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.

Save the Date! Great Apple Crunch

  • The 2019 Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch will take place at noon on Thursday, October 10.
  • Join schools across Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio in celebrating National Farm to School Month by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples.
  • Click here to view the save the date.
  • Click here for more information. 
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov

Written Charging Procedure Notification

  • All sponsors are required to have a written charging procedure.
  • This must be provided in writing to all households at the start of each school year and to households transferring to the school during the year.
  • Sponsors must also provide the written meal charge procedure to all school staff responsible for collecting payment for meals at the point of service, staff involved in notifying families of low or negative balances, and staff involved in enforcing any other aspects of the meal charge procedure.
  • School social workers, school nurses, the homeless liaison, and other staff members assisting children in need (or who may be contacted by families with unpaid meal charges) also should be informed about the policy.
  • View question five in the Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A for acceptable methods of notification.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

Professional Development Training                                                                 

  • Don't forget! All school nutrition staff are required to meet certain standards for training.
  • School Food Authorities (SFAs) are required to train staff each year based on their job duties and responsibilities.
  • The annual training hours required:
    • Director – 12 hours
    • Manager – 10 hours
    • Program Staff (≥ 20 hours per week) – 6 hours
    • Part-time Staff (< 20 hours per week) - 4 hours
  • Directors must have food safety training (i.e. ServSafe Certification) completed and renewed every five years.
  • More information on trainings can be found in the Ins and Outs of Hiring the School Nutrition Director Manual.
  • Training suggestions for back to school meetings, cashiers and cooks, free and reduced processors, managers, and menu planners can be found here, within the "Training Suggestions for..." drop-down box.
  • For more information on all professional standard requirements and additional tools and resources, click here.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov

Breakfast Notification

  • Schools that serve breakfast are required to notify households of their breakfast program multiple times throughout the year.
  • The first notification must be announced just prior to or at the beginning of the school year.
  • Notification must include location, times, and prices.
  • Schools can use various methods to communicate this information: website, newsletters, emails, texts, mailed flyers, automated phone calls, etc.
  • To view USDA's memo, click here.
  • For more information and to access other resources on the School Breakfast Program, click here.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

Offer versus Serve Notification

  • Schools that implement Offer vs. Serve must notify households that this method is being utilized.
  • This is just to ensure that households understand the many ways a student can create a reimbursable meal.
  • Notification can be sent out in a letter, emailed, or posted on a website (as long as households are notified to check that website, such as through an automated phone call system).
  • For sample letters, click here.
  • For more information and to access other resources on Offer vs. Serve at lunch, click here.
  • For more information and to access other resources on Offer vs. Serve at breakfast, click here.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.    

Civil Rights Training Reminder

  • Don't forget! All schools are required to complete civil rights training each school year.
  • One person is required to view the civil rights training and take a quiz on inTEAM. That person must then train any other staff that work with the Child Nutrition Programs.
    • Click here for the inTEAM user guide.
    • A printable PowerPoint, script, and post-test of the training are also available to use to train other staff.
    • Remember to record the date the training took place, the names of staff that attended, and all of the topics covered.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Food Safety Letter

  • Don't forget! All sites under a sponsor must receive two health inspections each year.
  • It is the sponsor's responsibility to send a letter to the local health department requesting the two inspections.
  • A copy of this letter must be kept on file for three years, plus the current operating year.
  • For a template letter, click here. Find the letter underneath "resources" at the bottom of the page.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.   

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.