FNS wants to hear from you!
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is seeking feedback from all stakeholders on how the Buy American provision and guidance are currently implemented, changes FNS should make to current regulations and how FNS can better support local operators. FNS greatly appreciates the efforts of school food stakeholders to keep kids fed while facing pandemic-related challenges. Your feedback on this Request for Information will help FNS improve school meal procurement requirements in the future.
Responses to the School Meals Buy American Provision Request for Information are due on November 2, 2021.
Please use this link to submit your responses.
Back to School Resources
Back to School Letter from Governor's Office and OPI
CDC Guidance for Covid-19 Prevention
Free Meals Letter from Schools to Families
Press Release Templates: SSO or Non-Pricing | NSLP or Pricing
Free and Reduced Price Policy Statement
School Year 21-22 Admin Packet
Communicating with Families
Communication is key. Remember to communicate with parents and guardians about food substitutions as early as possible. Inform the community about the steps your district is taking to work through supply chain concerns in your area. Also, as substitutions are incorporated into the menu, remember to continue to read ingredient lists for allergen information. A customizable letter to families is available here.
Seamless Summer Option
Application Instructions: Video | PDF
For School Year 2021-22, schools have the option to operate the new Seamless Summer Option, SSO, or continue to operate the National School Lunch Program, NSLP: Program Comparison Chart. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) will not be an option for SY 2021-2022. Montana Office of Public Instruction is currently making administrative and technology changes to existing systems to accommodate the SSO. We will announce when applications are open in an upcoming School Nutrition Programs newsletter.
- SSO is a combination of the NSLP & SFSP programs.
- Schools planning to operate SSO do not need to pass out Free and Reduced Price applications.
- SSO follows the same nutritious NSLP/SBP meal pattern requirements not SFSP meal pattern.
- Meals will be free to all kids if schools decide to operate SSO. NSLP is still an option for schools to operate.
- The higher reimbursement rate that was offered for SFSP is being allowed for SSO during SY2021-22.
Meal Service Waivers
Schools will need to re-opt into waivers for the 2021-2022 School Year via this Waiver Request Form
Title Program Funding
Free and Reduced applications are not required for families to fill out to receive free meals if school is operating SSO. The USDA has released a guide with recommendations for Allocating Title I Funds without School Meal Data. Contact Jack O’Connor, 444-3083 with Title Funding questions.
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