School Nutrition Newsletter

September 9, 2020

School Re-Entry Guidance and Updates for School Nutrition Programs

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

New USDA Waiver Options for School Food Authorities

  • Due to the recently issued USDA waivers, IDOE is providing guidance to help School Food Authorities (SFAs) understand their options.
  • All websites, newsletters, and documents are in the process of being updated, but the New USDA Waiver Options Fact Sheet linked below will provide meal claiming options for SFAs during this time.
  • Options are presented in the order of simplicity; keep in mind there are additional requirements for school nutrition program administrators when selecting Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
  • The decision as to which option to select rests solely on the local education authority, the need within the local school corporation, the capability of food service staff to provide quality meals, and the approvals of the state agency and local health department.
  • Waivers are only available until December 31 or until funds are depleted, whichever comes first.
  • Check out the New USDA Waiver Options for School Food Authorities Fact Sheet.
  • SFAs unsure of the best option for their schools should work directly with their Field Specialist.
  • Check out the Re-Entry Guidance Website for more information.
  • Join IDOE for the Rules and Regulations on the New USDA Waiver Options for School Food Authorities webinar on Tuesday, September 22 2:00 pm EST.

Direct Certification

  • IDOE is changing their procedure when new the month's data in the Direct Certification (DC) site is ready for schools to use.
  • This information will be indicated in a bright green highlighted message at the top of the DC page.
  • Currently, the data is not ready for this month.

  • Once the data is ready, the information will be indicated in a green highlighted message on the DC/DV website and will be indicated in the weekly newsletter.

  • Questions? Fill out the Online Help Form.

Great Apple Crunch

  • The Great Lakes Apple Crunch will be celebrated throughout the Midwest in October, and we hope you will join us!
  • Over 1.8 million students, children, teachers, and local food supporters took part in this event last year. In Indiana, over 90,000 participated in 2019!
  • The Apple Crunch is part of National Farm to School Month and is one of the best and most flexible opportunities to celebrate local farmers through “crunching” into apples as a group on any date that works for you and your team!
  • In addition to enjoying local apples, this event provides an excellent teaching opportunity. All registered organizers are asked to use the Crunch Guide for lesson plan ideas and other activities.
  • Given current circumstances, hosting this event in schools, residential child care facilities, and other locations will look very different than past years. However, the regional crunch team is looking forward to seeing innovation through partnerships, including virtual crunches, outdoor events, and more.
  • Visit the Indiana Department of Education Farm to School Webpage for more information.
  • Questions? Contact John Hawley at

Indiana Food Day

  • Another farm to school celebration as part of National Farm to School Month is Indiana Food Day.
  • Indiana Food Day encourages healthy eating and supports farm to school and other local food purchasing initiatives throughout our state.
  • In Indiana, schools celebrate Food Day any day during the month of October to accommodate the different school calendars.
  • We hope you join us in celebrating spinach for 2020!

  • For tools and resources to help you plan a memorable Food Day event, click here.

Food Distribution Program Update

  • Due to USDA regulations regarding excess inventory with the processing companies and manufacturers, adjustments were made, when necessary, to SFA’s pounds requests from the SY2021 Survey.
  • Inventory balances at the processors will be monitored throughout SY2021 and additional pounds will be assigned, if needed, as the school year progresses.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at

Contact Us

Indiana Department of Education - School and Community Nutrition

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

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