Weekly School Nutrition Newsletter


Dear Food Service Contact,

This email provides news for schools concerning the Child Nutrition Programs from USDA and the state. If you are the food service contact for your school or corporation, it is your responsibility to relay important information provided to you about the Child Nutrition Programs to other staff members.

Free and Reduced Applications for Furloughed Employees

  • There are no prohibitions on households applying for benefits during a furlough. However, USDA encourages sponsors to follow specific precautions during this unique situation.
  • On the free and reduced application, households should include any income they are still currently receiving (whether from other household members or through contributors outside of the household), or they need to report any income they are regularly withdrawing out of savings to cover expenses.
  • If the household has no income, you can still process the application. Click here to access the fact sheet on no income applications.
  • Sponsors are recommended to urge households to decline benefits when they begin receiving income again. However, due to year-long eligibility, the household is not required to decline benefits.
  • You are always allowed to verify applications for cause if you feel the application is questionable. The household would have to provide verification documentation from either the month before they applied, the month they applied, or any month up until they were pulled for verification.
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Reminder! IDOE 2019 Food Service Employee of the Year Nominations

  • Don't forget! IDOE is now accepting nominations for the 2019 School Food Service Employee of the Year.
  • This award recognizes employees who make outstanding contributions to school food service. 
  • The application closes February 22, 2019. 
  • For information on how to nominate a deserving school food service employee, click here.
  • Questions? Contact Suzette Hartmann at shartman@doe.in.gov or at 317-232-0868. 

Upcoming Requirements

After School Snack Program

  • All schools implementing the After School Snack Program (ASSP) are required to conduct an on-site review within the first four weeks of operation and a second time sometime later in the school year.
  • This review is necessary to ensure that the snacks are meeting meal pattern requirements, proper documentation is kept, reimbursable snack counting is accurate, etc.
  • To access the program review form and other helpful ASSP resources, click here.
  • Any changes to the ASSP must be made in the CNPweb at least a month before the changes take place.
  • All ASSP information (operating days, times, program information) entered in the CNPweb must be accurate for each sponsor's program.
  • Questions? Contact your Field Specialist.

Breakfast Notification

  • Schools that operate the School Breakfast Program are required to notify households of their program.
  • The notification must include when breakfast takes place, where breakfast is located, and how much the meal costs for paid and reduced students.
  • Notification can be in the form of a flyer that is mailed to households, included in the school newsletter, posted on the school website, announced in a school phone system, etc.
  • Schools must vary their methods of outreach and notify households multiple times through the year.
  • Schools should maintain this notification process on file. 
  • To view the original USDA Memo, click here.
  • Questions? Contact your Field Specialist.

Health Inspection Letters

  • All schools participating in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs are required to obtain two food safety inspections.
  • The inspection requirement applies to all food preparation-service sites and service-only sites.
  • Schools that do not regularly receive two inspections 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.
  • As long as the school can show they notified the health department of the two inspection requirements and only one inspection takes place, the school will be in compliance with this policy.
  • There will be a compliance issue if the school did not notify the health department of the two inspection requirement and they only received one inspection during the school year.
  • Don't forget to post your most recent health inspection report in a public place. 
  • Make sure to maintain and update your food safety plan. Click here for a food safety plan template and here for standard operating procedures. 
  • To view the USDA regulation, click here. For a USDA Q&A about this requirement, click here
  • To access the health inspection template letter, click here.
  • Questions? Contact your Field Specialist.

3rd Direct Certification Match

  • USDA requires all sponsors to conduct a minimum of three Direct Certification match uploads each school year.
  • Typically, schools run their third match at some point during the second semester. 
  • Please note - IDOE highly recommends sponsors conduct Direct Certification matches more frequently throughout the year (i.e. once a month). The more matches attempted, the more students identified for free or reduced meals.  
  • For more information on Direct Certification, click here
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Contract Review/Renewal 

  • Procurement specifications must be developed for a Food Service Management Company, vendor, distributor, and/or processor. 
  • A signed copy of the Food Service Management Company Contract or Vended Meals Contract must be sent to Cindy Harris
  • Sponsors are not required to send in contracts with distributors or processors. 
  • For more information, visit the procurement webpage.
  • Questions? Contact Cindy Harris at charris@doe.in.gov.

Calendar of Due Dates


  • Please update the CNPweb with any program changes that may have occurred since the start of the school year.
  • Questions? Contact Ashley Heller at aheller@doe.in.gov.

Food Distribution Program (FDP) Pre-Order Survey

  • Please note! There was an error in last week's newsletter for the date on which the survey closes. The survey closes on Friday, March 15
  • The FDP survey is now open.
  • You must be in the green puzzle piece on the CNPweb in School Year (SY) 2020 to complete the survey.
    • You can find it under the Surveys tab.
  • If you have opted to commit a dollar amount to go toward USDA DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, you can find that amount under the Entitlement tab where it says Spec followed by 6 numbers (i.e. SpecXXXXXX).
  • Remaining entitlement is the amount available to spend. IDOE wants you to spend up to 102% of the entitlement. If the dollar amount in this box is red, then you have spent too much and will need to re-evaluate and modify some choices.
  • Both Direct Delivered (Brown Box) and Direct Diverted (Raw Product sent to processors) are on the same survey. The RA can choose the products to meet their school’s needs and student preferences. Remember all processors must be procured in compliance with your procurement plan.
  • Under End Products, place the amount of cases you wish to receive in the fall for each product needed.
  • Under Raw Products place the amount of pounds that you wish to have sent to each processor.
  • Remember the Calc button calculates your figures for you.
  • The submit button only submits any changes you made. There is no notification of receipt or completion of the survey.
  • The survey closes on Friday, March 15 and cannot be reopened.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov. 

Missed a Weekly School Nutrition Newsletter? Click here to access previous newsletters!

Please do not reply directly to this email. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this email, please contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0849, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20849. You can also contact Sarah Kenworthy at skenworthy@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0857, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20857.