Summer Food Service Program Updates for June 24, 2020

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Summer Food Service Program Updates for June 24, 2020

Information provided in this bulletin reflects what we know at this time. With the evolving COVID-19 situation, information may change and we will provide updates in the bulletin.

On May 14, 2020 UDSA provided the following four nationwide waivers, which affect program operations for the 2020 summer. For a list of all current child nutrition program waivers, please visit the Food and Nutrition COVID-19 Resources webpage.

Sponsors Operating Summer Food Programs (SFSP) After June 30

Sponsors must complete SFSP training and train their staff. An eLearning option is available!

SFSP training is offered online, so sponsors and staff can access it at any time.

Sponsors must keep up with current SFSP rules and regulations and provide training to staff on SFSP program updates and operational requirements. Documentation of staff training must be maintained to show dates of training and topics discussed.

Note: The online SFSP training provides information for regular SFSP operations. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released waivers, which have changed some of the regular operations. Please visit the Food and Nutrition COVID-19 Resources webpage for the most up-to-date information.

The following courses can be accessed from the SFSP Training webpage.

  • Planning and Administering the SFSP 2020 (also known as MDE – 100) includes 19 interactive courses, each about 10-15 minutes long.
  • SFSP Annual Refresher Training 2020 (also known as MDE – 170) includes three short courses, one of which is a shortened version of the Civil Rights course. (one hour)
  • Civil Rights (45 minutes)
  • Menu Building Basics – Utilizing Child Nutrition (CN) Labels and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Recipes to Build a Cycle Menu (one hour)
  • SFSP Meal Planning for Summer Success! (one hour)

Online training Technical Support Questions? Complete the Help Desk Contact Form.


Requirements for SFSP Sponsors that did not participate in SFSP during the 2019 summer months:

  • Need to complete the online training courses:
    • Planning and Administering the SFSP 2020 (also known as MDE – 100) includes 19 interactive courses, each about 10-15 minutes long, and
    • Civil Rights (45 minutes)
  • Will receive a pre-approval visit from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) prior to SFSP application approval.

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Recent Questions and Answers (Q&A)

The following two Q&A documents provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Q&A from USDA on the Nationwide Waiver to Extend Unanticipated School Closure Operations through June 30, 2020 (SP 20-2020, CACFP 11-2020, SFSP 11-2020)

Q&A from MDE on the Transition from COVID-19 Distance Learning Period to Summer Food Program 2020

  • For example, are you wondering about home meal delivery? Check out the USDA Q&A, question #9. Sponsors who deliver meals to a child’s home must first obtain written consent. View the Template Consent for Home Meal Delivery during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
  • Another frequently asked question is about bus routes. Sites operating after June 30 must meet all regular SFSP eligibility requirements. Buses/vans can only deliver meals to locations within a site’s eligible area. Sponsors must maintain a record of their route(s) with other SFSP program records to show where the bus/van stops are located. To locate school or census eligible areas, view the Child Nutrition Program Eligibility Map.

If a sponsor wants to deliver to a location within an area that is not eligible, the site may qualify for SFSP:

    • If it is serving an identified group of children where over 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals. In the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS) site application, the site classification would be closed enrolled and the site would be eligible based on income. The sponsor must maintain an enrollment list showing who is participating at the site, must identify which children are eligible for free/reduced-price meals and confirm that over 50 percent of the children are eligible for free/reduced-price meals. This documentation is needed to show that the site is eligible for SFSP. For more information, check out the program eligibility (site eligibility) section on closed enrolled sites in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Administrative Guidance for Sponsors.

Based on other public data provided by the sponsor. For more information, view Site Eligibility for the SFSP.

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Claim for Reimbursement

Submit a monthly meal claim form in CLiCS for each site. The deadline for SFSP claiming is 60 days from the last day of each month. View instructions for submitting claims.

  • Sites that were approved for May and ended meal service on or before June 10 should add the June meal counts to the May 2020 claim for reimbursement.
  • Sites that were approved to operate after June 10 should submit all meal counts from June on the June 2020 claim for reimbursement.
  • Note: There are edits built into the CLiCS claim that tie back to the approved site application. If you receive an error when submitting the claim, read the error message and then check the site application to determine what is causing the error. The application may need to be updated and approved by MDE before the claim can be submitted. Staff are working to approve applications as quickly as possible.
  • CLiCS sends an auto generated message to remind sponsors that claims need to be submitted. If this message is received, please ensure that you have submitted a claim for each site that operated during the month. Disregard the message if a claim has already been submitted for each site that operated.

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Sponsor Monitoring Requirements

USDA has issued a Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for Sponsoring Organizations in the Summer Food Service Program which extends through August 31, 2020. This waiver encourages SFSP sponsoring organizations, to the maximum extent practicable, to continue monitoring activities of program operations offsite (e.g., through a desk audit).

Monitoring forms are available in the Sponsor Monitor’s Guide on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website and on the MDE SFSP Monitoring-State Agency and Sponsors webpage.

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Help Promote Open SFSP Sites to the Public

  • Help promote the following resources, which households can use to locate open SFSP sites throughout Minnesota. These resources rely on information from CLiCS. To ensure accurate information is shared with the public, please update CLiCS site applications throughout the summer if site operations change.
    • Download the Free Meals for Kids Mobile App from the at Apple App or Google Play stores. This app replaces the Summer Eats MN app promoted last summer.

Beginning July 1:

    • Call the 2-1-1 Hotline or from cell phones – Twin Cities Metro Area: 651-291-0211, Greater Minnesota: 800-543-7709, TTY: 651-291-8440.
    • Call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-HAMBRE, available from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Central Time.
    • Text "Summer Meals" to 97779. Spanish speakers, text "Verano" to 97779.

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2020 Reimbursement Rates

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) reimbursement rates for calendar year 2020 can be found on the 2020 SFSP Reimbursement Rates info sheet.


2020 Adult Meal Prices

View the 2020 Adult Meal Prices and Guidance on offering adult meals in the SFSP.


Program Regulations and Guidance

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School Food Authorities (SFAs) – Submit a Request for Health Inspection Funds

  • SFAs can request reimbursement for the cost of the second health inspection conducted at schools that are approved to participate in SFSP during the current year.
  • Requests must be submitted by September 1, 2020.
  • For additional information, and to request reimbursement, check out the Reimbursement for Health Inspection Funds form.

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