School Nutrition Newsletter

April 29, 2020

COVID-19 Information and Updates

Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment Waiver


  • USDA established a nationwide waiver to support sponsors unable to complete a triennial assessment of the local school wellness policy by June 30, 2020, due to COVID-19.
  • IDOE recognizes due to the current public health emergency, providing a revised deadline for completion of this wellness policy assessment requirement is vital to ensure sponsors can continue to focus on providing meals safely to children.
  • Sponsors have an extended date of June 30, 2021 to complete their assessment.
  • This waiver is applied automatically for all sponsors without further application.
  • Local school wellness policy requirements, including the waiver, may be found here.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Direct Certification (DC) and Free and Reduced

  • Sponsors should continue to download DC matches in order to:

    • Establish free or reduced eligibility for the rest of this year.

    • Establish eligibility for the first 30 operating days into the new school year.

    • Establish eligibility rates for Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

  • Sponsors should also continue to accept and process free and reduced applications.
  • If a household experiences a consistent decrease in income, they are welcome to submit an application for benefits.
  • Reminder - Benefits continue for the first 30 operating days into the new school year (or until a new app is processed or a DC match is made, whichever comes first).

May Webinars - Registration Now Available!

  • IDOE will be holding webinars next month for sponsors in order to wrap up this school year and prepare for next year.
  • These webinars will be approximately 30 minutes in length and begin at 12:30 PM EST.
  • Click here for more information and to register.

Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) - Game On Grants


  • In order to get every kid healthy and ready to learn, AFHK Game On grants provide funding, support, and resources for schools to increase physical activity and nutrition initiatives while promoting students’ social emotional learning.


Game On grants available:


  • $1,000 physical activity OR nutrition projects
  • $2,500 for physical activity AND nutrition projects
  • Applications close Monday, August 31.
  • Click here for more information and to apply.

IDOE's Back to School Training Update

  • IDOE's Second Annual Back to School Training Event has been canceled due to COVID-19.

There's Still Time to Nominate Your Breakfast Hero!

  • Have you been wanting to nominate a hero within your breakfast program?
  • A breakfast hero is an individual that has championed the School Breakfast Program. This could be any individual within the community: local stakeholder, teacher, parent, principal, student, child nutrition staff, or custodian.

  • You still have time to nominate as deadline has been pushed back to Friday, May 29.
  • Click here to complete your nomination today!

Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool SY 2020-2021

PLE Tool Information

  • The USDA PLE Tool for SY 2020 - 2021 is now available.
  • Each sponsor currently charging a weighted average price less than $3.09 for paid lunches will need to use the PLE Tool to determine the amount to increase their paid lunch prices for SY 2020-2021.
  • The PLE Tool is located on IDOE's Pricing Guidance Webpage under Paid Lunch Equity (PLE). The webpage also includes step-by-step instructions for completing the tool.
  • You will be required to submit the completed tool as part of your renewal documents for SY 2020-2021 to SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.
  • Exemptions may be granted for the PLE requirement for schools that had a positive or zero balance in the nonprofit school food service account balance as of December 31, 2019. See below for more information.
  • Questions? Contact the Finance Team at SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.
  • All sponsors must complete and submit a PLE Tool as part of the school year renewal process. The only exception is if your school's weighted average price is at or above the target price of $3.09.
    • If your school's weighted average price is at or above the target price of $3.09, you can send an email to SCNFinance@doe.in.gov letting us know your school's weighted price for the 2020-2021 school year. Please make sure to put your school number and school name in the emails subject line and reference PLE tool.
  • Questions? Contact the Finance Team at SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.

PLE Exemption Requests

  • Any sponsor with a positive or zero balance in its non-profit school food service account as of December 31, 2019, may be granted an exemption by the State Agency from the PLE Pricing Requirements.
  • The exemption only exempts the school from having to raise prices according to the results of the PLE Tool, it does not eliminate the requirement to complete the PLE Tool, as this will be used in future years’ calculations.
  • Complete the PLE Exemption form located on IDOE's Pricing Guidance Webpage and submit it along with proof of a positive or zero balance in your non-profit school food service account as of December 31, 2019 to SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.
  • Sufficient documentation for the balance of the non-profit school food service account would be a bank statement, accounting software report, or ledger print-out showing the balance as of December 31, 2019.
  • Questions? Contact the Finance Team at SCNFinance@doe.in.gov

Indiana Department of Education - School and Community Nutrition

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this newsletter, please contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0849, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20849, or contact Ashley Heller at aheller@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0544, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20544.


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