Angels with food bags for area school kids – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

They are angels with bags of food for area elementary students who may be food-insecure during weekends when local schools are not offering or distributing free lunches and breakfasts.

As co-director of the Vacaville chapter of End 68 Hours of Hunger — a reference to the weekend time period that gives the group its name — Tinamarie DeStefano of Vacaville said the mission is to give away food to eat, Friday night to Sunday night, to young students in four Solano County school districts, making a difference at more than a dozen schools in all.

The food — nonperishable pantry foods, peanut butter and jelly, granola bars, fruit cups and the like — helps the students, many of whom are from poor families or at-risk, “to focus,” improve test scores, and lessen behavioral problems, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, DeStefano said.

Source: Angels with food bags for area school kids – The Reporter

California school district improves scratch-cooking program – Food Management

By Jennifer Crain

By the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the student nutrition department of Vacaville Unified School District had transitioned two of its heat-and-serve kitchens into scratch-cooking hubs, the better to serve its 13,000 students. They had also forged relationships with local farms and started making progress on nutrition goals, such as limiting sugars.

While many school districts experienced setbacks to similar programs when the pandemic closed schools, Juan Cordon, director of student nutrition, says he felt driven to continue delivering scratch meals to students.

Source: California school district improves scratch-cooking program

COVID-19 Guidance in the Child Nutrition Programs – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued nationwide federal waivers and approved state specific requests intended to provide temporary flexibilities to certain regulatory requirements of the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). The CNPs referenced are the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO), School Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Food Program (CACFP). The California Department of Education (CDE) is assisting Program Operators of the CNP by posting policy guidance and waivers, providing information on how to operate the programs during the pandemic, directions on how to claim for reimbursement and COVID-19 funding, providing bi-monthly Townhall webinars for questions and answers and best practices, connecting program operators with resources, answering Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ), and providing contact information for additional assistance. The CDE is striving to continue to support and protect access to nutritious meals for children and adults in California.

Source: COVID-19 Guidance in the Child Nutrition Programs – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

SFSP Annual Update 2020–21 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education (CDE) has opened the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Annual Update in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) for School Year (SY) 2020–21 (October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021).

Important Information

Prior to serving meals the Nutrition Services Division must approve your CNIPS SY 2020–21 Application Packet. If you are planning to serve SFSP meals on October 1, 2020, please submit your complete Application Packet as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition to the new year.

Source: SFSP Annual Update 2020–21 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

School Year 2020–21 Annual Update—Fourth Notice – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education (CDE) has opened the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Annual Update in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) for School Year (SY) 2020–21 (July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021).

The CDE recognizes the challenges that School Food Authorities (SFA) face while preparing for the upcoming SY. As a result, we want to provide as much time as possible for the Annual Update process. The CDE is actively developing re-opening guidance for schools and will continue to release resources as they are developed. Those SFAs that have already established re-opening plans for the fall can complete their required annual participation updates in the CNIPS now.

Source: School Year 2020–21 Annual Update—Fourth Notice – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

Welcome to School Year 2020–21 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

On behalf of the entire California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) team, I am sending my sincere appreciation and gratitude to each of you as you wrap up your summer meal service operations during COVID-19 and embrace the new 2020–2021 school year. During this past year, you stepped up to the plate in unprecedented times. As we look ahead, I fully realize there is still uncertainty in how COVID-19 will affect schools and meal service operations. However, I am confident that with your “can do” spirit and working together as a school nutrition community, we will overcome the obstacles and figure out solutions so California’s students have access to school meals.

Source: Welcome to School Year 2020–21 – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

School district food program continues through summer – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Fairfield-Suisun School District, in collaboration with the USDA, has extended operation of its nutrition program through the summer months.

The program, which provides children 18 and younger with breakfast and lunch items Monday through Friday, unless otherwise noted, will run through Aug. 7 at most participating sites.

There are currently nine pickup sites, with two additional sites set to begin food distribution Monday. The program will conclude July 31 at two sites, with a final date of Aug. 7 at other locations.

Source: School district food program continues through summer

School Year 2020–21 Annual Update Now Open – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education (CDE) has opened the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Annual Update in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) for School Year (SY) 2020–21 (July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021).

