COVID - 19 Updates
- There are CARES Act funds available to cover additional expenses for food service above the Child Nutrition Program reimbursement.
- IDOE, Title Programs, is approving COVID-19 funds to cover food service related expenses for activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies (LEA) and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA.
- LEAs need to apply through Nathan Williamson, Director of Title Grants & Support at email@example.com or 317-232-6671 by Tuesday, June 30.
- Questions? Contact Nathan Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-232-6671.
COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Funding
GENYOUth is providing grants of up to $3,000 per school for resources needed to distribute and deliver meals to students during COVID-19.
- Learn the grant criteria and how to get started here.
- For planning purposes only, download a PDF of the application.
- To be considered for funding, you must complete the online application.
- Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis, so be alert for an email from email@example.com.
- If you have questions or technical issues with the application, please contact the help desk via email.
School City of Hammond’s successes featured on TODAY news!
- Check out this four-minute video showcasing the amazing work School City of Hammond has done to feed kids during COVID-19.
- School City of Hammond partnered with No Kid Hungry to feed kids during COVID-19 through additional funding.
- Also, King’s Hawaiian surprised Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Christine Clarahan, with a $50,000 donation.
- Click here to see the video!
- New 6-16-2020! For parents that have not received their P-EBT card or need the card reissued, please contact 877-768-5098.
- New 6-5-2020! The letter is addressed to the oldest student in the home. Example: if FSSA received one address with three different students at this same address, the one envelope with one card is addressed to the oldest student. The card must then be activated to determine the benefit amount.
- Click here for a sample letter and click here for a sample buck slip.
- IDOE is supporting Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) and their work with the federally funded Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program.
- Indiana families qualifying for Free and Reduced Price meals are eligible under this program to receive direct assistance.
- This assistance will be based on the number of school days missed and the number of school-aged children in the household.
- In order for these benefits (approximately $300/student) to be released to families, IDOE collected all student addresses from schools.
- Using these addresses, FSSA will be able to distribute these funds to qualified Hoosier families.
- IDOE has submitted the data to FSSA.
- Parents do not need to submit any information.
P-EBT distribution should be finalized by the beginning of June.
The student names and addresses collection was a onetime data pull and at this time there is no way to add additional students in or change addresses.
In the meantime there should be Summer Food Service sites where households can get meals for students. Find sites on the map here.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
- If parents or guardians have questions, https://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/5767.htm, general questions to 1-800-403-0864, and specific questions to 317-233-7123.
Please note, these are recommendations, not requirements. In partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), IDOE has created the Indiana Considerations for Learning and Safe Schools (IN-CLASS) re-entry guidance document for the 2020-2021 school year. IN-CLASS, has been vetted and approved for release by Governor Holcomb’s team. Check out the IN-CLASS FAQ.
American Dairy Association Indiana (ADAI) and Marion County Public Health Department - Summer Playbook
- ADAI along with The Marion County Health Department have created a fun, new resource for families to utilize this summer!
- The Summer Playbook contains educational materials, games, physical activity ideas, and recipes.
- This playbook allows parents, caregivers, and kids of all ages to have a fun summer with activities and playtime fun.
- Click here to access this fun resource!
IDOE - Planning for the Unknown in School Year 2020-2021 Webinar Slides Available
- Missed the webinar held on Wednesday, June 10 from IDOE? Click here to access the slides.
- IDOE, in partnership with Sara Gasiorowski, Child Nutrition Director at MSD of Wayne Township, provided the most up to date information about school year 2020-2021 from USDA and the Indiana Department of Health, as well as, share tips and ideas to help schools prepare for the unknown and start putting a plan in place depending on potential various school setting situations.
May Claim for Reimbursement
The May claim for reimbursement is now accessible in the CNPweb.
SSO claims are filed under the National School Lunch Program (purple puzzle piece), while the SFSP is claimed under the Summer Food Service Program (blue puzzle piece).
Note - Please make sure the end dates and months checked are up to date in the CNPweb on your school site sheets before beginning the claim. If these are incorrect, it can cause errors or problems when submitting the claim.
New Resource from Team Nutrition
- Team Nutrition has released a new resource for schools titled - "Seamless Summer Option: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic"
- This resource provides considerations, tips, best practices, and sample menus for National School Lunch Program: Seamless Summer Option operators who wish to distribute multiple meals at one time.
- Click here to access this resource.
New Resources from Safe Food Handler
- Safe Food Handler has released two new resources for schools regarding COVID-19 Practices.
- Workplace Privacy and COVID 19 provides answers to frequently asked questions about an employer’s privacy obligations during this time.
- Best Practices for Wearing Face Masks walks schools through the steps to ensure that they are following proper mask safety.
School Nutrition Association (SNA) Articles on COVID-19
- SNA has released two new articles to their publication on COVID-19.
- Food, Fun, and Creativity discusses how schools across the country have become creative and inventive in how they are approaching meals and meal service during COVID-19.
- Sad, Mad, Bad, and Occasionally RAD helps readers dive in to the myriad of emotions and feelings associated with COVID-19 and the after effects.
- To read the other articles in this series and access additional resources from SNA, click here.
*NEW* Employee Health and Safety Webinar
- IDOE has released a new webinar on employee health and safety during COVID-19 meal service.
- This webinar highlights information and best practices for schools as they navigate serving meals through the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Click here to watch the webinar.
Child Nutrition Program Requirements
IDOE has been conducting reviews at schools that are operating SSO during school closures due to COVID-19.
The following are most common findings during those reviews:
- The USDA meal pattern waiver does not automatically qualify all schools for a meal pattern exemption. The meal pattern, including vegetable subgroups, must be followed unless a specific waiver has been granted to the school by the field specialist.
