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.

Reminder! Direct Certification (DC) and Verification

  • Beginning Tuesday, October 1, schools should start their annual verification process.
    • This will help identify more students that automatically qualify because of SNAP, TANF, Medicaid or Foster Status.
    • SFAs should be conducting a DC Standard Match, No Counties Match, Extended Eligibility Match, and DC Lookups.
    • Make sure any application with students who were DC are excluded from verification.
    • Even in October, SFAs should run at least two DC matches.
    • Click here to access the DC database.
    • Conduct a DC Match on Monday, September 30.
  • Best practices from Indiana SFAs on verification include:
    • conduct Direct Certification before verification begins and multiple times within October;
    • begin verification on October 1;
    • conduct Direct Verification;
    • stay organized and read, giving yourself plenty of time before deadlines;
    • document, document, and document;
    • contact non-responding households more than just once to get a good response rate;
    • make follow-up attempts before the response deadline indicated on the verification notification letter;
    • and utilize the verification tracking sheet.
  • New resource! Check out the Verification Process Quick Guide for additional help. 
  • Missed last week's webinar on verification? You're in luck! The Verification 101 webinar is now available online to view.
    • Click here to access the webinar.
  • Familiar with verification but need a refresher? Check out the Verification Process webinar on Wednesday, October 2 from 1:30-2:00 p.m. EST. 
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist or Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Whole Grain-Rich Requirements

  • A new webinar on the whole grain-rich update is now available. 
    • Learn more about what it means when a product is whole grain-rich, why this is important, and the new flexibilities that are now in place.
    • As a reminder, SFAs are no longer required to ask IDOE for whole grain-rich exemptions.
    • At least 50 percent of the weekly grains for breakfast and lunch must be whole grain-rich. Non-whole grain-rich items must be enriched. 
    • For a summary of the flexibilities, click here.  
  • Click here to access the webinar. 
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist or Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

Food Distribution Program

USDA Foods Delay

  • The following USDA Foods products are being delayed by USDA due to vendor constraints.
    • 100355 – Potato Wedges, Frozen
    • 100357 – Oven Fries, Frozen
    • 100364 – Vegetarian Beans (Canned)
  • They will be shipped to the state contracted warehouses between the months of November and December.
  • IDOE will keep you informed through the weekly newsletter of any further delay in these or other items.

USDA Foods Training

  • Don't forget! IDOE is hosting a “Procuring USDA Foods” Training on Tuesday, October 29.
  • Click here for more information and to register.

Brown Box to Bulk Newsletter

  • Want more information and updates on the food distribution program? Click here to enjoy the latest edition of Brown Box to Bulk Bulletin.

Food Distribution Program questions? Contact Cheryl Moore at cmoore@doe.in.gov.

Spanish Offer vs. Serve Letters

  • IDOE has released two new offer vs. serve parent notification letters in Spanish.
  • Click here for the Spanish lunch-only notification letter.
  • Click here for the Spanish breakfast and lunch notification letter.
  • Click here to visit the offer vs. serve page, where you can find additional offer vs. serve resources, including training slides and USDA's Offer vs. Serve Manual.
  • Questions? Contact your field specialist.

ISNA/IDOE Certificate Program Courses

Upcoming Fall Courses

  • ISNA will be holding two courses as a part of the ISNA/IDOE School Nutrition Certificate Program.
  • These courses will be held at The Willows on Westfield on Friday, October 11.
  • Procurement: Beyond the Basics will be held from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. and then USDA Foods: Background, Utilization and Strategy will take place from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Jan Frost at jan@indianasna.org

Pre-Conference Courses

  • The following three-hour courses will be offered as pre-conference sessions on Wednesday, November 13 at the French Lick Springs Hotel
    • Creating and Implementing your HAACP Plan
    • Planning for the Next Crisis - Keeping your Staff and Space Safe
    • Product and Inventory Management
    • Facilities Planning and Management
  • These courses will all count toward the ISNA/IDOE School Nutrition Certificate Program requirements.
  • Registration will be available soon.  
  • Questions? Contact Jan Frost at jan@indianasna.org

Reminder! Fall Coffee Break Webinars

  • Don't forget! The Fall Coffee Break Webinar series continues NEXT week!
  • Click here for more information and to register.
  • Questions? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Coming Up Soon! Reimbursable School Meals and Special Dietary Needs Training

  • Don't forget to sign up for this great, full-day training opportunity being held across the state.
  • ICN will hold their four-hour training on reimbursable school meals in the morning followed by IDOE covering special dietary needs in the afternoon.
  • Click here for more information, including locations, and to register. 
  • 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.