Articles in this issue:

Nutrition Bulletin February 2016

A Note from Sandra

Did the groundhog see its shadow or not? Depends on where you live, I guess. In some parts of the State, the groundhog would have to not only burrow out of the hole, but also up through several feet snow piled up in a drift! And so that same applies to us, if we want to get to the truth of the matter, we cannot rely just on what we read on the internet or that we heard from someone else. We need to check our resources, look at what interests they have that might slant their interpretation, read the guidance/policies/law ourselves, and maybe contact reliable sources. We, like many others, have received a call from the IRS saying they are going to come to arrest us because we haven't paid taxes. If we didn't communicate with others, we would have panicked. Having conversation to learn that it is likely not real, and then finding information from reliable sources that the IRS doesn't call soon eases that concern. Don't always take things at face value -- check it out! If it relates to the child nutrition and food distribution programs, we can be a resource for you.

It is time for reauthorization of the child nutrition program. The US Senate is progressing with their version, but we have not seen anything from the House side. While there is some tweaking to our current processes, there is not a major overhaul as happened with the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.

No further word has been received on the meal patterns for Child & Adult Care Food Program. We will be sure to share it when it comes out and provide training on the implications and implementation.

Summer will be here before we know it! If you are planning to implement Summer Food Service Program or Seamless Summer Option, contact the CANS office to find out about training plans so you don't miss out.

School personnel - remember to participate in trainings offered by our office, Institute of Child Nutrition, School Nutrition Association, vendors, and your own school. Document them to show you have met the requirements. In SY 15-16, directors must have at least 8 hours, Managers need 6 hours, other staff need 4 hours, including the part-time staff.

Keep the snow shovel handy and enjoy your February.

John Adams said it: "Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."

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A Winner in South Dakota!

Sabrina Swee of Beresford won the Chopped, Junior show which first appeared on Food Network TV Tuesday, January 12. Some of the challenging food she had to use were squid, pizza bites, and candied ants! Sabrina is using her winnings toward memorials for two young men who died in separate car accidents, for her church, and for her college fund. Congratulations, Sabrina! Sabrina's aunt, Julie McCord, works in the CANS office and says, "I'm one proud aunt!"

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Check-In With CANS

Check in with CANS is a monthly conference call open to all agencies on NSLP & SBP. The check in call will contain a brief discussion of hot topics, then the call will be opened up so you can ask questions. The call is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm CT / 1:30 pm MT. To join the conference call, dial 1-866-410-8397 and enter code: 8454202081.

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CEP Webinar Announcement

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP): Messaging and Outreach in Your Community

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
12:00 -- 1:15 PM CT

School Food Authorities and State Agencies will share success stories and strategies to encourage eligible schools and districts to elect CEP. This webinar will help local officials launch an effective effort to promote CEP and address common barriers to implementation.

To Participate:

For Technical Support:

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Seamless Summer Option Training -- March 15, 2016

Kids still need good food, even when school is out. Now it's easy to accommodate them! You can apply to operate the Seamless Summer Option through the National School Lunch (NSLP) or School Breakfast Programs (SBP). Continue the same meal service rules and claiming procedures used during the regular school year. The Seamless Summer Option offers a streamlined approach to feeding hungry children in your community.Seamless Summer Option training is tentatively scheduled for March 15, 2016. Contact Beth Henrichsen at or 605-773-3610 for more information.

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Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) -- Application Request

If an elementary school from your district is interested in participating in the FFVP, please click the below link, and fill out school name and contact information. The contact person will be notified of when applications become available. Selection for the program is based on free/reduced eligibility percentage from the October Survey (October 2015 data) and FFVP application responses.

2016-17 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program - Application Request

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program provides allocated funds to elementary schools for purchase of a fresh fruits and vegetable snack. Preference of site selection is given to high free/reduced eligibility from the most recent October Survey. The service of the FFVP must be provided during the school day, and not served in conjunction with other federal programs (cannot be served at the same time as breakfast, or lunch). Also, the service of fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be served with accompaniments (fruits and vegetables cannot be served with juice, milk, bread, etc.). FFVP dollars cannot be used to cover the cost of fruits and vegetable served at lunch or breakfast service. Additionally, the FFVP must be scheduled to be provided at least twice per week.

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Keeping it Healthy

Ensuring the health of the food service is of prime importance to all involved in the nutrition programs. The SD Department of Health has a self-inspection checklist that might be worth looking at. This is not a requirement, but would be great for a periodic review so you don't get surprised during an inspection.