- Students preferences, such as not liking legumes, would not be an appropriate meal pattern exemption.
- If implementing SSO, vegetable subgroups must be followed.
- Schools should try to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables to students and should not only serve the same vegetable or fruit for weeks without rotating out other varieties.
- The USDA offer versus serve waiver does not qualify all schools to implement offer versus serve without receiving proper prior approval. Proper offer versus serve rules must be followed, and in order to implement offer versus serve, a school must have received approval from their field specialist. If not approve to implement offer versus serve, all five food components for lunch must be served per reimbursable meal.
- Processes should be in place to ensure that meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children. This could include posting signage and adapting existing communication (i.e. emails, web posting, social media) to indicate that only one meal per student per day is allowed. Schools could ask that the household share the school name where each school age child attends.
- Questions? Contact your field specialist.
CNPweb and Claims Information
Reminder! CNPweb - Claims and Updated Information
- Sponsors need to ensure their CNPweb applications, whether operating NSLP, SSO, or SFSP, are updated.
If no longer operating NSLP due to COVID-19, sponsors should be revising their site sheets to show that they are not operating.
- If meal service information has changed such as the type of meals or times, please update the sheets accordingly.
- For site sheet instructions for SSO, click here.
- Don't forget! Claims still need to be completed on time in order to receive reimbursement.
- Those that are operating under the Summer Seamless Option (SSO) will need to ensure that they are completing their claims correctly, as the process is slightly different than when filling out a claim normally.
- SSO claiming instructions can be found here.
Nationwide Waiver Extensions for SSO and SFSP
- Located below are four nationwide waivers that have been extended to help sponsors continue providing healthy, nutritious meals during the summer to all participants in a safe and accessible manner.
- The current Non-Congregate Nationwide Waiver has been extended until August 31, 2020.
- For information on non-congregate feeding, check out the FAQ.
- The current Parent Pickup Nationwide Waiver has been extended until August 31, 2020.
- Processes should be in place to ensure that meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children and that duplicate meals are not distributed to any child.
- As a reminder, all children 18 years or younger are eligible to receive a meal.
- With state agency prior approval, sponsors are able to provide meals to participants for multiple days, provided that meals are recorded on meal count sheets.
- If multiple meals are distributed, separate meal counts for breakfast and lunch must be maintained, dated, signed, and marked at the POS.
- Sponsors need to follow all of the rules for the respective programs, such as production records, menu documentation, and civil rights.
- The current Meal Pattern Nationwide Waiver has been extended until August 31, 2020.
- There are no blanket meal pattern waivers.
- Each meal pattern waiver request must be submitted to your field specialist and pre-approved in advance.
- Waivers will be approved on a case by case basis and are limited to specific nationwide food shortages.
- Failure to follow the meal pattern due to any other reason can lead to disallowed meals.
- The current Meal Times Nationwide Waiver has been extended until June 30, 2020.
- Sponsors are still responsible for indicating their specific times within the CNPweb by updating the site information sheet.
- Click here to review all memos.
- Questions? Contact your Field Specialist.
COVID-19 School Meal Programs Benefit from School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) Grants
- Thanks to support pledged by GENYOUth and National Dairy Council (NDC), SNF’s "Help Feed School Kids Now!" fundraising campaign will continue to build and reach more schools supporting children and families facing food insecurity due to COVID-19.
- Click here for more information and to apply for a $1,500 grant for your school.
- For more videos and articles about COVID-19, check out the School Nutrition Association's website.
Civil Rights Nondiscrimination Statement (NDS)
- Sponsors are not relieved of their obligation to include the required NDS on all printed and electronic program materials made available to applicants, participants, and potentially eligible persons for public information, public education, or public distribution.
- This includes, but is not limited to, information pertaining to eligibility, benefits, services, the location of local facilities or service delivery points, and hours of service.
- If the size of the material is too small to include the full statement, the material must, at a minimum, include the short NDS in print in the same font size as the main text.
- On websites, the full NDS or a link to it, must be included on the homepage of the program information.
- To view the full and short NDS, visit the IDOE Civil Rights Webpage.
- Review the FAQ for additional information on Civil Rights during COVID-19.
- Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Child Nutrition Program meal service during COVID-19 remains an essential service for the community.
- Social distancing is still important in maintaining the health and well-being of both those distributing and receiving the meals.
- Practice social distancing by maintaining approximately six feet of distance from others whenever possible.
- Design meal service and distribution methods to support social distancing.
- Best practices might include:
- Keep six feet apart between individuals (employees, households, etc.), as much as possible.
- Set up workstations six feet apart. This may mean that you need to utilize other work spaces beyond the kitchen, if needed, such as the cafeteria, hallways, etc.
- Plan labor hours so that a minimum number of people are together at one time.
- If operating multiple production kitchens, schedule employees at the same designated sites and at the same shifts to minimize contact with others.
- Reduce the amount of labor wherever possible (i.e. utilize prepackaged food items as much as possible).
- Reduce the number of operating days and increase the number of meals served at one time to households. (i.e. instead of operating four to five days per week, operate two days per week and hand out multiple meals at one time.)
- Rather than handing out meals, place meals on a table and allow families to grab and go.
- Have parents/guardians stay in their car and have staff or volunteers put meals directly in the trunk of the car.
- Take meal counts from a distance.
- Set up several tables or points of service to avoid crowding around meal pick up locations.
- Consider offering a longer window of time for meal pick up to stagger the amount of people arriving at one time.
- Check out the COVID-19 website, guide, and FAQ for more information on food and employee safety.
- Questions? Contact your local health department.