The Great State Search: South Dakota to Wyoming

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 South Dakota to Wyoming? Take a look!

South Dakota

South Dakota Department of Education
Child and Adult Nutrition Services
One Helpful Resource: Are you concerned by the waste you see in the cafeteria and in your kitchens? On this site you can access an informative presentation on the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, established by USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency. This 63-slide presentation is a great training resource to help you get critical messages about recycling, reusing and recovery across to your team members. Click on the “USDA Food Distribution for Child Nutrition Programs” link and then scroll to the “Webinars” section.


Tennessee Department of Education
Health & Safety/School Nutrition

One Helpful Resource:  Confused by what costs are considered “direct” versus “indirect”? This state agency dedicates a page to helping to clarify the issue. It includes helpful charts showcasing examples of direct costs (including food/food supplies, certain custodial services, certain trash collection) and indirect costs (including accounting services and post-retirement health benefits), with descriptions and necessary documentation requirements. Links to a USDA memo on the topic and the state’s “Internal School Uniform Accounting Policy Manual” also may prove helpful. Click on the “SNP Financial Management” link and navigate from there.


Texas Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition
One Helpful Resource: Click on “Publications” tab in the horizontal navigation bar near the top of the page and you will have access to literally hundreds of downloadable resources. For example, if you click on “Handbooks” you will find updates to the “NSLP Handbook: Administrator’s Reference Manual,” including sections on “Afterschool Meal Programs,” “Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs,” “Child Nutrition (CN) Labeling and Product Documentation,” “Food Service Management Companies” and more.


Utah State Office of Education
Child Nutrition Programs
One Helpful Resource: Everyone knows that the best ideas come from other districts that have paved the way. This state agency is working to harness those best practices by creating a “Sharing Library” tab (left-hand navigation bar). Check out brochures, postcards, newsletters, manager’s meeting ideas, special promotions, cafeteria decorations, recipes and customer service initiatives, parent letters and more—all shared by individual school districts in the state.


Vermont Department of Education
Child Nutrition Programs
One Helpful Resource: The downloadable, 212-page PDF features 75 recipes, as well as chapters with other helpful resources, including “10 Reasons to Buy Local Food,” “Scaling & Adapting Recipes for School Meals,” “Proper Produce Storage” and “10 Tips for Rolling Out a New Recipe at Your School.” The book’s production was a collaboration among the state agency office, SNA of Vermont, Vermont FEED, the New England Culinary Institute and many local schools, using funds from a Team Nutrition grant. Each recipe is available in large-quantity yields, with ingredients in both weights and measures, nutrition information and helpful notes and tips.


Virginia Department of Education
Student & School Support/School Nutrition
One Helpful Resource: Civil Rights training is a requirement for school nutrition operations. This state agency features a 40-slide presentation that you can download and easily adapt for your team. You’ll find it at the top of the “Professional Development” page. Scroll further for a variety of productivity and efficiency tools, including templates for weekly cleaning, service line and production schedules, a chart for estimating costs of over-serving, an inventory control self-check and more.


Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Child Nutrition

One Helpful Resource: Your state agency knows how tough it is for district-level operations to make ends meet. Right near the top of its navigation bar, you will find a link for information about “Grants.” Not only does the page include details about federal, state and private-sector grant opportunities, you can link to a “Grant Writing Tip Sheet” produced by agency staff, as well as another resource created by the National Institutes of Health. A link to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is another resource for writing grant proposals.

West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Education
Office of Child Nutrition
One Helpful Resource: This state presents a how-to guide called “The Playbook—a Guide to Creating a Model Food Service Program in West Virginia.” This 180-page downloadable PDF is written for in-state school food stakeholders, but much of the information is transferrable across state lines. The “sports” metaphor makes for an engaging structure, with chapters on “Following the Rules” (Policies and Procedures), “Penalties” (Barriers to a Successful Program) and “What’s the Score” (a self-assessment activity). It’s written specifically to an audience of superintendents, school nutrition directors and principals for their leadership in such initiatives.


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
School Nutrition Programs
One Helpful Resource: Three cheers for a state agency that values public awareness so much that the first link on its navigation bar is: “Wisconsin School Meals Rock!” Establishing a #WISchoolMealsRock hashtag, the agency is firmly in the 21stcentury, and the site also includes a video message from the state superintendent, filmed at a school cafeteria. This is a great model not only for state agency sites, but also for school district web pages, too!


Wyoming Department of Education
Nutrition Programs
One Helpful Resource: Are you seeking to work with local farmers to start or expand a farm-to-school initiative? A five-page “Producer Survey” is a great tool to download to gather information from local growers, asking if they’ve supplied foods to schools in the past, the number of acres in production, farm practices, ordering and delivery logistics and more. A second document, “Producer Checklist,” is a similar tool, emphasizing good agricultural practices for growing, handling, transportation, facilities and worker health and hygiene. Click on the “Farm to School” link and scroll down to the “Resources” section. 

Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

> For The Media

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Read the latest news and developments facing the school nutrition industry, as well as stay on top of important trends and resources.


> Read the Latest Newsletters

SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

> Learn More