The CDE recognizes the challenges that School Food Authorities (SFA) face while preparing for the upcoming SY. As a result, we want to provide as much time as possible for the Annual Update process. The CDE is actively developing re-opening guidance for schools and will continue to release resources as they are developed. Those SFAs that have already established re-opening plans for the fall can complete their required annual participation updates in the CNIPS now.

Source: School Year 2020–21 Annual Update Now Open – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

Nutrition CARES Act Guidance – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

On May 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provides funding to Child Nutrition Programs to assist with the impact of COVID-19. The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is providing clarification on how the CARES funding can be used.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has instructed us that these funds can only be used for paying reimbursement claims for actual meals served to eligible children in the National School Lunch Program, Summer Seamless Option, and School Breakfast Programs, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food, and Summer Food Service Programs, and therefore cannot be used to offset revenue loss. In addition, these funds can only be used for claims during the time period March through September 2020.

Source: Nutrition CARES Act Guidance – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)

In new program, low-income students eligible for extra food benefits – Times-Herald

By Richard Bammer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a new food assistance program for children throughout the state, including thousands in Solano County, who are living in households struggling with food insecurity, state schools chief Tony Thurmond has announced.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides electronic food benefits to families equal to the value of meals children eligible for free or reduced-priced meals would have received at school, he noted in a press release issued earlier this week.

“The COVID-19 crisis has placed additional economic strain on some of our families that were already struggling to put food on the table,” Thurmond said in the prepared statement. “This program provides critical food assistance so that our students who are in economically challenged households can get the nutritious meals at home they need to thrive.”

Source: Coronavirus: CDE: In new program, low-income students eligible for extra food benefits – Times-Herald

Attorneys General Sue Trump Administration Over School Nutrition Rollbacks : NPR

By Allison Aubrey

A coalition of state attorneys general is suing the Trump administration for weakening the federal nutrition standards for school meals that are fed to about 30 million children across the country.

“Over a million children in New York – especially those in low-income communities and communities of color – depend on the meals served daily by their schools to be healthy, nutritious, and prepare them for learning,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. Joining James in the lawsuit are the attorneys general of California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont.

As we’ve reported, last year the Trump administration gave school lunch administrators more flexibility in serving up refined grains, including white breads, biscuits and white pastas. The move weakened standards set during the Obama administration aimed at serving more nutritious and fiber-dense whole grains, which are a key part of a healthy diet.

Source: Attorneys General Sue Trump Administration Over School Nutrition Rollbacks : The Salt : NPR

Thurmond Announces Exemplary Program Awards – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced additional honors for 22 California Distinguished middle schools and high schools selected as having an Exemplary Program in Arts Education, Career Technical Education, or Physical Activity and Nutrition. Distinguished Schools applied separately for these honors. This year’s honorees include 10 schools for Arts Education, nine for Career Technical Education, and four schools for Physical Activity and Nutrition—with one school receiving honors in two categories.

“We know that closing the achievement gap includes world-class instruction, including access to STEAM, career technical education, physical education, and nutrition education.” said Thurmond. “Instruction outside of core academic subject areas—like job training, entrepreneurship, and STEAM—helps all students prepare for 21st century jobs and sparks creative and healthy minds. I congratulate these 22 Exemplary Program Award winners for their outstanding work.”

Source: Thurmond Announces Exemplary Program Awards – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

BUSD announces guidelines for free, discount meal eligibility in 18-19 – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Benicia Unified School District announced its guidelines for free or reduced meal programs under the National School Lunch/Breakfast Programs for the 2018-19 school year.

According to a news release, BUSD’s Food and Nutrition Department offers lunch services at Matthew Turner Elementary School, breakfast and lunch services at Mary Farmar Elementary, Joe Henderson Elementary, Robert Semple Elementary, Benicia Middle School and Liberty High School, and breakfast, lunch and nutritional snack break services at Benicia High School. The cost of breakfast is $2 and the cost of milk is 50 cents for all grades, and the cost of lunch is $3 for elementary schoolers and $3.50 for middle and high schoolers.

Source: BUSD announces guidelines for free, discount meal eligibility in 18-19

Serving Nutritious Meals to Low-income Families – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that disadvantaged families in California can now find updated lists of child and adult care centers offering nutritious meals at low or no cost through the California Department of Education’s website.

