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Team Up for School Nutrition Success

This unique learning experience serves to enhance a school’s food service operation by providing peer-based technical assistance to School Nutrition Program food service directors (FSD).

What is the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative?

Team Up for School Nutrition Success (Team Up) is a new training initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN). This training model connects seasoned and successful FSDs with FSDs who are new or interested in improving their program operations.


The USDA and ICN conducted a pilot training in November 2014 in the Southeast Region. Based on the successes and lessons learned from the pilot, the initiative was expanded nationwide. The ICN conducted a pilot workshop in San Diego for the Western Region in June 2015. A total of 28 California FSDs participated. In previous years, the well-received Ambassador Leadership Conferences provided best practices from exemplary FSDs or nutrition service staff who shared their successes with topics such as marketing strategies, ways to increase breakfast participation, recipe development and menu planning, farm to school models, salad bars, and production processes. The Team Up initiative is a natural next step of the Ambassador program. The new Team Up trainings will include sharing of best practices from experienced FSDs and provide enhanced mentoring for participants.

Next Steps

The California Department of Education is launching Team Up workshops in fall 2016. These two-day workshops consist of panel presentations and peer-to-peer mentorship to assist FSDs in developing goals and action plans to enhance their school foodservice operation. FSDs will learn from each other while addressing their individual resource and training needs. The workshop format includes one mentor working with three participants (3:1 ratio) to provide effective peer-to-peer mentoring on a variety of topic areas. The tentative topics for the workshops include meal planning and increasing participation, farm-to-fork, procurement, and motivating staff.


ICN Team Up for School Nutrition Success Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.
The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) Web site includes ICN-developed materials, presentations, and resources regarding the Team Up initiative.

USDA Policy Memo External link opens in new window or tab.
This memorandum provides important information regarding the Team Up pilot that was launched in November 2014.

Questions:   Julie BoarerPitchford | | 916-322-1563
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 21, 2016
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