School Nutrition Announcements November 8, 2018

School Nutrition Programs Policy

All USDA memos for School Nutrition Programs can be found here


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.




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 and click the ‘In Need of New Equipment’ link.

Due Date: November 12, 2018


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)


Show Us Your Tray Photo Contest

We want to see how you use USDA Foods in your school meals!

Inspire other foodservice professionals and submit a picture of your most creative dish. It could be a main entrée, a side dish, or even a tasty dessert. With more than 200 USDA Foods items available, we want to highlight each food group and the innovative ways in which they can be used. Show us how you use USDA Foods proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy to liven up your meals! Your submissions will provide other foodservice professionals with healthy, creative, kid-approved meal ideas using USDA Foods.

Interested in showing us what you can do? Choose one or more of the following categories to showcase your most creative dish using USDA Foods.



USDA Foods Gold Tray Award

Show us the rainbow! This is the highest honor and feature the most innovative use of more than one USDA Food including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.  Submit a photo of a colorful tray that creatively displays kid-approved dishes using direct-delivered USDA Foods.

Say Cheese Award

Dairy products are great addition to any meal. Submit a photo of a menu item that creatively displays a kid-approved dish using direct-delivered USDA Foods cheese and/or yogurt.

Protein Power Award

Proteins pack a powerful punch in any meal. This category will feature the most creative dish using animal or plant-based proteins on the Foods Available List. Submit a photo of a menu item that creatively displays a kid-approved dish using direct-delivered USDA Foods poultry, pork, beef, fish, legumes, nuts, or seeds.

Great Grains Award

Go further with fiber! This category will feature the most creative dish using grains on the Foods Available List. Submit a photo of a menu item that creatively displays a kid-approved dish using direct-delivered USDA Foods whole grain or whole grain-rich options.

Interested in showing us what you can do? Download the 2019 Show Us Your Tray Submission details to see the new award categories this year, review the contest rules, download a sample submission email, and read our tips for top-notch photos.         

2019 Show Us Your Tray Submission Details       


The USDA Foods Show Us Your Tray Photo Contest begins November 1, 2018, and ends January 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST.


Please send all entries to the USDA Foods mailbox (


Press and Events


SHAPE America and Gopher Sport Announce 2018 Impact Schools Grant Recipients in Nine States

Congratulations to SHAPE America Impact Schools Grant recipient K. William Harvey Elementary School – Ronan, MT!


Montana Crunch Time 2018 was a Success!

Hello Montana Crunch Time Friends,

Thank you for all your work in making the 2018 Montana Crunch Time the loudest crunch yet! According to our registration numbers we had 30,656 children and 4,497 adults crunch in celebration of National Farm to School Month and National Food Day. At 35,153 total individuals we crushed our crunch record!

Congratulations to Utah for winning the 2018 Crunch Off Competition with 126,968 crunches (4% of their population)! Montana was close behind with 3.31%. Wyoming and Colorado exceeded their previous crunch records and are ready to come back for the crown next year.

I am grateful for all of your efforts in promoting and participating in Crunch Time this year and I hope you enjoyed your tasty apples and crunch events.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 2:00pm for the next Montana Crunch Time! You can stay connected with Montana Farm to School efforts on Facebook (@MontanaFarmtoSchool) and Instagram (@MTFarmtoSchool) throughout the year.

Happy crunching,

Aubree Roth

Montana Farm to School Coordinator | Montana Team Nutrition Program

Ph: 406.994.5996



Training and Resources


Nutrition Facts Label Reboot: A Tale of Two Labels

The Nutrition Facts label that you may read when buying packaged foods or preparing a meal has undergone a makeover. It’s been updated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reflect updated scientific findings. These changes can help you make better-informed choices about the foods you and your family eat and help you maintain a healthy diet.

Manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales have until 2020 before the new label is required, and manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have until 2021. Some manufacturers have already started using the new label. In fact, at least 10 percent of packages being sold already carry the new label.

So until the deadlines, you may see one of two different versions on packages: either the original label you’ve grown accustomed to using, or the new label.


FRAC Best Practices for Preventing or Reducing School Meal Debt


Montana Harvest of the Month Best Practices Guide

The guide shares project results from schools and lessons learned from pilots in healthcare and Early Childhood Education settings. It also describes Growing for Success Part 2, which will extend the Harvest of the Month into grocery stores and community business sites.