School Nutrition Newsletter

August 5, 2020

Don't Forget! School Re-Entry Guidance and Updates for School Nutrition Programs 2020 - 2021

  • The Re-Entry Guidance Newsletter for schools from IDOE has been updated with new information and resources!
  • Click here to access the newsletter.
  • The IDOE webpage , which houses new resources from IDOE and USDA, has also been updated.
  • Click here to access this webpage.

SNAP/TANF Case Number Reminders

  • When approving categorical applications with SNAP/TANF case numbers, ensure that it meets Indiana's case number format.
  • Indiana’s SNAP/TANF case number format is 10 digits long, beginning with a 10 or a 60.
  • If the case number provided does not match this format, contact the household. They might have an out of state case number, which will have a different format. Contact the state to see if that format can be validated.
  • Sponsors are highly recommended to conduct Direct Certification Lookup on categorical applications to see if they can be Direct Certified. If they cannot, approve the application based on face value (as long as the application is complete) and then verify the application for cause.
  • Please refer to the Free and Reduced Information website for helpful resources.
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe or your Field Specialist.

Virtual Reimbursable Meals Training with the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) and IDOE

  • IDOE is excited to bring ICN's Reimbursable Meals training back again this year!
  • Attendees will be mailed materials prior to attending a virtual training.
  • This four hour training provides general concepts to help directors, managers, and school nutrition staff understand the requirements for reimbursable meals under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, including lessons on offer vs. serve and activities to help you identify a reimbursable meal.
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Spots are limited, so make sure you register soon!
  • Questions? Contact the training team at SCNTrainings@doe.in.gov.

Guidance on Completing Claims for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) from IDOE

  • IDOE has updated the instructions for how to complete your monthly claims for reimbursement in the CNPweb.
  • For CEP schools operating the NSLP, click here.
  • For schools claiming free, reduced, and paid meals operating the NSLP, click here.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

Indiana School Nutrition Association (ISNA) Google Suite Virtual Workshop

  • Does your school district use Google Suite products? Have you been asked to collaborate using Google Sheets? Have you been asked to fill out a Google Form? If you answered yes, this workshop is for YOU!
  • ISNA has a brand new virtual Google Suite Workshop developed just for school nutrition professionals.
  • Participants will be guided through the workshop in a step-by-step manner with no risk to your own computer or the files within it!
  • More information including fees and registration can be found by clicking here.
  • Questions? Contact Jan Frost, ISNA Professional Development Coordinator, at jan@indianasna.org.

Back to School Reminders

Written Charging Procedure Notification

  • All sponsors are required to have a written charging procedure.
  • This must be provided in writing to all households at the start of each school year and to households transferring to the school during the year.
  • Sponsors also must provide the written meal charge procedure to all school staff responsible for collecting payment for meals at the point of service, staff involved in notifying families of low or negative balances, and staff involved in enforcing any other aspects of the meal charge procedure.
  • School social workers, school nurses, homeless liaisons, and other staff members assisting children in need (or who may be contacted by families with unpaid meal charges) also should be informed about the policy.
  • View question five in the Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A for acceptable methods of notification.
  • Questions about charging procedures or notification requirements? Contact your field specialist.


Don’t Forget About Your Professional Development Training

  • All school nutrition staff are required to meet certain standards for training.
  • The annual training hours required are as follows:
    • Director – 12 hours
    • Manager – 10 hours
    • Program Staff (≥20 hours per week) – six hours
    • Part-time Staff (<20 hours per week) - four hours
  • Training suggestions for cashiers and cooks, free and reduced processors, managers, and menu planners can be found here, under the "Training Suggestions for..." dropdown box.
  • For more information on all professional standard requirements and additional tools and resources, click here.
  • Questions? Contact the training team at SCNTrainings@doe.in.gov.


Breakfast Notification

  • Schools that serve breakfast are required to notify households of their breakfast program multiple times throughout the year.
  • The first notification must be announced just prior to or at the beginning of the school year.
  • Notification must include location, time, and price.
  • Schools can use various methods to communicate this information: website, newsletters, emails, texts, mailed flyers, automated phone calls, etc.
  • Schools that are no longer operating breakfast this school year are not required to but are encouraged to reach out to families to let them know the school is not serving breakfast and community resources to help those families in need.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.


Offer vs. Serve Notification

  • Schools that implement Offer vs. Serve (OvS) must notify households about this method.
  • This is to ensure that households understand the many ways a student can create a reimbursable meal.
  • Notification can be sent out in a letter, emailed, or posted on a website (as long as households are notified to check that website such as through an automated phone call system).
  • For sample letters, click here.
  • Schools that are no longer operating using OvS this school year due to the USDA waiver are not required to but are encouraged to reach out to families to let them know the school is not serving using this method and how students can make a reimbursable meal.
  • Additionally, schools no longer operating OvS this school year but have in the past should make sure that all signage in the school is up-to-date to show how students make a reimbursable meal.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.


Food Safety Inspection Requirement
  • Schools are still required to obtain two food safety inspections this school year.
  • Schools are required to send a letter to their local health department notifying them about USDA’s requirement. Schools should maintain this outreach effort on file.
  • If only one inspection takes place during the school year, as long as the school can show that they notified the health department of the two inspection requirement, then there will be no compliance issues.
  • If the school did not notify the health department of the two inspection requirement and they only received one inspection during the school year, then this will be a compliance issue during an Administrative Review.
  • To access the health inspection letter template, click here.
  • Keep in mind that the health department may be operating differently this school year, so make sure that you are reaching out early on. It is very important to maintain communication with the health department especially when changing or alternating meal service operations this year due to COVID-19.


Carry-Over Benefits

  • Don't forget to make sure your Point of Sale (POS) system is set up to accurately reflect your school's start date, as this may have changed since originally set.
  • Not fixing this date would have an impact on families that should be receiving carry-over benefits.
  • As a reminder households approved the prior school year can continue receiving the same free or reduced price benefits for the first 30 operating days into the new school year or until a new application/DC status is processed, whichever comes first.
  • Contact your POS software company with any date or data reset questions.

Don't forget! IDOE August Webinar Series

  • IDOE will be holding another round of webinars for schools throughout the month of August.
  • New topics have been added, such as Rules & Regulations and Food Distribution Program Reminders. Please check back to register for newly added webinars.
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Webinars start next week, so make sure you register today!
  • Questions? Contact the training team at SCNTrainings@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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