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.

Medicaid and Direct Certification

  • As a reminder, schools can approve households for free or reduced meals due to Medicaid only if they are found in the Direct Certification (DC) system.
  • The DC system is comparing income reported on the Medicaid application to the USDA free or reduced income guidelines.
    • If the income reported on the Medicaid application fits within the guidelines, then the student(s) will show up in the DC system for either free (M) or reduced (R) eligibility.
    • If the household did not provide any income on their Medicaid application or if the income was too high to meet the income guidelines, then the student(s) will not be identified in the DC system.
  • To help explain the way Medicaid works in the School Nutrition Program, a new resource for parents has been developed titled, Medicaid Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to update the fact sheet with your school’s contact information on the second page.
  • For additional fact sheets on Direct Certification, Medicaid, and a variety of other topics, click here.
  • Questions? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.  

Reimbursable School Meals and Special Dietary Needs Training

  • IDOE is excited to partner with the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) for a full day of training on reimbursable school meals and special dietary needs.
  • These trainings will be held at three different locations across the state during the month of October. 
  • ICN will hold their four-hour training on reimbursable school meals in the morning from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. local time. This training will cover the components of a reimbursable meal, offer versus serve, and how to identify a reimbursable meal. 
  • In the afternoon from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. local time, IDOE will hold a training on special dietary needs. This training will help answer questions sponsors may have regarding special dietary needs, food allergies, intolerances, school implementation, and resources.
  • This is a great course not only for those who are just learning about reimbursable meals and special dietary needs, but also those who would like a refresher on these topics as the school year gets under way. 
  • Participants can choose if they want to attend only one session or both.
  • Click here for more information, including locations, and to register. 
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Fall Coffee Break Webinars

  • IDOE will be hosting another set of coffee break webinars covering a variety of topics that are applicable for anyone involved with the School Nutrition Programs.
  • Topics for the webinars include: 
    • Verification 101
    • Verification Process
    • Offer vs. Serve - Breakfast
    • Offer vs. Serve - Lunch
    • Offer vs. Serve - Best Practices
    • Excess Funds
    • Verification Summary Report
    • Professional Standards
    • Resource Management
  • Webinars start next month, so take a look and register today! 
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Food Distribution Program

Surplus USDA Foods

  • If Dilgard, McFarling, or Stanz is your state contracted warehouse, there are still surplus USDA Foods (brown box) available.
  • Please remember that some items have short dates and need to be ordered/used as soon as possible.
  • Follow these steps to take advantage of the surplus items: 
  1. Go to the Food Distribution Program green puzzle piece and login. This should take you to your RA summary page.
  2. Click on program year 2020.
  3. Click on the “Allocations” tab.
  4. Click on the gray “Add Surplus” button. This should bring you to the list of surplus.
  5. Enter the amount of each product in the request quantity column.
  6. Click “Next Page” and then click "Submit."
  7. The items chosen should be available in your inventory.
  8. You can now place items on an order form.
  9. Remember to order a minimum of 10 cases per site to avoid delivery drop fees.

USDA Foods In-Person Training

  • IDOE is hosting a Procuring USDA Foods Training Tuesday, October 29.
  • Click here for more information and to register.  
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov

FNS Instruction 709-5: Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods USDA Webinar

  • Don't miss the upcoming webinar Refresher on FNS Instruction 709-5: Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods on Thursday, September 5 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
  • The webinar will highlight the five key areas involved with the shipment and receipt of USDA Foods: arranging shipment and delivery, guidance on inspecting the shipment, accepting and receipting the shipment, unloading the shipment, and disposition and replacement of USDA Foods. In addition, E-invoicing in WBSCM and filing complaints will be covered.
  • Click here to register.

May Coffee Break Webinars Available

  • IDOE's coffee break webinars from May are now available on inTEAM.
  • Webinar topics include:
    • Professional standards
    • Effective date waiver
    • The free and reduced process
    • Direct certification
    • Disclosure
    • Updates and reminders
  • Each webinar is 30 minutes or less, which makes this an easy way to earn professional standards credit.
  • Need assistance with inTEAM? View the inTEAM User Guide.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Miss a Weekly School Nutrition Newsletter? Click here to access previous newsletters!

Was the newsletter forwarded to you? Want to add other employees to receive the newsletter? Click here to be added to the contact list.

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.