School Nutrition Newsletter

September 22, 2021

New

Waiver to Allow Fiscal Action Flexibility

  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is granting a waiver of certain fiscal action requirements in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) for meal pattern violations related to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions in the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Sponsors are facing various supply chain challenges in purchasing and receiving food through their regular procurement channels, specifically unanticipated cancellation of food and supply contracts, lack of availability of certain foods, unexpected substitution of food products, and increased food and supply prices.
  • Indiana students deserve to receive complete portions of all meal components to the greatest extent possible.
  • While Indiana has opted in to this waiver, it must be noted that menus MUST be planned to meet meal pattern requirements and production records are still REQUIRED as a part of meal documentation along with all of the other recordkeeping requirements.
  • Sponsors should work with their assigned field specialists to apprise them of issues they are experiencing and to find solutions that meet meal pattern requirements.
  • Questions? Contact your assigned field specialist.

Verification Begins Friday, October 1

  • Beginning Friday, October 1, sponsors should start their annual verification process.
  • Verification is still required for any sponsor that approved applications for free or reduced benefits on or before Friday, October 1, including those currently operating SSO.
  • Sponsors with all schools implementing Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are not required to conduct verification, even if they are also operating SSO.
  • Step 1: Before Friday, October 1, sponsors should download their Direct Certification (DC) matches to ensure they have identified all DC-eligible students in their schools. Click "Download All Matches" under Year to Date for Standard and No County Matches. Click "Additional Download Options" to download the Extended Eligible match list, as well. If the download function is not working or is not pulling all possible matches, try running a Simple Eligibility Search under the Upload option. Continue to run DC Lookup, as well. Make sure any application with all students identified as DC are excluded from verification.
  • Step 2: Determine your verification method. Since the Verification Summary Report was not required last year, all sponsors should use the non-response rate from the 2019-2020 school year. Then count the total number of applications on file and pull the required sample size of applications for verification.
  • Step 3: Someone other than the original application processer must conduct a confirmation review on all applications pulled for verification. This ensures the application was initially approved correctly.
  • Step 4: Try to look up students on these applications through Direct Verification. For a quick guide on Direct Verification, check out this fact sheet.
  • Step 5: Send out notification letters to any household that could not be Direct Verified. Make sure you provide a clear due date and give households a reasonable amount of time to respond. Conduct at least one follow-up contact if households do not respond to the first notification.
  • Step 6: Letters announcing verification results or notification of adverse action must be mailed by Monday, November 15. The Verification Summary Report will open up after the October claim has been filed. The report is due January 15, 2022.
  • For more information about verification, including a Verification Quick Guide, visit IDOE's Verification webpage.
  • Use this Verification Tracking Spreadsheet to keep the verification process organized.
  • Check out the Verification Series eLearning course in inTeam for detailed instructions.
  • Questions about verification? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe.

Claims Reminders

  • Sponsors that operated in July must have their claim submitted by next Wednesday, September 29 by 5 p.m.

  • To ensure approval before the claiming deadline, the CNPweb application must be in "Pending Approval" status.

  • Click here for instructions on submitting an SSO claim.

  • Click here for a Claims Information Sheet.

  • Click here for the Claims Due Dates for School Year 2021-2022.

  • Sponsors that have been approved and have revised their site sheets, such as changing their ADP in CNPweb should submit these revisions via the CNPweb Help Form under the Claims Question option.
  • Sponsors also needing assistance with changing their ADP or making any other changes in CNPweb should submit these questions via the CNPweb Help Form as well.
  • Click here to access the CNPweb Help Form.

USDA Foods Excess Storage Fees

  • Excess storage fees will be charged effective Friday, October 1.
  • These fees will be charged to School Food Authorities (SFAs) with direct delivered (brown box) USDA Foods which remain at the state assigned warehouses (Dilgard Frozen Foods, Stanz Foodservice and Wabash Foods) past the expire date.
  • A product's expire date is listed in the CNPweb Food Distribution Program (FDP) link in the fifth column under the Inventory tab.
  • The expire date is the latest date that a product can remain at the warehouse before excess storage fees are charged.
  • This is approximately 45 days after the product has been allocated into the SFA’s inventory.
  • Excess storage fees can be avoided if the USDA Foods are delivered to the SFA’s delivery sites before the expire date.
  • For more information on excess storage fee amounts, click here and look under the “USDA Foods Program Fees” dropdown box.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore.

