The Great State Search: New Mexico to South Carolina  

The May 2016 issue challenged readers to go on “The Great State Search,” checking out the websites of 50 state agency websites. The print edition uncovered such treasures as a fact sheet that will help you sell “Second Chance Breakfast” to key stakeholders (made available by the Arkansas state agency) to a presentation on learning lessons from the Olympics to establish top-notch food defense practices (courtesy of the folks in Georgia) to an impressive online database of school meal recipes (compiled in Mississippi). What cool resources can you discover from New Mexico to South Carolina? Take a look!

New Mexico

New Mexico Public Education Department
Student Nutrition
Website: http://ped.state.nm.us/nutrition/index.html
One Helpful Resource: This agency makes it easy to find what you need with links to every topic on its home page. Need USDA guidance? Scroll to find the category header for “Latest USDA Memos,” which are organized in chronological order, beginning with those that are most recent and stretching back to 2012. A separate section, “Archived USDA Memos” goes back even further, but contains information that may still prove helpful, such as a summary of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act or a letter about the H1N1 virus. The site may not win design awards, but it’s simple and effective to navigate.

New York

New York Department of Education
Child Nutrition Program
Website: http://portal.nysed.gov/portal/page/portal/CNKC
One Helpful Resource: Calling its website the “Child Nutrition Knowledge Center” is a savvy way to market the many resources this state agency makes available. Click on “Procurement” in the left-hand navigation bar and you will link to a page of resources neatly organized by federal statutes and regulations, state statutes and regulations, federal and state policy memos, plus additional policy and guidance, from both the state and the Institute for Child Nutrition. This includes a 188-page PDF on “Procurement in the 21st Century,” which is comprehensive guide that supports workshop training on the same topic. Chapter headings range from the principles of good procurement to joining or forming a cooperative purchasing group.

North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Child Nutrition/School Nutrition Services
Website: http://childnutrition.ncpublicschools.gov/
One Helpful Resource: This state agency understands the importance of marketing to school nutrition success and a “Marketing” tab in the right hand navigation bar (also found in the “Information & Resources” tab along the top) includes two PowerPoint presentations, as well as a three-minute movie link, to help you train your team. Look for the sub-link on the left for examples of signage (including downloadable sneeze guard labels) used by different districts to explain the components of reimbursable meals.

North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Child Nutrition & Food Distribution, School Nutrition Programs 
Website: https://www.nd.gov/dpi/schoolstaff/childnutritionfooddistribution/schoolnutritionprograms
One Helpful Resource: Are you a new school nutrition director and feeling a bit overwhelmed by this complex program? (Or maybe this describes your boss….) On this agency’s website, click on “Policies/Manuals/Guidance” and you will find the “Survival Guide for New Administrators,” a four-page document that offers a no-frills, to-the-point approach to the most critical aspects of and requirements related to administering school meal programs.

Ohio

Ohio Department of Education
Office for Child Nutrition
Website: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Food-and-Nutrition
One Helpful Resource:  If your local school or school district has contemplated using a BMI (Body Mass Index) screening system to address childhood obesity, this state agency includes several helpful tools that were developed when such screenings were state-mandated. Downloadable materials include a Sample Parent Letter, Frequently Asked Questions, Implementation Steps, a Collection Tool and more. You can find these by clicking on “Learn About Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act” in the “How Do I…?” box prominently placed on the home page. 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Education
Child Nutrition
Website: http://sde.ok.gov/sde/child-nutrition-programs
One Helpful Resource: Need ideas to pass along to teachers about healthy fundraising and reward activities? This agency has a simple but universal three-page document divided into the “Thing to Do,” “Things to Sell” (including “Made in [STATE] products”) and “Nonfood Reward Ideas.” You’ll find this by clicking on “Links and resources” and scrolling down to the “Wellness Policy Resources” section. Another downloadable document is a 30-page “Local School Wellness Policy Model Guidance” resource, actually developed in Mississippi, but adapted for use in Oklahoma—which shows how easy (and common) it is to repurpose such resources!

Oregon

Oregon Department of Education
Child Nutrition Programs
Website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=62
One Helpful Resource: This state has made a major commitment to promoting farm-to-school and school garden initiatives. Be sure to check out the 19-page “Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Curricular Resources” document if you’re hoping to work with specific teachers or classes on such a project. This compilation of best practice suggestions from all across the state and country is organized in an easy-to-use format, briefly describing the age group, focus, academic standards, structure and content of the curriculum and tips for the online access of supporting materials developed by various public and private sector organizations. This and other resources are easily found within the Farm to School section of the Child Nutrition Programs page.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Education
Food and Nutrition
Website: http://www.education.pa.gov/Teachers%20-%20Administrators/Food-Nutrition/Pages/default.aspx
One Helpful Resource: Click on “Online Discussion Groups and Related Links” and you’ll have easy access to instant networking! You can learn how to subscribe (or unsubscribe) to the Mealtalk, Foodsafe and Success Talk online discussion groups established by USDA. In addition, find links to SNA and other organizations working to support school nutrition professionals and the work they do.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Education
Child Nutrition Programs
Website: http://www.ride.ri.gov/cnp/Home.aspx
One Helpful Resource: If your school offers the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, you can use this site to access curricula developed for K-5 by the University of Rhode Island. Each grade segment features handouts, lesson plans and parent communications. These are terrific nutrition education resources to use in your own cafeteria efforts to introduce new produce items at lunch and breakfast. Click on the “Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program” icon to access.

South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Education
Office of Nutrition and Health
Website: http://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/nutrition
One Helpful Resource: So, you’ve heard about Smarter Lunchroom principles, but don’t really know how to apply them, huh? On this site, you can find several resources to help you take action. These include presentations and accompanying documents developed by Cornell’s B.E.N. Center to help you and your team discuss possible changes to the serving line design, guiding you through understanding the potential benefits, as well as the objections and how to address these. Part 2 of a workshop presentation offers suggestions for dealing with the Perturbed Parent, the Resistant Café Staff and the Student Activist. Click on the “Smarter Lunchroom Movement: Southern Style” box.

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National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

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