Weekly School Nutrition Newsletter


Dear Food Service Contact,

This email provides news for schools concerning the Child Nutrition Programs from the USDA and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). 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.

Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool SY 2019-2020

  • The USDA PLE Tool for SY 2019 - 2020 is now available.
  • Each SFA currently charging a weighted average price less than $3.00 for paid lunches will need to use the PLE Tool to determine the amount to increase their paid lunch prices for SY 2019-2020.
  • The PLE Tool is located on IDOE's Pricing Guidance Webpage under Paid Lunch Equity (PLE).
    • The webpage also includes step-by-step instructions for completing the tool.
  • You will be required to submit the completed tool as part of your renewal documents for SY 2019-2020, but you can email them to SCNFinance@doe.in.gov at any time.
  • Exemptions may be granted for the PLE requirement for schools that had a positive food service account balance as of December 31, 2018. See below for more information.
  • Questions? Contact the Finance Team at SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.

PLE Exemption Requests

  • Any SFA with a positive or zero balance in its non-profit school food service account as of December 31, 2018, may be granted an exemption by the State Agency from the PLE Pricing Requirements.
  • The exemption only exempts the school from having to raise prices according to the results of the PLE Tool, it does not eliminate the requirement to complete the PLE Tool as this will be used in future years’ calculations.
  • All sponsors must complete and submit a PLE Tool as part of the school year renewal process.
  • Complete the PLE Exemption form located on IDOE's Pricing Guidance Webpage and submit it along with proof of a positive or zero balance in your non-profit school food service account as of December 31, 2018 to SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.
    • Sufficient documentation for the balance of the non-profit school food service account would be a bank statement, accounting software report, or ledger print out showing the balance as of December 31, 2018.
  • Questions? Contact the Finance Team at SCNFinance@doe.in.gov.

School Nutrition Programs Fact Sheets

BE Time Grant

  • Action for Healthy Kids has a new grant available through their Game On Grants, called BE Time.
  • The BE Time grant provides funding for schools to implement school/student/family-led physical activity and nutrition programs.
  • BE Time is unstructured time spent without screens for kids to play and explore their imaginations to nourish their minds, creativity, bodies, and relationships.
  • Grants range from $5,000 - $10,000. 
  • Click here to learn more about BE Time.
  • For more information on the grant, eligibility, and to apply, click here.
    • You must create an account on the school portal, as applications must be submitted online. 
  • Applications are due Tuesday, May 28. 

New Tools to Recognize Your Lunch Heroes!

  • Celebrate the 7th Annual School Lunch Hero Day next Friday, May 3!
  • School Lunch Hero Day showcases the school nutrition professionals who make a difference to every child who comes through the cafeteria.
  • Click here to find fun ways to recognize your school lunch heroes.

Reminder! Coffee Break Webinars

  • Don't forget IDOE's Coffee Break Webinars started this week!
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Miss 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.