Applications-Student Meals

Additional Required Outreach Efforts: Summer Food Service Program, School Breakfast Program and Minnesota Health Care Programs

Summary

Before the end of each school year, outreach to households about the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Federal program regulations require school food authorities that operate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to annually outreach about the availability of free meals during the summer. This information needs to be sent before the end of each school year, so it is not included in the annual school meals application packet. See details below.
In the annual school meals application packet, include information about the School Breakfast Program (SBP). Federal program regulations require school food authorities that offer SBP at one or more schools to include SBP information in the annual school meals application packet. See details below.
In the annual school meals application packet, include information about Minnesota Health Care Programs. State law requires public schools to annually outreach about Minnesota Health Care Programs, such as MinnesotaCare, that households may qualify for. See details below.

Outreach for the Summer Food Service Program

School food authorities are required by NSLP regulations (7 Code of Federal Regulations 210.12(d)(2)) to annually outreach to households about free meals or snacks available from SFSP sites during the summer. The outreach information must be provided to households prior to the end of each school year, so this information may not be distributed via the annual school meals application packet. The information may be distributed prior to the end of each school year by any means normally used to communicate with households, for example email or website.

(The SFSP outreach requirement does not apply if a school food authority knows that there will be no SFSP sites in its attendance area for the upcoming summer.)

If the school food authority operates the SFSP or knows where SFSP sites will operate in its attendance area:  Send specific information about the local SFSP sites to households, including SFSP locations, dates of operation and meal service times, or place the information in your newsletter and/or on your website.

Statewide information about the locations of SFSP sites is usually available by June each year:

Locate the list of SFSP sites on SFSP page of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website.

Locate the list of SFSP sites on Second Harvest Heartland website.

If the school food authority does not have specific information about SFSP sites in its attendance area:  Send an SFSP flyer to families or place the contact information from the flyer in your newsletter and/or on your website. The SFSP flyer provides contact information so that families can call or text to find out if there are SFSP sites located near them. The SFSP flyer is available for download from the Second Harvest Heartland website. View the SFSP flyer.

It is recommended that the flyer (or the contact information from the flyer) be distributed to families as late in the school year as possible so that information about SFSP sites will be as complete as possible. 

Outreach for the School Breakfast Program

School food authorities that have one or more sites that offer the SBP are required by federal program regulations (7 Code of Federal Regulations 210.12(d)(1)) to inform families about the availability of the breakfast program. This information must be sent to households prior to or at the beginning of each school year, so it may be included in the annual school meals application packet.

Breakfast outreach requirements also are described in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) memorandum Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Outreach to Households on the Availability of the School Breakfast Program (SP 40-2011):

Schools participating in the SBP must inform families of the availability of breakfasts. A notification of the availability of breakfast must be relayed just prior to or at the beginning of the school year in the informational packets that are sent to each household with free and reduced price meal applications for the new school year. In addition, schools should send reminders regarding the availability of the SBP multiple times throughout the school year. Schools can provide reminders to children through their public address systems in schools or through means normally used to communicate with the households of enrolled children. Other acceptable outreach activities may include developing or disseminating printed or electronic material to families and school children. For example, information about the SBP should be posted on the school’s website.

Flyers and other marketing resources about school breakfast are available from the SBP Toolkit developed by USDA. Locate breakfast flyers and other resources on the Discover School Breakfast Resource Materials page of the USDA website.

Outreach for Minnesota Health Care Programs

Minnesota Statues section 256.962 requires public school districts and charter schools to annually notify households about Minnesota Health Care Programs that are available based on household income. This information may be included in the annual school meals application packet.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has provided a one-page flyer (English and Spanish versions) that can be used to meet this requirement. Each spring the flyer is updated with household income guidelines that go into effect on July 1. Locate the Minnesota Health Care Programs Notification flyer on the SNP/Applications-Student Meals page of the MDE website. Before printing the flyer, insert the contact information for the county and/or tribal agencies that serve the attendance area, according to the Minnesota Tribal and County Health Care Directory on the DHS website.