The person in charge at licensed facilities must be able to demonstrate their knowledge. Can you answer the questions at Check your Standard Operating Procedures, dig out your book from class, look on quality sites to find information for those you are not sure of. There are 12 questions -- maybe tackle three per month. Continued review of requirements keeps it fresh in your mind and can be passed on to food service personnel.

Congress beginning work on Child Nutrition reauthorization bill
According to a statement from the School Nutrition Association, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry has released the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, legislation to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Find more information on the SNA website.

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Building for the Future with the CACFP

Mealtime Memos for Child Care

The Mealtime Memos for Child Care for the months of August 2015 through January 2016 were just recently published online. Below is a summary of the issues and what you will find in each issue. The Mealtime Memo for Child Care is the monthly newsletter that includes menus, recipes, and activities related to child care.

August 2015: What would you do if you lost power at this very moment in your child care facility? How would you assure the safety of the food in your facility? This resource will provide tips and strategies for handling power outages in child care settings.

Power Outages and Food Safety

September 2015: A child care wellness policy, although not required, provides a positive impression about your commitment to good health and nutrition to parents and the community. Developing and implementing a wellness policy demonstrates the facility's commitment to the health and well-being of children. This resource will provide you with good practices for evaluating your wellness policy to ensure that it meets the needs of those in your child care setting.

Evaluating Your Wellness Policy

October 2015: Purchasing nutritious food items on a budget can include many strategies, such as shopping in season, buying storable foods in larger quantities, and using coupons. For that reason, this resource will provide different methods for curbing food cost when purchasing food items in child care settings.

Ways to Cut Food Cost

November 2015: Do you know the difference between a serving and a portion of food? The two terms may sound similar, but they have different meanings. This resource will define the two terms and provide tips for planning, preparing, and serving meals based on serving and portions.

Servings versus Portions

December 2015: From magazine articles to commercials, from food items on grocery store shelves to mealtime conversations, gluten-free eating has grown in popularity, and it is commonly a hot topic for many. But what is gluten; where is it found; and why would someone need to avoid it? If you are like many who are not familiar with gluten and gluten-free eating, this resource will provide you the basics about gluten.

Gluten: What is It?

January 2016: Positive and effective communication is the foundation for developing healthy and mutually rewarding child-to-child relationships and adult-to-child relationships. When you pay attention to children and encourage communication, you help them to create a positive view of themselves and the world in which they live.

Mealtimes are no exception to great conversations. To show how, this resource will discuss how preschoolers communicate, as well as some benefits and strategies for engaging them in mealtime conversations.

Mealtime Conversations with Preschoolers

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Purchasing Goods and Services Using Federal Funds

Procurement is a hot topic in the national office. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has a renewed focus on procurement in schools and agencies that currently participate in any of the Child Nutrition Programs, which include but are not limited to the National School Lunch Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program. Currently a new review module is being pilot tested this year and we expect next year it will become a part of the standard School Nutrition Administrative Review process.

Since the reimbursement your sponsor school or agency receives is generated from federal taxes, we all share in the responsibility to use those funds in a way that maximizes open and free competition, and ensures that only allowable costs are paid with your non-profit school food service account funds. Proper procurement practices are essential to ensure fairness and that the best products and services are obtained at the best price.

Public schools and agencies must use the most restrictive of state, local, or federal guidelines. There are procurement rules for small agencies that purchase very small quantities as well as procedures for large agencies that purchase in large quantities. Each school and agency must ensure that proper procurement procedures are followed.

To prepare for procurement, all sponsor schools and agencies should take the following actions:

  1. Review your Procurement Plan. All Local Education Agencies (LEAs) on the USDA Child Nutrition
  2. Programs or any federal program are required to have a procurement plan in place.
  3. Identify what will be purchased
  4. Estimate the cost, understand allowable and unallowable costs
  5. Develop or update a bidders list (if appropriate)
  6. Identify the procurement method to be used

Informal Procurement versus Formal Procurement

The chart below contains a summary of the purchase or contract dollar amounts that require formal or informal procurement process.

Purchase Type Informal Procurement Formal Procurement Ruling Authority
Services $25,00 or less $25,000 or more SDCL 5-18C-1
Supplies (not perishable) $25,00 or less $25,000 or more SDCL 5-18C-1
Food/Perishables $150,000 or less $150,000 or more 7 CFR 3016.36

Informal procurement can be: quotes obtained by phone, email, fax, or catalogs. Documentation must be retained on file, and at least three vendors/sources must be included in the solicitation.

Formal procurement uses: Solicitations for contracts using sealed bids or competitive proposals. This is more rigorous than informal and must be published publicly, provide specifications, requirements of bidder's terms and conditions, and include procedures for evaluation and awards.

