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.

Verification: Frequently Asked Questions

  • The verification process began Tuesday, October 1. The following are common questions that have been received.
    • If an application was verified through Direct Verification, do I notify the family?
      • Verification is considered complete as long as the application was verified for the same eligibility as it was initially approved. There is no need to notify the household.
    • I’m verifying an application that was approved due to a case number written on it. The household provided a letter that shows they are receiving Medicaid benefits, can I use that to verify the application?
      • Meal benefits due to Medicaid cannot be verified with a letter. This is because the school nutrition program actually uses the income reported on the Medicaid application and compares that to the USDA income guidelines for free or reduced meals. This is why you can only approve a household due to Medicaid if you find them in the Direct Certification (DC) database. This household will need to provide income documentation to verify that their income meets the guidelines.
    • An application was pulled for verification, but then the students were found through DC before we had a chance to notify the household of verification. Do we need to replace this application?
      • Yes, since you have not notified the household, you should replace this application with another one for verification.
    • An application was pulled for verification, the household was notified, then our school ran a DC match and found the students on the DC list. What do I do?
      • As long as you ran a DC match right before verification and the household was not on that DC list, you can consider the application verified. Notify the household that they do not need to provide any documentation for verification.
      • If you did not run a DC match before verification, you will then need to replace this application with a similar application and verify. Don’t forget to contact the original household and let them know they do not need to complete the verification process.
    • The verification process must end by Friday, November 15.
    • Click here to access verification resources and letter templates.
    • Don’t forget about the Verification Summary Report webinar on Wednesday, October 23. Click here to register.
    • Questions about verification? Contact your field specialist or Allie Caito-Sipe at acaito@doe.in.gov.

October is National Farm to School Month! 

  • Join us and thousands of schools, early childcare and education sites, farms, communities, and organizations across the country as we celebrate food education, school gardens, and lunch trays filled with healthy, local ingredients.
  • This year, Farm to School Month is more than just a celebration – it is a time for action.
  • Here’s how you can get involved:
  • Be Inspired: Follow the National Farm to School Network on their blogFacebookTwitter, and Instagram to see inspiring examples of farm to school success and innovation. 
  • Get Involved: Explore the national calendar of Farm to School Month events to see how you can celebrate. 
  • Spread the Word: Shout out about farm to school and share what you’re doing for National Farm to School Month with the hashtags #F2SMonth and #farmtoschool on social media. 
  • Explore Resources: Check out the free resources for planning and promoting celebrations in your community, including our Farm to School Month Celebration Toolkit, customizable posters and bookmarks, stickers and more. 
  • For ways to celebrate, visit IDOE's Farm to School webpage.
  • How will you be celebrating National Farm to School Month? Be sure to tell us at mschabel@doe.in.gov.
  • Other exciting Farm to School news! The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now available!
    • Click here to access the RFA.
  • Questions about Farm to School? Contact Maggie Schabel at mschabel@doe.in.gov.

Food Distribution Program

Don't Forget to Register for the Upcoming Training!

  • A few spots are still open for the Procuring USDA Foods Training on Tuesday, October 29. 
  • Click here for more information and to sign up and here for a list of area hotels, dining and shopping.
  • Please note - We will not be taking a lunch during this training. Attendees are allowed to bring snacks and beverages. Also, please feel free to bring your electronic device to use as we navigate the green puzzle piece in CNPweb.

USDA Foods Bonus Items

  • Recipient Agencies (RA) will see USDA Foods bonus items, Sweet Frozen Cherries-110872, canned Sliced Pears 100224, and canned Diced Pears 100225 in their inventory.
  • The fruit has been allocated based on each RA’s fair share.
  • Taking these items is optional.
  • The deadline to accept them is Monday, October 21.
  • To accept the bonus fruit follow these steps:
  • Please Note: Due to a computer glitch, the "Accept" button is only available once. Please be sure to enter all quantities BEFORE clicking the accept button. Failure to do so will result in product being sent to surplus and available to other schools.
  1. Go to allocations in CNPweb in the green puzzle piece.
  2. Click the Edit link.
  3. Go to the third column. This is the Alloc Qty or allocation quantity for the amount of cases received.
  4. Go to the fourth column, which is the Accept Qty and place the amount of each product you wish to accept in the corresponding white box.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the next page button.
  6. Then click accept.
  7. Note: If you decline to take any of the products, no action is necessary.

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.