USDA Requesting Data on Unpaid Meal Charges

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now seeking information about meal charges.  Please click here for specific information.  They are asking a variety of questions and need your input.  As you know, unpaid meal charges can have a huge financial impact on School Food Authorities (SFA).  We encourage each of you to reply by the January 14, 2015 deadline. 

As a reminder, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) does not currently have a policy on Unpaid Meal Charges.  ADE considers this to be under the local control of each SFA.  ADE encourages SFAs to have a policy, to inform households of the policy on an annual basis, and to have a written procedure of how unpaid meal charges will be handled.

Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: (this is the preferred method)  or mail your comments to Jessica Saracino, Program Analyst, School Programs Branch, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service, P.O. Box 66740, Saint Louis, MO 63166-6740.

Jump Start Your School Breakfast Program with the Phoenix Suns!

Are you looking for way to jump start your school breakfast program and increase participation?  A school wide assembly with a Phoenix Suns player could be just what your program needs to generate excitement about school breakfast.  

Phoenix Suns logo

Increase your breakfast participation between October 27th, 2014-November 26th, 2014.  

Get creative!  Try an enhanced breakfast program like grab-n-go breakfast or breakfast in the classroom.  Have your student council promote your breakfast program to generate excitement!

Your school wide assembly will be scheduled for February 3, 2015 with a Phoenix Suns player and the Suns Gorilla!  Please note: this contest is limited to schools within a 75 mile radius of the US Airways Center in Phoenix.


  • Contest Period: October 27 – November 26, 2014
  • Comparison Period: September 1 – September 30, 2014
  • Assembly: February 3, 2015

Program Forms:

Questions? Contact Terri Verason, MS, RD

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Learn to Combat Childhood Hunger with Breakfast in the Classroom!

Many students come to school hungry in the morning, and instead of focusing on the lessons, they are focused on stomachaches and headaches that stem from hunger. Serving Breakfast in the Classroom is a great way to ensure every student has access to a balanced breakfast and can start the day nourished and ready to learn. If you are interested in learning more about how to plan and implement breakfast in the classroom, there are 2 upcoming opportunities for professional development in this area. Attendees at both events will receive a planning toolkit and ongoing technical assistance as they move forward and plan for this type of breakfast service.

ADE Professional Development Session

When: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm

Where: Doubletree Hotel, Reid Park in Tucson

To register, visit”yes”&GroupID=14 and select “Breakfast in the Classroom.”

National Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Summit

When: Saturday November 15, 2014, 8:30 am- 1:30 pm

Where: Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85040

To register, contact by November 1st.

Both sessions will benefit teachers, administrators, staff members and food service directors who are interested in reducing childhood hunger and helping their students start the day ready to learn! 

BIC pic


The Team Nutrition “Back to School” e-Newsletter!

Kick off back to school with nutrition education materials, tips, and tools for your classroom with The Team Nutrition e-Newsletter!  Click here to read the August 2014, “Back-to-School” issue.

New Policy Makes It Easier for Community Eligibility Schools to Participate in E-Rate Program.

A new policy from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been released making it easier for school districts operating the Community Eligibility Provision to apply for the E-rate program.  CLICK HERE to read about the new streamlined E-rate policy.

School Nutrition Programs Featured in Arizona Republic’s “Living Well AZ”

With school back in session for many Arizona students, it is important to understand the new school meal standards for the upcoming school year.  Cara Peczkowski, Registered Dietitian, and co-director for ADE’s  School Nutrition Programs is quoted in a new article in the Arizona Republic’s Living Well AZ magazine.  Click here to read “Healthier School Menu Options Now Available.”

Student Reactions to Updated School Nutrition Standards

Updated nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program went into effect at the beginning of the school year in 2012.  Click here to read a brief summary on data collected from two studies investigating reports from administrators at elementary, middle and high school students’ reactions to the healthier lunches.

Thank you!

To all school nutrition professionals, thank you!

Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton, recently addressed a letter to school nutrition professionals across the nation.  This letter thanks school district operators of the NSLP for their hard work and dedication in implementing the new meal standards and pledges USDA’s ongoing technical assistance and commitment to flexibility.  To access the letter, CLICK HERE.