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.

Direct Certification

  • The Direct Certification (DC) system has been updated with the most current eligibility information for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid Free, and Medicaid Reduced benefits.
  • Sponsors should be conducting a DC Standard Match, No Counties Match, and Extended Eligibility Match at least every month.
  • To prepare for Verification, sponsors should be running DC matches as frequently as possible. Even in October sponsors should run at least two DC matches.
  • Click here to access the DC database.


  • Beginning October 1, schools should start their annual verification process. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
    • For more information on the Direct Certification process, click here.
    • Schools with a 20 percent or higher non-response rate last school year, based on their verification summary report, are required to conduct Standard (Error Prone) Verification.
    • Schools with a low non-response rate can choose if they want to conduct Standard (Error Prone) Verification, Alternate One (Random) Verification, or Alternate Two Verification. Most schools with this option choose Alternate One (Random).
    • If you are not sure which method you should follow, contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.  
    • Conduct Direct Certification Matches multiple times before Verification. 
    • Determine the verification method you should follow.
  • The verification process must be completed on or before Friday, November 15.
  • Refer to the Eligibility Guidance Manual if you have questions about the verification process. Click here to access the manual. 
  • For additional instructions for the verification process, click here and check out the Verification 101 webinar on Wednesday, September 18 from 1:30-2:00 p.m.
  • Questions about this process? Contact your Field Specialist.

Disclosure Reminders

  • Don't forget - School Food Authorities (SFAs) are required to maintain strict confidentiality with applications and eligibility information.
  • Sponsors must ensure that data systems, records, and other means of accessing a student's eligibility status are limited to officials directly connected with administration of the NSLP. 
    • Teachers, principals, counselors, and any other individuals not directly connected to processing f/r applications, conducting verification, and/or administering appeals, do not have the right to access eligibility information.
    • Only the household member that signed the application can have access to that application or notification of eligibility. 
  • SFAs are permitted to share eligibility information with other schools/organizations that operate a Child Nutrition Program, like the National School Lunch Program, Summer Food Service Program, and After School Snack Program. 
  • SFAs may not automatically release students' eligibility information for program or test fee waivers, backpack programs, or other assistance program. Instead, SFAs must obtain parental/guardian consent before releasing eligibility information. 
  • To determine what kind of disclosure process you must follow, consult USDA's Disclosure Chart on page 86 in the Eligibility Guidance Manual and Indiana's Disclosure Chart
  • Additional steps for disclosing information include:
    • Entering into an agreement or Memorandum of Understanding with all involved parties. 
    • Sending households information about disclosure (if no permission is required) or a request for disclosure (if permission is required).
    • To find templates of agreements and parent letters, click here
  • Check out the Disclosure Process Fact Sheet for more information. 
  • Visit inTEAM to view our webinar on disclosure requirements.
  • Questions about disclosure? Contact Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Pre-Order Survey Allocations

  • Pre-order survey allocations for Program Year 2019-2020 began this week.
  • Schools can begin to place orders for delivery to their sites.
  • Allocations will continue weekly until the end of the school year.
  • Please check Program Year 2020 Allocations and Inventory tabs at least once per week to see which items have been added to your inventory.
  • To identify a pre-order survey allocation, look for it to be listed as Alloc Id followed by a series of six numbers.
    • Example -  Alloc Id: SVY000000.
  • In addition, please remember to:
    • Order a minimum of ten cases to avoid delivery drop fees.
    • Monitor expire dates to avoid excess storage fees.
    • Inspect, verify, and accept all orders.
  • Questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov.

Webinar: Using the Nondiscrimination Statement in Child Nutrition Programs

  • USDA will be holding a webinar on Monday, September 16 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
  • This webinar will teach SFAs where and when to use the appropriate nondiscrimination statement, as well as which version of the statement must be used to be compliant with program regulations.
  • Click here to register.

Make Sure to Register! 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 at three locations across the state next month.
  • ICN will hold their four-hour training on reimbursable school meals in the morning covering the components of a reimbursable meal, offer versus serve, and how to identify a reimbursable meal. 
  • In the afternoon, 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.
  • Participants can choose if they want to attend one session or both.
  • Click here for more information, including locations, and to register. 
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Reminder! 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.
  • Webinars start NEXT week, so take a look and register today! 
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Indiana School Nutrition Association (ISNA) Fall Regional Workshops

  • Fall Regional Workshops start NEXT week!
  • The workshops will focus on "Practical Culinary Skills."
  • Registration is now available!
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Sheri Shipp at sheri@indianasna.org

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.