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.

Free and Reduced Online Application and Letters

  • Many schools use online applications to help with the Free and Reduced Process.
  • Schools still need to have paper applications available at the school for households to complete if they do not want to complete the application online. 
  • It is up to the school to ensure that the application and all accompanying forms are accurate and include everything that the template Free and Reduced Application and letters include.
    • The entire non-discrimination statement must be included on all notification letters. So if the software system generates a notification letter for households, ensure that this is included on the letter.
    • During the 30 operating-day carryover when a household reapplies, if an application is processed and eligibility benefits are decreased, benefits should be reduced 10 calendar days from the date of the notification letter. 
    • When a household reapplies and the eligibility benefits stay the same or are better, these benefit assignments should take place immediately.
  • In addition, the software system must have the capability to:
    • save original applications that were submitted (even if subsequent applications are submitted),
    • carry-over eligibility from the previous school year but then end that carry-over when a new application or Direct Certification (DC) status is processed,
    • save applications for at least five years,
    • correctly convert applications based on income (If the household reports one pay frequency (i.e. weekly), the application should process based on that one pay frequency (i.e. weekly).),
    • have a section that indicates the approver, the approval date, and what criteria the application was approved on,
    • correctly obtain the Social Security Number when needed (income applications only) and not require it with other application submissions (Food Stamp, TANF, etc.),
    • categorize applications and DC status based on type (Food Stamp, TANF, Medicaid Free, etc.), and
    • differentiate between DC Free and DC Reduced, etc.
  • Schools using an online application should check out the Online Application for Meals Checklist underneath "other," on this page
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov

Free and Reduced Reminders

Upcoming Indiana School Nutrition Association (ISNA) Events

ISNA Leadership Academy for Managers

  • Registration for the ISNA Leadership Academy for Managers is now open!
  • Leadership Academy will be offered in June with two comprehensive courses.
  • Beginner Level: Participants will be provided essential training on the basics of school nutrition programs, meal planning, resource management and general food service operations.
  • Advanced Level: Participants will be provided essential training on communications, ethics and decision making, team-building and staff development.
  • Participants are able to register for both levels at a discounted rate!
    • You must select "Both Classes" under the Registration Option when registering online if you are signing up for both levels and want the discounted rate.
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Sheri Shipp at sheri@indianasna.org

ISNA and IDOE School Nutrition Certificate Program Courses for Food Service Directors

  • Save the date! Another set of courses for the ISNA and IDOE School Nutrition Certificate Program will be occurring on Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 12. 
    • The courses will be held during a two-day event covering:
      • Financial Planning and Strategy
      • Human Resources Management Policies and Procedures
      • Program Management Accountability
      • Visionary Leadership
  • Click here for more information on the certificate program. 
  • Click here to register and review the learning objectives for each course.
  • Questions? Contact Sheri Shipp at sheri@indianasna.org

New Resource: Monthly Checklist

  • IDOE has a monthly checklist for sponsors to use throughout the entire year.
  • This checklist helps provide a breakdown of each month with the requirements and tasks that should be completed.
  • Click here to access the monthly checklist.
  • Learn about new and updated resources like the monthly checklist along with other important information in the Updates and Reminders Webinar on Wednesday, May 22. 
    • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Ashley Heller at aheller@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.