“Providing children with healthy meals is critical to their physical, emotional, and academic growth,” said Torlakson. “Parents who are struggling with food insecurity can find out where to go to ensure their children receive the proper nutrition they need to thrive. I encourage families to take advantage of these centers.”

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over 8,000 local child care centers and 14,000 sponsored day care home providers in California participate. These facilities provide nutritious food to infants, children, and adults.

All children enrolled in these day care homes receive meals at no charge. Most participating child care centers also provide meals at no charge, or free and reduced-price (F/RP) meals are available.

Source: Serving Nutritious Meals to Low-income Families – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

FSUSD’s Child Nutrition Department Works with Kid Tested Kid Approved – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Child Nutrition Department worked with the Kid Tested Kid Approved program April 24th, 25th and 26th.

Kid Tested Kid Approved is a 3rd party company that works with manufacturer brands to test products with at least 500 school aged children in three geographically dispersed locations throughout the United States. To have a product placed on the Kid Tested Kid Approved list, a product must be taste approved by at least 80% of those tested. If approval is not 80% or higher, the product must go back to Research and Development for additional tweaks and is not placed on the approved list.

Source: FSUSD’s Child Nutrition Department Works with Kid Tested Kid Approved

Torlakson Names New Nutrition Services Director – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today the appointment of Kim Frinzell as the new Director of the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) at the California Department of Education (CDE). She began her new assignment on April 1.

Frinzell has over two decades of administrative and operations expertise in both federal and state nutrition programs and policy. She formerly served as the NSD’s Associate Director.

“Kim’s extensive experience, dedication, and comprehensive knowledge make her the perfect choice for this position,” said Torlakson. “She has played a key role in successfully collaborating with our schools, districts, and community centers to provide access to nutritious and healthy food for California students so they can be focused, alert, and ready to learn.”

Frinzell received her bachelor of science degree in agricultural science: dietetics and food administration from Fresno State University and later became a Registered Dietitian.

Source: Torlakson Names New Nutrition Services Director – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Fairfield-Suisun will no longer charge students co-pay on reduced-price breakfasts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

It’s only 30 cents, but it will be a welcome financial benefit for Fairfield-Suisun Unified students and families and the school district.

The district’s Child Nutrition Services Department announced Friday it will no longer charge the 30-cent co-pay for reduced-price breakfasts, a new policy that takes effect Jan. 8 and remains in effect for the rest of the school year.

Those students who are eligible for reduced-priced meals will be able to eat breakfast at school for free, Tim Goree, executive director of administrative services and community engagement, wrote in a press release.

In the prepared statement, he added that by “using a tool” provided by the state Department of Education, the district’s Child Nutrition Services Department estimated a 64 percent increase in student participation in the breakfast program if the co-pay was eliminated.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun will no longer charge students co-pay on reduced-price breakfasts

Vacaville school board inks $1M contract – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A charter school petition denial and approval of the 2017-18 budgets were the main stories that emerged last week from a Vacaville Unified governing board meeting, but some other pocketbook matters also crossed the trustees’ dais and were approved.

Trustees OK’d a so-called “piggyback co-op bid” with San Gabriel Valley Food Services to contract with Gold Star Foods, in an amount not to exceed $1 million. The contract applies to the distribution of frozen and refrigerated foods for the 2017-18 academic year, with an option to extend the bid for two more. Vacaville Unified currently gets some of its food through Gold Star, which has a large warehouse in Dixon.

Source: Vacaville school board inks $1M contract with food services firm for frozen, refrigerated foods

VUSD summer feeding program well underway – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For dozens of Vacaville children, school is out but lunch in still in.

Vacaville Unified’s annual free summer feeding program, dubbed Free Lunch with Friends, is well underway at several citywide locations Mondays through Fridays.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program, organized by the district’s child nutrition department, is open is open to all children, infants to 18. No registration is required.

Food distribution dates, times and locations are as follows:

• 11 to 11:45 a.m., through July 14: Hemlock Elementary, 400 Hemlock St.

• 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through Aug. 11: Vacaville Public Library, downtown branch, 1 Town Square Place.

 

Source: VUSD summer feeding program well underway