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.

Now Available: 2019-2020 Free and Reduced Paperwork

  • The 2019-2020 English and Spanish Free and Reduced paperwork is now available and posted online, here.
  • Updates include:
    • Program Year is updated to 2019-2020 on the application.
    • Updated income guidelines
    • Reduced income guidelines are updated on the Parent Letter/Instructions.
  • For 2019-2020 Income Guidelines, click here.
    • Schools using an online application should check out the Online Application for Meals Checklist underneath Other, on this page.
  • Don't forget! IDOE has created fact sheets for a variety of topics that you may have questions about in the free and reduced process. Click here to access all of those fact sheets.
  • Other important reminders:
    • Don't forget, the Parent Letter and Instructions must be included with the application.
    • The application, parent letter, and instructions should all be printed in Landscape view.
    • Applications cannot be distributed or processed before Monday, July 1.
    • Reduced eligibility guidelines must be included on the Parent Letters, schools cannot delete this information.
  • Helpful hints:
    • If you cannot access the 2019-2020 application, you might need to clear your browser’s history.
    • If the formatting does not look correct when you first download the application, make sure you are viewing it in Print Layout.
    • If you are having a problem with printing the entire application, after you add the school corporation’s name, save this file as a .PDF. This should fix any margin or formatting errors.
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

USDA's Eligibility Manual for School Meals

  • USDA will not be updating the Eligibility Manual for School Meals for school year 2019-2020
  • Schools can continue to use the current manual posted on IDOE's website last revised July 2017.
  • This manual is a helpful resource and tool when processing free and reduced applications, conducting verification, or determining disclosure requirements.
  • To access this manual, click here.

Disclosure to Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

  • Don't forget - sponsors are required to maintain strict confidentiality with applications and eligibility information.
  • Sponsors must ensure that data systems, records, and other means of accessing a student's eligibility status are limited to officials directly connected with administration of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Sponsors are permitted to share eligibility information with other schools/organizations that operate a Child Nutrition Program, like the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and After School Snack Program (ASSP).
  • As long as the SFSP site is using the information shared for assessing their eligibility for their meal program, then this is acceptable.
  • If a school can’t tell if a site is really is operating the SFSP, contact IDOE to find out before sharing the information.
  • To determine what kind of disclosure process you must follow, consult Indiana's Disclosure Chart.
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Maximizing Direct Certification (DC)

  • Increasing the number of DC matches is not only important for qualifying for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), but is also a way to reduce the administrative burden of processing applications and potentially reduce meal charge debt.
  • The following are a few ways to maximize the DC process:
    • Run DC Matches at least once a month. Even if the system is not updated, SFAs could still identify new students.
    • Conduct DC Lookup with every newly transferred student.
    • Perform DC Lookup with every categorical application.
    • In addition to the Standard Match List, ensure the No County, Extended, and Unmatched Case Sibling Matches are being downloaded.
  • For more tips and an overview of the DC process, view the Direct Certification Coffee Break webinar on Wednesday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Click here to register for this and any other Coffee Break webinar.   
  • Questions about DC? Contact your field specialist or Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@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.