There are two types of formal procurement solicitations:

  1. Request for Proposal (RFP) should be used when price alone is not the sole basis for award. However, price must be the primary consideration.
  2. Invitation for Bid (IFB) results in a fixed price contract. The IFB should describe the minimum standards expected of a responsible bidder.

In all procurement, open and free competition must prevail and small purchase procedures do not change the requirements of comparability, documentation, and must avoid conflicts of interest. Remember to balance cost with what is to be purchased and what is available.

If you are new to the topic of procurement, now is the time to begin developing your plan to follow proper procurement requirements. In the coming months, CANS is planning to offer additional training opportunities to learn about proper procurement. One of the best suggestions shared at the recent SNA Industry Conference was to look at what your neighbor does and share best practices.

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Establish a Summer Food Service Program in your community

In an effort to fend off hunger, the South Dakota Department of Education's office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services is seeking sponsors for a federally-funded program that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months. Community organizations, nonprofits, schools, tribal and local governments can apply to be sponsors if they operate in low-income areas, serve a group of mostly low-income children or operate a summer camp with a high proportion of low-income participants. Parks and recreation departments, city and county health departments, libraries and neighborhood service agencies can participate as sites or sponsors.

When school is in session, over 61,000 South Dakota students receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. The Summer Food Service Program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the South Dakota Department of Education. It provides meals to students when school is not in session. Children age 18 and younger may receive a meal free of charge at a participating site. In 2015, South Dakota Summer Food Service Program sponsors served 465,973 meals, which is an increase from the 428,883 meals served in 2014 and the 418,012 served in 2013.

Summer food program sites must be in the attendance area of a school where 50 percent or more of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or within the boundary of a U.S. Census block where at least 50 percent of children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals when at school. A site meeting those criteria is open to all area children under age 18 with special considerations for children from migrant households or those with a disability. To determine eligibility in your area, see USDA: Summer Food Service Program website.

Organizations interested in reviewing sponsor responsibilities can watch the Summer Food Service Program Overview on the South Dakota Department of Education's Summer Food Service Program webpage. To learn more about serving as a sponsor or site, call Child and Adult Nutrition Services at (605) 773-3413. For more information and to register for training, go to Summer Food Service Program. The deadline to register for training is Feb. 18. Sponsors are often looking for partners to help provide activities and educational programs to encourage continued student participation throughout the summer.

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National Ag Day -- March 15, 2016

Almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis can be attributed to agriculture. As the cornerstone of South Dakota economy, we rely heavily on agriculture.

March 15, 2016 will mark the 43rd anniversary of celebrating agriculture in our great state of South Dakota! The theme for National Ag Day 2016 is "Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet."

South Dakota grows a wide variety of food sources each year. Beef, Bison, Poultry, Pork are the first to come to mind. But there are more such as eggs, milk, and honey. Not to mention the garden produce in this rich state.

Don't overlook the obvious. If you are having tacos on National Ag Day help the students visualize where the food comes from. Display a small jar of corn and beside it the taco shell. Display a small jar of wheat and the soft shell tortilla beside it. The cheese and sour cream could be represented by a picture of a dairy cow, as well as the beef by a picture of some beef cattle, the taco sauce by a picture of tomatoes, etc.

The same could be done at breakfast. If an egg scramble is served display a picture of a laying hen with the egg beside it. The jar of wheat could also be used for the toast at breakfast and the corn for cereal. And don't forget the dairy cow for the milk and the display of apples for the apple juice served!

Work with your teachers and invite a farmer/producer to come speak to the students about where their food comes from. Invite the FFA group in your school to help serve the meal and educate as they serve.

The options are endless. Use your imagination and help our young people appreciate agriculture and the source of their food.

Other resources for building awareness of agriculture and its benefits:

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Paid Lunch Equity Tool for SY16-17 Available!

Review from previous month: The Paid Lunch Equity Tool for SY16-17 is available, and posted on the CANS-NSLP webpage. Please feel free to visit the Paid Lunch Equity section of the webpage to calculate lunch meal prices.

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Training Tracking Tool for Professional Standards

Review from previous month: Child and Adult Nutrition Services recently released a simplified Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool. This tool is an Excel spreadsheet. It contains an example of how to complete the tool, the tracking worksheet, and the learning topics and objectives required for Professional Standards.

This tool is a great resource for sponsor agencies and schools that would like to keep an electronic file with your training information. If you are not fond of keeping an electronic file, this tool can be printed out and used as a worksheet that you complete and keep on file.

Please remember to retain training documentation on file to support the training events that you and your staff attend. This supporting documentation can include sign in sheets, handouts, agendas, certificates, or any other materials that indicate the training topic and dates. Also, don't forget to write down who attended the training.

