up to their full potential each school day.
Policy and Program Development Division
Child Nutrition Programs
This letter is also posted on the National School Lunch Program page: https://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program-nslp
School Nutrition Programs Policy
All USDA memos for School Nutrition Programs can be found here
Instructions for Submitting 2017-18 School Year Food Safety Inspections Report
Due October 31, 2018
Either the Food Service Director or Claims Contact for the district may enter the information. Thank you to those who have already entered the information!
1. Login to MAPS https://montanaopi.cnpus.com/Prod/Splash.aspx
2. Click on School Nutrition Programs.
3. Click on Applications.
4. Click on Food Safety Inspections.
5. Click on Modify for 2017-2018.
6. For each site, click on None, One, Two, Three or More for the number of inspections received at that site during the previous school year.
7. If fewer than Two inspections were received, click on the reason.
8. When finished entering for each site, click Save at the bottom of the page.
Food Safety Inspections Requirement
School Food Authorities that serve meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are required to maintain proper sanitation and health standards in conformance with all applicable State and local laws and regulations. School Food Authorities are required to obtain two school food safety inspections per school year, which are to be conducted by a State or local governmental agency responsible for food safety inspections (see 7 CFR 210.13 for the NSLP regulations and 7 CFR 220.7 for the SBP regulations at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd). The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265) increased the inspection requirement from one to two per school year, beginning in school year 2005-06 and requires School Food Authorities to post the latest inspection report in a visible location and make it available to the public upon request.
Food Safety Inspections Reporting Requirement
The State Agency that administers the school meal programs is also required to collect information on the total number of inspections conducted in schools under the jurisdiction and report to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service the number of inspections by November 15 each year.
The food safety inspection requirement applies to all food preparation-service sites and service-only sites. The scope of the food safety inspection may vary according to the type of food service operation and is determined by the agency responsible for inspections.
2016-17 School Year Food Safety Inspections Report Results for Montana Schools
The following information was reported for the 2016-17 school year:
42 report three or more inspections
288 report two inspections
228 report one inspection
242 report no inspection or did not submit a report
Schools continue to have trouble obtaining two inspections. The most common reason reported by schools that did not receive at least two inspections was related to the availability of the State or local government agency staff responsible for food safety inspections. While it remains a requirement and a priority for the schools, the agencies responsible may not have the staff resources to provide the required inspections, and they may feel that, due to their excellent practices and implementation of minimum Federal food safety requirements, schools pose less public health risk than other sites they must inspect.
Schools which are not able to obtain the required inspections through no fault of their own should continue to follow proper food safety practices and have a HACCP-based food safety plan to protect the safety of school meals. Technical assistance materials and other resources are available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/food-safety/food-safety-resources .
The State Agency will continue to inform State and local public health inspectors of the inspection requirement and assert the need for their assistance in ensuring that schools make progress in meeting the inspection requirement. In the meantime, the State Agency will continue to assist the schools in maintaining safe food service environments through food safety technical assistance, on-site program reviews, and other means.
Summer Food Service Program Policy
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.
2018 National School Lunch Program Equipment Grants are open
Through the FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Act, the Office of Public Instruction will fund up to a total of $67,619 in general equipment grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to Montana school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These funds will allow school districts to serve healthier meals that meet updated meal patterns, with emphasis on increasing fruits and vegetables in school meals, including items purchased locally, improving food safety, and expanding access.
See the application for the complete details of the grant at http://opi.mt.gov/Leadership/Management-Operations/School-Nutrition and click the ‘In Need of New Equipment’ link.
Due Date: November 12, 2018
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 mt.nokidhungry.org/grants or email Linda Cleatus at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply today!
FY 2019 USDA Farm to School Grant Request for Applications (RFA)
Grants are designed to expand farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools.
- Application deadline: December 4, 2018
- Awards are up to $100,000 for Implementation Grants and $50,000 for Planning & Training Grants
- Tune in to the webinars on writing/submitting a successful application October 16 & 17 (see link above for details)
Smarter School Breakfast Pilot Project
WHAT: Montana Team Nutrition seeks schools to participate in a Smarter School Breakfast Research Project. Test behavioral economics strategies in your School Breakfast Program to increase students’ selection of fruits, vegetables, and milk; and improve participation in your breakfast program!
WHEN: Starts in Fall 2018. Ends in Spring 2019.
WHO: Any school interested in: using simple, low-cost methods to nudge healthy choices at breakfast; engaging students in the school breakfast program; and striving to increase participation. Elementary, Middle and/or High Schools are eligible to participate.
WHY: Montana schools have seen positive outcomes with Smarter Lunchrooms techniques. Be part of a select group to see if these concepts can be used successfully in School Breakfast Programs. Engage students in your program to gather new ideas and improve customer service.
INTERESTED? Contact Montana Team Nutrition
Molly Stenberg, 406.994.7217, email@example.com
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! http://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/farm-to-school-month
Montana School Wellness in Action Newsletter
The newsletter provides helpful information on Montana Crunch Time, nutrition education, school wellness workshops, school nutrition peer mentoring program, and SHAPE’s 150 physical activity project.
Training and Resources
School Wellness Workshops in Butte, Kalispell, & Miles City
Are you interested in learning how a school wellness policy can fuel students to learn and behave better? Or how to support your staff in creating a healthy school environment? Join us to be inspired by school wellness in action!
These free workshops will review the benefits of a strong wellness policy, USDA requirements for the school wellness policy, showcase best practices, assessment surveys, and outreach tools. Three hours of OPI Credit/USDA Professional Standards will be available for participants. We recommend bringing a team (2-3 people) from your school community such as administrators, school wellness coordinators, wellness champions, food service directors, educators, health professionals, parents, or community members.
Space is limited, so register now! Click to register
November 1st, Miles City: Miles Community College, 2715 Dickinson, Room 106
November 7th, Kalispell: Red Lion Hotel, 20 North Main Street, # 150, Lake McDonald Room
November 29th, Butte: Quality Inn & Suites, 2100 Cornell Avenue, Big Sky Conference Room
Each workshop is from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you would like to host a school wellness workshop for your area, we are happy to provide the training.
Contact Katie Bark, Montana Team Nutrition at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 994-5641. www.montana.edu/teamnutrition The USDA is an equal opportunity employer.