On Aug.16, 2023, FNS announced the award of $9.4 million in federal funding for the FY 2023 Team Nutrition Grant for Supporting Nutrition Education for School-Aged Children.
These 3-year grants support state agencies and school food authorities (SFA) in implementing and facilitating the adoption of healthy eating patterns by school-aged children (grades pre-K-12), parents/caregivers, and school staff through the coordination and implementation of MyPlate nutrition education connected to the nutritious meals and snacks offered through USDA child nutrition programs.
For more information, please contact TeamNutrition@USDA.gov.
State agencies and SFA were awarded grants to support the following objectives:
- Increase the consumption of nutritious foods and beverages offered through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Meals and Outside School Hours Care Centers (OSHCC) via high-quality MyPlate nutrition education.
- Increase awareness of the MyPlate symbol and accompanying MyPlate nutrition education tools, resources, and messages. Increase awareness of the nutritional contributions of meals and snacks offered to students from parents/caregivers, school coaches and athletic trainers, school nurses, afterschool program operators, and pre-K-12 teachers.
- Improve equity by increasing the number of students from historically underserved and marginalized populations who are reached by nutrition education resources, including resources and recipes that are culturally appropriate and/or in the preferred language of the students and their families.
- Increase school community engagement in the development, implementation, and assessment of the Local School Wellness Policy (LWP).
Iowa Department of Education (DOE) will use formative research to develop culturally appropriate social marketing campaign strategies and materials to increase the recognition of MyPlate and improve perceptions of the nutritional quality of school meals and snacks among school stakeholders. Previously used MyPlate nutrition education materials will be expanded and used to educate groups of students who have not been reached in previous DOE nutrition education projects, including seventh and eighth grade students and students participating in afterschool programs. DOE will award 20 sub-grants to school food authorities and 10 sub-grants to Child and Adult Care Food Program At-Risk Afterschool programs to hire nutrition educators and purchase allowable supplies. Finally, DOE will expand on the USDA Local School Wellness Policy (LWP) Outreach Toolkit to include videos for schools to share with school community members, along with an LWP webinar series outlining strategies to increase involvement, address barriers, and meet LWP requirements.
Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) will pilot the Louisiana MyPlate 678 project. This project will be implemented in 20 schools across Louisiana and will focus on cafeteria service line infrastructure improvements, implementation of MyPlate-themed behavioral focused strategies to promote the selection of nutritious choices, and training of school nutrition professionals. In conjunction, a statewide awareness campaign of MyPlate resources specifically targeting sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, parents and caregivers, and school staff will further facilitate the selection of nutritious food choices in the school environment. Formative research led by SNAP-Ed experts will inform the development of culturally appropriate nutrition education resources and use of cultural foods in school meals. Finally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Index and Team Nutrition’s Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Kit will be adapted to support implementation in middle schools and improve health outcomes.
Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will support the adaptation of healthy eating patterns for historically underserved and marginalized groups by using three complementary strategies. First, they will work to strengthen and energize Local School Wellness Policies (LWP) through a refresh of local school wellness committees across the state. These committees will consist of diverse members, featuring MyPlate Student Ambassadors and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program education funded Community Nutrition Instructors from Michigan State University Extension (MSUE). MSUE Instructors will play a key role in advising and coaching school or district teams through a LWP review process, using the WellSAT 3.0 and WellSAT-I tools, which support assessment, revision, and implementation. Second, MDE and MSUE will partner with school nutrition professionals and MyPlate student ambassadors to develop goals and activities to address deficiencies identified in LWP review process findings. Lastly, MDE and MSUE instructors will provide nutrition education to students via the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Program by implementing the Peak Health and Performance curriculum, a six-week curriculum that educates young student athletes about the importance of healthy nutrition behaviors to support both health and performance.
Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) will conduct the School Community Engagement and Equity in Nutrition (SEEN) project to curate a collection of high-quality nutrition education resources. SEEN will reinforce core MyPlate messages and assist schools in providing nutrition education through the provision of technical assistance, 45 sub-grants to support recipe development and taste testing, and engagement activity support (taste tests, recipe contests, celebrations). NDE will also develop and translate recipes and menus to Spanish and Afghan, with help from the Hispanic/Latino and Afghan communities and standardize culturally appropriate recipes for incorporation into school menus. Finally, NDE will evaluate the triennial assessments completed in 2023 in order to develop additional trainings and adapt the local school wellness policy toolkit to further support Nebraska’s unique needs.
Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) will support and expand the Students Take Charge! (STC) program, previously developed by University of Rhode Island (URI) SNAP-Ed. The STC program empowers fifth grade students to see themselves and their cultures reflected within their food choices through the development of hands-on, fruit- or vegetable-based recipes that meet school meal nutrition standards and represent their cultural backgrounds and heritage. To implement STC at the local level, RIDE will develop a STC toolkit including refined MyPlate messaging, lesson plans, social media and messaging standards, and other wellness policy supports. Lastly, RIDE will prioritize training and education at all levels including cultural and culinary training for school nutrition professionals, professional development for school-level staff, and student education. RIDE will also provide technical assistance and outreach for the broader school community through the school wellness committee and the development, implementation, and assessment of the Local School Wellness Policy.
Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will partner with Texas A&M AgriLife and Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) to establish the Texas MyPlate Food Ambassadors Changing Environments and Systems (Texas MyPlate FACES) program. Texas MyPlate FACES will include training of 150 student MyPlate Ambassadors to lead projects that incorporate MyPlate messaging and curricula. The MyPlate Ambassadors will create changes in their school environments that promote MyPlate education, serve as MyPlate mentors for younger students in afterschool programs, support taste testing opportunities of multicultural recipes, and solicit feedback on current Local School Wellness Policy (LWP) initiatives. TDA will also work with AFHK to host five regional training courses geared towards enhancing school food authorities LWPs and providing technical assistance to schools working with MyPlate ambassadors. Additionally, TDA and Texas A&M AgriLife will work with districts in the five training regions to select recipes that include cultural foods and conduct taste testing activities for student approval of new recipes.
The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will provide multi-modality training, technical assistance, and resources to school food authorities in partnership with state and local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education educators. OSPI will develop four different training tracks, with each track being offered to 15-25 school and afterschool child nutrition programs (CNP). Training tracks will align with grant objectives and cover the topics of MyPlate nutrition education for school-aged children; MyPlate and school and afterschool meals program promotion; culturally representative meals, menus, and nutrition education; and reinvigorating Local School Wellness Policies (LWP). Through these training tracks, OSPI aims to increase the consumption of nutritious foods among students; improve community perceptions of USDA CNP increase equity through culturally responsive meals, menus, and materials; and reinvigorate LWPs.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will partner with FoodWIse Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program education educators to provide MyPlate nutrition education to over 5,000 elementary, middle, and high school students. Classroom-based nutrition education will be connected to school meals and afterschool snacks through the implementation of behavioral-focused strategies in the cafeteria and student engagement activities such as taste tests, Harvest of the Month (HOM) programming, and the Whipping Up Wellness Wisconsin Student Chef Competition. The Wisconsin School Meals Rock! (WI SMR!) multi-channel social marketing campaign will be expanded to increase awareness and perceptions about the nutritional quality of school meals among 25,000 students, families/caregivers, teachers, school administrators, and other key stakeholders. The WI SMR! campaign will use consistent messaging to demonstrate that school meals offer a variety of healthy foods from each of the MyPlate food groups. The WI SMR! messages and materials will be translated into Hmong and Spanish to increase their reach and accessibility. DPI will establish a Wellness Collaborative of school food authorities to advance Local School Wellness Policy uptake and implementation and will develop three culturally relevant recipes that reflect populations within the community.
School Food Authorities (SFA)
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) will provide targeted training, technical assistance, and resources in order to expand nutrition education and wellness capacity using a two-tiered approach. In the first tier, LACOE will provide technical assistance and professional training to 44 school food authorities (SFA) where 60% or more of the enrolled students qualify for free-or reduced-priced meals. In the second tier, LACOE will provide in-depth guidance, support, and sub-grants to help selected SFAs serving historically underserved communities integrate MyPlate nutrition education and Team Nutrition materials into the classroom and support Local School Wellness Policy (LWP) expansion and implementation using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. The LWP expansion and implementation will be facilitated through county-wide professional development and capacity building at the SFA level.
Weld County School District 6 (WCSD6) will implement a nutrition education program, built on the Team Nutrition curricula Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum and Fueling My Healthy Life, reaching 23,000 students. WCSD6 will also deploy an integrated MyPlate messaging strategy, through partnerships with the Weld County Department of Public Health & Environment’s Cooking Matters family classes, High Plains Library District’s Community Seed Library community education events, and Greeley Farmers Market. The messaging will introduce MyPlate principles to students and their families/caregivers through existing family engagement programs. WCSD6 will also offer experiential learning opportunities through increasing school garden capacity for their Garden to Cafeteria program, purchasing smoothie bikes, and providing resources for students to visit farms.