Unused USDA Foods Allocations to be Cleared

  • IDOE will begin clearing direct delivered allocations that remain in an SFA’s inventory after the close date effective Friday, October 1.
  • A product's close date is listed in the CNPweb FDP link in the sixth column under the Inventory tab.
  • The close date is the latest date that a product can remain in an SFA's inventory before it is swept from the inventory and placed into surplus for other SFAs to use.
  • This is approximately six months after a product has been allocated into an SFA’s inventory.
  • A cleared allocation can be avoided by ordering USDA Foods and having the product delivered to the SFA’s sites before the close date.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore.

2021 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant

  • Applications for the National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant will be accepted from Thursday September 30 through Sunday, October 31.
  • Indiana has received $617,901 from the USDA to award Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Equipment Assistance Grants.
  • Award recipients will be announced by March 1, 2022.

  • The maximum individual grant will be $30,000.

  • Schools that have submitted grants in the past, but have not been awarded funds, should consider reapplying.

  • More information, including the application, can be found here.
  • Questions? Contact SCNFinance@doe.in.gov and enter your sponsor number/Equipment Grant in the subject line.

School & Community Nutrition Staffing Updates

  • Sarah Kenworthy has accepted a new position outside of IDOE - we will all miss her hard work and innovative ideas!
  • Allie Caito-Sipe will be moving into the role of Assistant Director of Training and Resource Development.
  • Jacqueline Peczkowski has moved from School and Summer Monitoring to Training and Resource Development.
  • Emily Klingler will be moving from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) team to School and Summer Monitoring.
  • The SCN contact form has been updated tp reflect these changes.

Training

SCN Sparks!

  • Join the School and Community Nutrition team on Thursday, September 23 as we present important school nutrition topics.
  • You can pop in for the topics you want to hear.
  • Each training topic will last approximately 12 minutes, enabling participants to hear about more topics in a short amount of time.
    Click here to view the agenda and to register.

Nutrition News Bites

  • Join IDOE for September's Nutrition News Bites Webinar on Wednesday, September 29.
  • Nutrition News Bites Webinars are a way for sponsors to hear school nutrition reminders, notifications and upcoming due dates.
  • The purpose of these monthly webinars is to share school nutrition information in a way that is different than reading the weekly newsletter.
  • Click here to register.

From Our Partners

No Kid Hungry Back to School Webinar Series

  • Join No Kid Hungry on Tuesday, September 28th and Tuesday, October 12th for their two-part Back to School Webinar Series to learn the latest on SNAP benefits, waivers, meal operations, and staff burnout.
  • For the first webinar, IDOE and USDA Midwest Regional Office will be featured on the call to discuss the most current program updates. Participants will also be provided resources to increase meal access and learn best practices for meal services.
  • Tune into the second webinar on Tuesday, Oct 12 discussing staff burnout, engagement, and retention.
  • When: Tuesday, September 28, 2 - 3 pm EST & Tuesday, October 12, 2 - 3 pm EST
  • Click here to register.

Reminders

New from the Indiana Department of Health: Updated Guidance

Important Claim Reminders for the New School Year

  • Sponsors may begin submitting claims the day after the last day of the claim month. For example, the September claim can be submitted starting October 1).
  • There is a 60-day claim submission deadline. PLEASE NOTE: This is 60 days and not 2 months. It makes a difference as to the final claim submission date.
  • Click here for a list of the Claim Due Dates for the 2021-2022 School Year.
  • Try to submit your claim as soon as possible and avoid waiting until close to the claim deadline.
  • It is also recommended that sponsors have a back-up plan for claim submissions to help avoid missing a claim deadline.
  • A One-time Exception is available if you miss the 60-day claim deadline, but it can only be requested once every 36 months. To request the exception you must submit the completed One-time Exception form.
  • Please email SCNFinance@doe.in.gov if you have claim questions.

Contact Us

Indiana Department of Education - School and Community Nutrition

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this newsletter, please contact Jacqueline Peczkowski at jpeczkowski@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0846, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20846, 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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