School Nutrition and U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Program Agreements, and School Nutrition Applications

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:  3
POLICY CODE:  EF

TO: Superintendents of Schools/Private School Administrators
FROM: Angela Faherty, Ph.D., Acting Commissioner
DATE: July 14, 2010
SUBJECT: School Nutrition and U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Program Agreements, and School Nutrition Applications

** Please forward to Assistant Superintendents, Principals, and Food Service Directors **

Please join us in preparing for the 2010-11 School Year as we work to offer healthier meals and nutritional information and address children’s health.

All forms for the Child Nutrition Services Office are accessible via the Internet.  All forms are listed as enclosures at the end of this letter with one direct link to the Forms Page.  Please make sure your food service personnel have online capability to receive this and other pertinent information during the year.

  • Forms to be Filed

Please download, print, complete and return the following forms by August 15, 2010Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Meal Benefits; Letter to Parents; Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems (which now contains the Application/Agreement for After-School Care Snacks in the National School Lunch Program, for those participating in the After-School Snack Program); USDA Food Program Recall/Hold; IDs, Passwords and Starting Information (for new School Administrative Units); and Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs (for new School Administrative Units)Return to:  Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023.

The Program Application is available on the web and must be completed by each Local Education Agency (LEA) prior to submitting claims for reimbursement for School Year 2010-11.  The application, which is filed via the Internet, must be submitted and locally approved by August 15, 2010.  Applications will be reviewed by Department of Education staff for final approval.  Failure to complete an application by the deadline will delay claims payment.  The web address is http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htm .

  • Reimbursement Rates for the 2010-11 School Year

Reimbursement Rates for the 2010-11 School Year will become available on our webpage http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/ during the month of July 2010.

Public schools will receive State reimbursement per lunch, in addition to the Federal reimbursement.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Program 

The USDA Food Program forms are completed electronically at the following webpage: http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htm.  The information is entered by Local Education Agency (LEA) staff.  LEA staff have been given IDs and passwords to access the USDA Food Program (FD) System.  USDA Food Program entitlements for the 2010-11 School Year will be available on our webpage during the month of August 2010.  (See the “Master File” Report under Report List.).  The first Offering Letter will be available September 1-15, 2010.  The Shipping Addresses form can be completed at any time prior to your first order.

  • USDA Food Program Recall/Hold Communication System

To complete your USDA Food Program Recall/Hold form, please download a form from http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/commodities/commodityfoods.htm .  Please complete information on the primary and secondary contact person who will immediately pass information on to all Food Service areas to protect Maine’s students from possible danger.  Please return your updated form to the Child Nutrition Services Office, Department of Education.  This form must be completed and submitted yearly and only be used for Food Recalls or Holds.

  • Contracting with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC)

As defined in Federal Regulation 7 CFR210.16, a Food Service Management Company (FSMC) is a commercial enterprise or a non-profit organization which is, or may be, contracted with/by the Local Education Agency (LEA) to manage any aspect of School Food Service (SFS).  The Federal Regulation change requires all LEAs to be using the new contract language.

Contracts between a LEA and a FSMC must be reviewed annually prior to implementation by the State Agency as required by 7 CFR210(a)(6).  The contract must be submitted to the Maine Department of Education.  The Maine Department of Education provides an acceptable contract template to be used by all LEA contracts with a FSMC.  Failure to use this contract could result in rejection of contracts submitted and possible delay or loss of reimbursement.  Additions to the contract, if needed, should be attached as a rider. The contract template is available at http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/fsmc.html .  Contact Walter Beesley at 624-6875 or email walter.beesley@maine.gov for any questions.

  • Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals and Free School Milk

Printed applications are not available from the State Agency.  Each Local Education Agency (LEA) must download and print a sufficient number of applications to cover the projected student enrollment.

Please be reminded to print both the front and back of the Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application.  Applications are located on the Department of Education Reporting Forms page at   http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm under Child Nutrition Applications and are downloadable.

Please refer to the Income Guidelines (when available) when approving the Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications and Free Milk Applications.

In addition to English, Applications for Free and Reduced Price School Meals are available in the following languages:  Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese (Mandarin), Farsi, French, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Serbo-Croatian, Somali, Spanish, Sudanese, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.  The website address is:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/FRP/frp.process.htm .  Should you need assistance, please contact Sandy St.Michel at (207) 624-6843 or email sandy.stmichel@maine.gov .

  • Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs

Completion of the Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs is required this year for all new School Administrative Units.  This agreement usually is effective for an extended period of time.  This year, given the changes resulting from SAU reorganization, new agreements will be required for all new SAUs.  Please sign and return the agreement by August 15, 2010.  DOE will be unable to provide Federal or State subsidy until a signed agreement is received and approved by DOE.

The Agreement is available online for printing at the Child Nutrition Services forms page at http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm

  • Optional Sharing of Information with Other Programs

A form is attached for schools to obtain permission from parents to share free and reduced price information for other educational purposes or testing.  Applications are to be used for Food Service purposes only, unless parent permission has been obtained.

  • Predetermination of Students for Free Meals or Milk

The Direct Certification Predetermined Eligibility List is for free meals or free milk and will be available online.

The legal agent (Superintendent or Headmaster) is the only individual authorized to access the direct certification list.

Students who are on the pre-determined eligibility list do not need to fill out a Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application.

Any questions about accessing the direct certification list may be directed to the Child Nutrition Services Office at 207-624-6842 or 207-624-6843.

