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.

Correction: Free and Reduced Online Application and Letters

  • Last week we provided incorrect information regarding the 30 operating-day carryover process.
  • Here was the incorrect statement:
    • 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
  • The correction is that when a household reapplies during the 30 operating-day carryover and the benefits are decreased from the previous year, benefits should immediately be reduced and then a notification letter needs to be sent notifying the households of this change.
  • More in-depth information about the 30 operating-day carryover will be provided in a future newsletter.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist or Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Special Dietary Needs Resources and Updates

  • The webinar from February for administration entitled "Ensuring Compliance with Special Dietary Needs in Your Schools" is now available online.
    • Click here to access this webinar.
  • IDOE has created three example cycle menus for schools to utilize as they plan menus for next school year. These menus are intended to show how to create an easy one week cycle menu within each grade group to accommodate students with special dietary needs.
  • On the Administrative Review Questionnaire, schools are asked the following question - "What procedures are in place for accommodating students with disabilities?"
    • Many schools are misinterpreting this question to mean just how they are accommodating those with physical disabilities, such as those in wheelchairs.
    • Schools must keep in mind that any form of digestion issues, such as food allergies and intolerances, are considered disabilities and should be treated as such.
  • Start thinking ahead to next school year! Back to school registration is a great time to ensure that you receive up-to-date meal accommodation information for students.
    • Don't forget! IDOE has a parent letter and medical statement form in both English and Spanish.
  • We have noticed that schools are discontinuing requested special dietary needs accommodations when they do not receive a note from a medical authority for a student. Even if they do not receive a note, form, prescription, etc. from a medical authority, schools are not to discontinue an accommodation, unless directed to do so either by a parent/guardian and/or a medical authority. 
  • Questions? Visit IDOE's Special Dietary Needs Webpage or contact Ashley Heller at aheller@doe.in.gov.

Back to School Event

  • IDOE will be hosting the inaugural Back to School Event on Thursday, July 25 at the Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference Center in Indianapolis.
  • This free training event for Food Service Directors will provide schools with the most up-to-date and thorough information from different areas within school nutrition to ensure a successful school year.
  • The day will kick-off with a speaker followed by multiple break-out sessions on a wide variety of topics.
    • Break-out session topics and descriptions can be found on the agenda here.
  • The day before the event, Wednesday, July 24, the American Dairy Association Indiana will be hosting a tour of a dairy farm followed by dinner.
    • Buses begin boarding at 4:15 p.m. and will return by 8:30 p.m.
    • Participants will be taken via bus to Milco Dairy Farm in Lewisville for both the tour and dinner.
    • This event is free for those attending the Back to School Event.
    • To view the save the date, click here.
  • Click here for more information and to register
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov or Ashley Heller at aheller@doe.in.gov.

Food Distribution Program

USDA Foods Surplus

  • There is still quite a bit of USDA Foods surplus available!
  • Want to grab some of the additional surplus? Go into the CNPweb green puzzle piece, under the allocation tab and click the “Add Surplus” button.
  • Please pay close attention to the amounts and the expire dates.
  • Place the products on an order form as soon as possible to avoid excess storage fees.
  • Don’t forget! The excess storage fees continue to incur and the six month inventory rule still applies over summer break.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov.

USDA DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Update

  • The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is in the process of entering information into the payment system on the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Order Receipt System (FFAVORS) website.
  • According to the DLA, the information and system should be ready by July 2019, so schools may begin placing orders.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov.

Deadline Approaching! BE Time Grant

  • Action for Healthy Kids has a 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.

Retirement Announcement: John Todd

  • Please join IDOE in congratulating John Todd on his retirement!
  • John has dedicated over 42 years to IDOE with his great knowledge and devoted work ethic.
  • The many innovative enhancements he has implemented to our processes over the years have helped us to improve the quality and efficiency of our work. 
  • While we are sad to see him go, his retirement is very well-deserved.

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.