You can find this tool and other helpful Professional Standards information on our CANS NSLP website under the section called "Professional Standards and Training Opportunities."

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Professional Standards Power Point Slide Show

Review from previous month: Child and Adult Nutrition Services recently compiled the Professional Standard rules and frequently asked questions into a Professional Standards power point that is posted on the CANS NSLP website under the section called "Professional Standards and Training Opportunities." If you or your staff have questions about the hiring or training requirements for the new Professional Standards rules please check out this informational power point.

Don't forget, reviewing Power Point slides or webinars can count as training! Add the entry to your training tracking tool, print off the training credit slide, sign and date the print out, and keep it on file with your other training documentation.

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Free and Reduced Application Update Power Point Slide Show

Review from previous month: Updates and frequently asked application and eligibility questions have been put together in a new Free and Reduced Application Power Point slide show that is now posted to the CANS NSLP website under the section called "Training & Webinars."

Don't forget, reviewing Power Point slides or webinars can count as training! Add the entry to your training tracking tool, print off the training credit slide, sign and date the print out, and keep it on file with your other training documentation.

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Nonprogram Food Revenue Requirements

Review from previous month: USDA Memo SP 20-2016 was recently released to provide further guidance regarding pricing requirements for nonprogram foods. A nonprogram food means any food (other than reimbursable meals) or beverage puirchased using nonprofit school food service account funds. Examples of nonprogram foods include a la carte foods, adult meals, and food items purchased for vending machines, school stores, etc.

When nonprofit school food service account funds are used to purchase nonprogram foods, the food cost must be covered by nonprogram funds. The profit may be kept by the outside entity.

Separating out the SFA's costs for nonprogram foods from the costs for program food may be particularly difficult. In recognition of the current variations in system capabilities, FNS is providing a simplified approach for SFAs to assess compliance with this requirement going forward.

How to assess for compliance:

The simplified approach, while still requiring SFAs to separate their nonprogram food costs from their program food costs, allows SFAs to select a reference period by which compliance will be assessed. Rather than separating all costs for the entire year, SFAs will separate their nonprogram food costs from their program food costs for a period of at least 5 consecutive operating days (or 4 consecutive days for schools that only operate 4 days).

If the SFA is able to show that the percentage of nonprogram revenue generated is at least as great as the percentage of nonprogram food costs incurred during the reference period, the SFA is in compliance with Federal requirements.

SFAs with the capacity to obtain separate nonprogram and program food cost and revenue data for a period longer than 5 consecutive days (e.g., monthly, annual, biweekly) are strongly encouraged to use data from the longer period to perform the assessment.

The simplified approach will be used by Child & Adult Nutrition Services for administrative reviews. Featured below is the formula which can be used to assess nonprogram food revenue with the simplified approach:

Non program food revenue / total program and non program revenue is greater than or equal to total nonprogram food costs/ total program and non program food costs

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Team Up Thursdays Webinars

The Institute of Child Nutrition (formerly NFSMI) is hosting Team Up Thursday's webinar series. The materials, presentations, and resources offered as a part of this webinar series include information and support for the Team Up for School Nutrition Success program. The presentations include the initial pilot workshop, regional trainings, and Team Up Thursday's webinar series. These presentations are done by schools that are sharing their strategies or tools and sometimes USDA FNS staff to clarify new rules.

Prior webinar topics include: Plate and Food Waste, Increasing Participation, Maximizing Your Financial Resources, Menu Planning, Financial Management, Menu Planning with USDA Foods, Making Sense of Sodium, Food Safety Best Practices, Professional Standards, and more.

If you do not have time to join the live webinars, prerecorded webinars of prior topics are available for review at Institute of Child Nutrition website. You may also use this link to register for upcoming webinars.

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Updated Policies

Some policies have multiple numbers. That means those apply to multiple programs.

Only one new policy has been issued that is relevant to agencies since the last bulletin. You can find policies at the listed sites.

School Nutrition Programs (SP memos)
Current policies can be found at USDA: School Meals. One new policy memo has been issued that affects SFAs.

Date Document # Title
01/07/2016 SP22-2016 CEP Planning and Implementation Guidance

Child & Adult Care Food Program
Current policies can be found at USDA: Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP memos).

Summer Food Service Program
Current policies can be found at USDA: Summer Food Service Program.

Food Distribution
Current policies can be found at

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Let's Move Blog

The 'Let's Move Blog' is a great place to keep up to date with the Let's Move campaign, which focuses on overall wellness for a healthier tomorrow.

Recent articles include:

Visit the 'Let's Move Blog' here to view recent stories, and more:

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