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.

Important! New Case Number Format

  • Indiana now has two valid case number formats for households that receive SNAP/TANF or Medicaid benefits.
  • Valid case numbers are 10 digits long and now begin with 10 or 60.
  • The DC database is up to date with this information.
  • Sponsors can continue to approve categorical applications based on face value as long as the case number is 10 digits long and begins with a 10 or a 60.
    • As a reminder households can only be approved due to Medicaid as long as they are identified in the DC database.
  • Fact sheets and instructions are currently being updated with this new information.
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov or 317-232-0849.

And Justice for All Posters

  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) recently instructed all USDA agencies to halt distribution of the “And Justice For All” (AJFA) posters until further notice.  This directive resulted because of an issue with the graphic on the poster.    
  • State agencies have been instructed to not distribute posters at this time.
  • SFAs can continue to utilize their current posters.
  • AJFA posters should not be printed from other sites or images available on the Internet.
  • Should you encounter any poster-related issues/concerns during Administrative Reviews, the State agency will offer flexibility until the new posters are available.
  • If you need to order posters, you may request them here. The State agency will mail posters once they become available from FNS.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Food Distribution Program Update

  • USDA has rescheduled the August and September delivery dates for 100362 Refried Beans and 100364 Vegetarian Beans to October due to lack of bids for these products.
  • Please adjust your calendars and menus accordingly for these changes.
  • IDOE will allocate these products if and when they become available.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov

Food Buying Guide Update

  • A new enhancement to the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs Interactive Web-Based Tool, Part 2 of the Exhibit A Grains Tool, is now available.
  • The first release of the tool allows users to search their grain product (as listed on Exhibit A) and enter in the serving size as listed on the product label.
  • The tool determines the ounce equivalent (oz eq) for the grain product.
  • The second part to the tool includes an additional capability to determine the number of servings a program needs to serve to obtain a specific meal pattern contribution.
  • Click here to access the Food Buying Guide with the new enhancements.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

Reminders for Beginning of the School Year

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 also must 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 about charging procedures or notification requirements? Contact your field specialist.

Don’t Forget About Your Professional Development Training                                                                 

  • All school nutrition staff are required to meet certain standards for training.
  • The annual training hours required are as follows:
    • Director – 12 hours
    • Manager – 10 hours
    • Program Staff (≥20 hours per week) – six hours
    • Part-time Staff (<20 hours per week) - four hours 
  • Training suggestions for cashiers and cooks, free and reduced processors, managers, and menu planners can be found here, under the "Training Suggestions for..." dropdown. 
  • For more information on all professional standard requirements and additional tools and resources, click here
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov or Ashley Heller at aheller@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, time, and price. 
  • 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
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

Offer vs. Serve Notification

  • Schools that implement Offer vs. Serve must notify households about this method.
  • This is 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.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) Survey

  • The Food Safety Education in Schools Assessment Survey was created by PFSE to determine what, if any, food safety education is provided in schools to students as part of nutrition education.
  • The survey will provide insight into what is occurring in schools which will then influence food safety education curriculum development and implementation.
  • Those providing nutrition education to students, such as dietitians, nutritionists, or others on the school nutrition programs team, should fill out the survey which will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
  • Survey respondents who provide their name, school/organization name, and email address will be entered to win a $100 gift card.
  • The survey can be found here.
  • The survey will be closed on Wednesday, July 31. 

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.