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.

Coffee Break Webinars

  • The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will be hosting coffee break webinars in April and May.
  • Topics include:
    • Professional Standards
    • Effective Date Waiver
    • Free and Reduced Process
    • Direct Certification
    • Disclosure
    • Civil Rights
    • Updates & Reminders
  • Webinars will be approximately 30 minutes in length. 
  • Participants will receive a certificate for professional standards credit.
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Orientation to School Nutrition Management Registration Now Open

  • IDOE, in partnership with the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN), will be providing Orientation to School Nutrition Management July 8-12.
    • The target audience of this training includes school nutrition program staff with fewer than five years of experience as a director or those on track to become a director.
    • This training will provide an overview of many topics within school nutrition.
    • This 4.5 day training will take place in Brownsburg, Indiana on Monday, July 8, through Thursday, July 11, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Friday, July 12, from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET.
    • Click here for a flyer with more information.
    • Click here to register for this training.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Common Concerns and Findings from Reviews

  • On-site monitoring: This is not being conducted thoroughly or the monitor is not staying through the entire meal service.
    • Example: All monitoring forms are filled out with no notations of issues or findings, but during a review, the field specialist finds many issues.
    • Solution: Those conducting monitoring visits need to know program regulations and should be looking in-depth for inconsistencies. Anything found or discussed should be noted on the form.
  • Food Safety: All staff are not aware of or trained on the HAACP Plan/Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs).
    • Example: A school has a specific procedure that they expect staff to follow when cleaning tables. A staff member does not follow the correct procedure and therefore causes a food safety risk.
    • Solution: Train all staff on the proper HAACP plan and SOPs.
  • Smart Snacks: Beverages that are accessible to multiple grade groupings are not compliant for all students who have access.
    • Example: A vending machine that is accessible to middle and high school students has Diet Coke available to everyone, which is not an allowable beverage for middle schoolers.
    • Solution: Make sure that beverages available meet the standards of the lowest grade grouping.
  • Professional Standards: A school spreads the responsibilities of the Food Service Director across many people and does not designate one person as this role. No one completes the 12 hours of professional standards training required each school year for the director level.
    • Example: The Kitchen Manager, Business Manager, and Secretary all share the duties of what would be classified as the Food Service Director. No one is designated the title Food Service Director, and no one has completed the required 12 hours of CEUs for the Director role.
    • Solution: Designate one person that will take the title of the Food Service Director and complete the 12 hours of professional standards training. This ensures that those in charge of the program are well-trained and informed on topics.
  • Questions? Contact your Field Specialist.

Preschool Basics

  • Planning to operate a preschool program next school year? Your program may be eligible to provide meals and receive reimbursement under the School Nutrition Programs.
  • To find out, contact the IDOE School and Community Nutrition (SCN) Office to ensure the program is eligible for reimbursement and to learn specific requirements that must be implemented when claiming meals served to preschool students. 
  • For schools operating a preschool program:
    • Preschool students not co-mingling with other grade groups (i.e. K-5) during meal periods, must implement the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) preschool meal pattern under the School Nutrition Programs.
    • Full day preschool students present during breakfast and lunch must be provided the same services as other grade groups.
    • Snacks can only be served as part of the After School Snack Program through the School Nutrition Programs only after the school day is over with a supervised enrichment or educational activity. 
      • Snacks are available during the school day through CACFP, but schools must sign up for that specific program through the IDOE SCN Office.
    • "And Justice for All" Posters are required in the classroom when students consume all their snacks and/or meals in their classroom. If preschool students are consuming one meal/snack or more in the cafeteria, an "And Justice for All" Poster is not required in the classroom.
      • Click here to order more "And Justice for All" Posters.
  • Click here to visit the IDOE Preschool Meal Pattern webpage for more information. This webpage includes:
    • Q&As and best practices
    • Meal patterns and component crediting
    • Co-mingling definition and implementation information
  • Questions? Contact Sarah Kenworthy at skenworthy@doe.in.gov.

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

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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, or contact Ashley Heller at aheller@doe.in.gov, call (317) 232-0544, or toll-free at 1-800-537-1142 ext. 20544.