2022-2023 CO-OP FOOD
PROGRAM ORDER DETAILS
PROGRAM ORDER DETAILS
If you work for a K-12 Montana School, this page is for YOU!
The School Services of Montana (SSoM) Cooperative Food Purchasing Program provides quality food and food service supply items to K-12 schools and child-based organizations across Montana at a substantial cost savings through high-volume bid purchasing. But wait! It. Just. Got. Better!
The NEW program has been created to provide Food Service Directors with more choices, greater flexibility, higher fulfillment rates, lower costs, less frustration, and happier, well fed students! Here's an overview of details, features, & benefits:
Our goal is to provide your district with a purchasing program that meets the diverse needs of your school's nutrition program so you can focus on what's really important - feeding your students. Thank you for taking the time to visit our Order Details page. Feel free to share our updated Flyer with your admin team or with districts you know would benefit from our program!
Districts who choose to participate in our Co-op Food Program must complete and return Page 1 of the Opt-In form (click the blue button to view and download). For many of you it will look similar to the Signature Page you used to sign and return when you placed orders through the "old" SSoM co-op food program - delivery & billing address, Food Service Director name & contact info, and 2 signatures. Return instructions are included at the bottom, and you will only return Page 1. Please keep page 2 & 3 for your records.
Page 3 was created 6/17/22 and is now an official part of the Opt-in Form.
Instructions for submitting your projected weekly usage of your favorite special order items (from our "old" program) will be sent out via Excel Spreadsheet. Details coming soon : )
LIVE TRAINING WEBINAR!
1-2 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022
All school districts who have sent in their completed Opt-in Forms are cordially invited to join our Co-op Food Program live training webinar from 1 - 2pm on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. This webinar will be led by Alec Hilty, US Foods National Sales Manager, and I will be moderating the chat and Q & A.
WHO: Food Service Directors/Head Cooks responsible for ordering; District Clerks &/or Superintendents are also welcome to join : )
WHAT: a "how to" webinar on navigating the US Foods e-Commerce website including: accessing the site, search the catalog like a pro, don't order on an empty stomach, symbols & notations, who doesn't love a good list (or 20), cool features, and more, with time for Q & A at the end
WHEN: 1 - 2 pm MST Tuesday, June 28 (recording available by EOD 6/29/22)
WHERE: online; link emailed to districts who have returned their Opt-in Form
Contact Jennifer Brekke immediately if you are eligible to attend and have not received your link to join.
WHY ATTEND: If you are new (to the US Foods e-Commerce site) this is for YOU. Some of you are already familiar with this US Foods site, so the webinar will act as a refresher, in addition to highlighting features you may not be familiar with. Either way, expect it to be a valuable resource.
MTSNA SUMMER CONFERENCE 2022 "Bee Kind"
June 20 - 23 | Billings Hotel & Convention Center
MTSNA.org , and follow MTSNA on Facebook!
School Services of Montana has been a proud sponsor of the MTSNA Summer Conference for several years now, and was the ONLY organization offering a statewide co-op food program to attend this year!
We are grateful for the tremendous positive response we have received about this new opportunity for school nutrition programs in Montana. In discussing this new bid with Food Service Directors across the state, we worked diligently to answer the questions they had about our new program. Given that many of you may be asking the same questions, we put together this FAQ to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information about our new and improved statewide cooperative food purchasing program.
PLEASE NOTE: additional Q & A will be posted in this section if and when received : )
Q. Why did SSoM change its cooperative food purchasing program this year?
A. For years, SSoM operated a fixed price bid, meaning that we would assemble a selection of high-volume, high-quality items and put them out to bid at a fixed price. With the impact of the pandemic, unanticipated product shortages, and resulting inflation, distributors in Montana were unlikely to be able to make a similar commitment going forward. As a result, we revised our food program to actively seek and secure the lowest possible pricing options and the widest array of products for Montana schools.
Q. What advantages does this new SSoM program provide to our district?
A. With this new food bid, we are no longer limited to a set number of high-volume products. Schools will now have access to the entire product catalogue offered by the bid winner. Further, our bid language specifically requests bid pricing with the participation of a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO). By utilizing a GPO, we can increase our purchasing power and keep costs as low as humanly possible.
Q. Who can participate in the SSoM cooperative food bid?
A. Any public or private school or youth serving agency in Montana is eligible to participate. You do not need to be a SSoM member school to participate, and we do not charge any additional fees for participating in this program. To be clear, participation is open to all.
Q. What makes SSoM’s cooperative purchasing program unique?
A. SSoM is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating a statewide cooperative food program. We are for Montana, not for profit.
Q. Can we participate in the SSoM program at the same time as other cooperative purchasing programs?
A. Yes. Like all similar programs, the SSoM cooperative food bid has minimum purchase requirements set by the distributor to ensure that all Montana schools can access the lowest prices and highest quality items to meet the needs of their nutrition programs. As long as these requirements are met, there is absolutely no restriction whatsoever, either in our RFP or contract, that would prohibit you from taking advantage of other cooperative purchasing opportunities.
Q. This sounds great – how do we get started?
A. The process could not be easier. Simply return your completed Opt-In Form to SSoM, and we will notify you once the dates have been confirmed for the training webinar (a recording will also be available). This program begins with the start of the new school year on July 1, 2022 and is sure to meet your school’s nutrition program needs.
Q. We have a few more questions – can we contact you to discuss?
A. We would love to hear from you! Please contact one or both of us:
FACTS ABOUT SSoM
School Services of Montana is a 501(c)(3) NON-PROFIT that offers this Co-op Food Purchasing Program to every school district in Montana. Our Board of Directors is comprised of superintendents from class AA, A, B, and C school districts across the state and is elected by our member school districts.
Our core beliefs include honesty, integrity, and authenticity: we don't believe in high pressure sales, fear tactics or guerilla marketing. We will earn your business, and we are committed to offering the LOWEST PRICES AVAILABLE through our food program. As a non-profit with extremely low overhead, all profits go directly into expanding our programs & services, providing affordable and FREE PD, and supporting Montana schools, NOT into increased private company executive pay and bonuses.
You DO NOT have to be a member of SSoM to utilize our food program. However, there are discounts, low cost and FREE professional development opportunities, and members-only programs available to our member districts. Click here, or contact me for details!
School Nutrition Association (SNA)
SNA is the national organization of school nutrition professionals committed to advancing the quality of school meal programs through education and advocacy.
USDA Team Nutrition "Fueling Children's Healthy Growth, Learning, and Play"
Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the child nutrition programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.
Montana Team Nutrition
In collaboration with partners across the state, Montana Team Nutrition leverages evidence-based practices and policies to provide training, resources, and support to K-12schools that promote engaging food-based education, foster positive food relationships, and cultivate healthy school environments.
Montana OPI School Nutrition Programs
OPI's School Nutrition Programs collaborate with the child nutrition community to provide high-quality training, support, and resources to ensure program integrity and access to nourishing meals.