  • Homeless Students

To expedite the delivery of nutritional benefits, school officials may accept documentation that the children are homeless from the local homeless liaison or directors of homeless shelters where the children reside.  Documentation to substantiate free meal eligibility must consist of the child’s name or a list of names, effective date(s), and the signature of the local educational liaison or the director of the homeless shelter.  This documentation is acceptable in lieu of a Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application.

Verification of Free and Reduced Price Meals

Federal law requires that Verification of Applications for Free and Reduced Price School Meals under Child Nutrition Services must be completed by each Local Education Agency (LEA).  Each Local Education Agency (LEA) must submit the Verification Summary Report by November 20 of every year.  This process is used to verify the accuracy of information submitted by the applicant.

The web address for the Verification Summary Report is located at http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/efn90.html , and must be submitted online by filling in all the spaces on the form.  If blank spaces are left, the form will not be processed.

The form can be printed to use as a guide or for your records.  After you have submitted the report, an email will be automatically returned to the person filing the form and to David Hartley at the Child Nutrition Services Office. If you have any questions please contact David Hartley at david.hartley@maine.gov or 624-6878.

Failure to complete verification will affect claims for reimbursement and grant payments.

  • Lunch Time

Lunch service shall take place no earlier than 10:00 a.m. and no later than 2:00 p.m. during each school day.  Lunch is part of the school day and should be offered daily.

  • Charges to Children

The maximum student lunch rate for the 2010-11 School Year is $2.50 for elementary and high school students.  Reduced Price for Lunch is no more than $.40.  To exceed maximum student paid lunch, a yearly waiver must be requested.

Effective July 1, 2008, students eligible for Reduced Price School Breakfast at public schools cannot be charged for breakfast.  Breakfast meals must be counted and claimed as Reduced.  A State reimbursement of $.30 per public school breakfast will be reimbursed with the submittal of the monthly claim.

Private schools may not charge more than $.30 for Reduced Price School Breakfast.

  • Charges to Adults

The adult lunch rate must be, at a minimum, the per meal cost.  It must cover the cost of the meal.

  • After-School Snack Program

Schools that have a reimbursable After-School Care Snacks Program must complete the After- School Care Snacks Program section, located on the second page of the Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems form.  This information is now located on the Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems form.

The maximum charge for Reduced Price Snacks is $.15.  There is no maximum charge for Paid Snacks.

  • School Policy on Handling Lost, Stolen or Misused Meal Tickets and Charging Meals

Schools    must    establish   a   separate   written   policy   regarding   lost,   stolen  and  replacement   of  tickets   that   provides   for  equal  treatment   to  children   in   all  meal   payment  or  eligibility groups.  Guidance is offered on our web page at http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/guidelineshandlingpolicies08.rtf

Regulations require the Maine Department of Education to supply the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers.  The CFDA provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local government.  Department of Education/Child Nutrition Services is required to supply the CFDA numbers to LEAs. This information is located on the Child Nutrition Services web page at the following link:  http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/money.html

  • 2010-2011 School Year Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced Price Meals

The Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) are not available to date.  For School Year 2010-2011 only, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is authorizing waivers of the requirement of the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to include the free or reduced benefit IEGS by family size on applications.  Waivers are being allowed under the authority of the NSLA.  The IEGs will be available prior to the opening of the new school year and will be published on the Child Nutrition Services web page.

  • IDs, Passwords and Starting Information

The ID and password assigned to a person constitute the legal signature of the individual.  Any task completed while using the ID and password is recorded as a legal signature.  Please make sure that your ID and password are updated.  Should you have questions, please contact the Child Nutrition Services Office.

All new users must complete a form to obtain a new ID/Password.  This form is available at http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm
and must be submitted to Child Nutrition Services, Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333 or by faxing to 624-6841.

The following forms must be downloaded, completed and returned to the Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services Office: (1) Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Benefits, (2) Letter to Parents, (3) USDA Food Recall/Hold, (4) Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems (now includes the After-School Care Snacks Program information), (5) IDs, Passwords and Starting Information (new users) and (6) Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs (new School Administrative Units only).

Enclosures:

http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm
Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Benefits (Due August 15, 2010)
Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems (includes the After-School Snacks Program information) (Due August 15, 2010)
IDs, Passwords and Starting Information (For new School Administrative Units, Due August 15, 2010)
USDA Food Program Recall/Hold (Due August 15, 2010)
Letters to Parents (for Free and Reduced Price School Meals) – Instructions (Due August 15, 2010)
Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs (For new School Administrative Units, Due August 15, 2010)
English Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals
English Application for Free School Milk
Notification of Eligibility Determination for Free or Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk
Free and Reduced Price Income Guidelines (Will be posted when released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Verification Report (Due November 20, 2010)
Guidelines for School Policies on Handling Lost, Stolen or Misused Tickets and Charging Meals
Calendar of Events
Sharing Information Form (Optional)

http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/FRP/frp.process.htm
Link to Foreign Language Free and Reduced Price School Meal Application Materials

For additional information please contact:

    • Walter Beesley, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6875 or email:  walter.beesley@maine.gov
    • Gail Lombardi, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6876 or email:  gail.lombardi@maine.gov
    • David Hartley, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6878 or email:  david.hartley@maine.gov
    • Vacant, Commodity Administrator, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6882
    • Nanci Kittredge, Planning and Research Assistant, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6877 or email:  nanci.kittredge@maine.gov
    • Sandy St.Michel, Office Associate, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6843 or email:  sandy.stmichel@maine.gov
    • Amy Webb, Office Associate, Child Nutrition Services Office, 207-624-6842 or email: amy.webb@maine.gov