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Food Service News Archive:

May 16, 2023
Summer Food Service Program: Grab and Go meals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released guidance to allow non-congregate, Grab and Go meals, in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Operations (SSO) this summer. This option is available to rural sites. If you are interested in offering Grab and Go meals, please contact the Department of Education's Child and Adult Nutrition Services at (605) 773-3413 with questions. To find a site operating a summer feeding program this year, visit the USDA Summer Meals for Kids Site Finder.

Feb. 8, 2023
Proposed Updates to the School Nutrition Standards

In an effort to provide children the right balance of nutrients for healthy and appealing meals, USDA's Food and Nutrition Services has proposed changes to the school nutrition standards and meal patterns for Child Nutrition Programs. The proposed updates reflect the most recent Dietary Guidelines, as required by law, and build in plenty of time for planning and implementation to ensure the school meals community and the kids they serve have the best chance for long-term success. These updates are now available in the Federal Register. USDA will host a one-hour webinar on Feb. 21 for School Food Authority Staff (Register). Find more information on the USDA FNS webpage.

Jan. 24, 2023
Schools receive $260,000 in School Nutrition Program grants

The department recently announced 16 school systems across South Dakota have been granted more than $260,000 in grants available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grants are to purchase new equipment or to renovate/replace existing equipment in School Nutrition Programs.

Jan. 23, 2023
Supply Chain Assistance funds available for eligible districts

Superintendents of schools that operate the National School Lunch or Breakfast Program will receive a DocuSign email around Feb. 2 regarding the availability of Supply Chain Assistance (SCA) funds. You will need to indicate whether you accept or decline these funds. The deadline to accept funding is Feb. 17. Any school that wishes to accept funding must attest to supply chain disruptions and must use the funding to purchase only domestic, minimally or unprocessed foods. DOE's Child and Adult Nutrition Services team will hold an informational webinar on this topic Jan. 25, 2:30-3:30 p.m. (Central). Questions can be directed to CANS staff at or (605) 773-3413.

Jan. 3, 2023
New templates available for schools using Food Service Management Companies

The state templates for the Request for Proposal (RFP) and fixed price contract used with Food Service Management Companies (FSMCs) have been updated for use in school year 2023-24 contracts. Appropriate school personnel are invited to join the Child and Adult Nutrition Services (CANS) staff for a walk-through of the new RFP template and to address common questions via Zoom on Jan. 11, 2:30-3:30 p.m. CT.

Nov. 8, 2022
School Nutrition Program equipment grants available
National School Lunch Program equipment grants are now available for school year 2022-23. More than $250,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding was received, which is more than four times the amount typically awarded. Find more information and the application on the Child and Adult Nutrition Services School Nutrition Program webpage under the "Equipment Grants" heading. Applications are due by mail, not email, and must be postmarked by Nov. 30, 2022.

Sept. 22, 2022
Celebrate the 2022 South Dakota Crunch Off
The South Dakota Crunch Off is a statewide event to celebrate local produce and Farm to School by crunching into any South Dakota grown "crunchy" fruit or vegetable. Anyone can participate. Simply register your crunch event and post a photo or video crunching to social media with #SouthDakotaCrunch. South Dakota Crunch Off events may occur anytime between Sept. 26 and Oct. 7, 2022. Learn more and register your event.

Aug. 15, 2022
Temporary flexibility for nonprofit food service account finances
This memo communicates a temporary flexibility for food service finances from School Year (SY) / Program Year (PY) 2021-22 that allows School Nutrition Program (SNP) or Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators to apply for a two-year spend down plan if the program operator exceeds a five-month net cash resource limit.

July 18, 2022
School meal applications required for SY 2022-23
Families that may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals will need to submit an application for SY 2022-23. Waivers that allowed schools to serve universal free meals, due to the pandemic, have expired. Schools should communicate early and often with families about the application process. Learn more.

July 15, 2022
Harvest of the Month Grant available from DOH
The South Dakota Department of Health is offering a grant to fund up to $1,500 to implement Harvest of the Month for 10 youth programs across the state. The purpose of this grant is to actively engage children in learning about and exposing them to fruits and vegetables through Harvest of the Month educational lesson plans, recipes, and supporting materials. Applications are due Aug. 10 by 5 p.m. CT. Learn more and access the grant application.

July 8, 2022
Keep Kids Fed Act and new USDA nationwide waivers
A memorandum from DOE's Child and Adult Nutrition Services offers the latest news on the school food service front, including information about the Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022, a second round of supply chain assistance funding, and a host of new waivers.

July 1, 2022
Managing staff changes
When you have staffing changes in your school nutrition program, remember to consider whether they will need access to iCAN for applications, claims, and/or food distribution program orders. If staff need iCAN access, you will need to submit an iCAN user request form to Please be sure to indicate on the form if your new staff is replacing a staff member that currently has iCAN access. For questions regarding the user request form please call 605-773-3413 or email

July 1, 2022
Check in with CANS calls resume Aug. 4
Join Child and Adult Nutrition Services (CANS) each month for the Check in with CANS conference call, to resume Aug. 4. These Zoom calls provide updates on hot topics and an opportunity for you to ask questions. They are typically scheduled for the first Thursday of each month at 2:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. MT August through June. All Child Nutrition Program operators (School Nutrition Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program) are invited. Watch your email for access details.

July 1, 2022
USDA issues transitional nutrition standards for next two school years
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced school nutrition standards for school years 2022-23 and 2023-24. This rule will provide a transition period by establishing nutrition standards for milk, whole grains, and sodium for the next two school years while USDA works with schools, industry, families, and other partners to develop long-term standards to be in place by SY 2024-25. Learn more on USDA's Building Back Better with School Meals website.