The Direct Certification system is designed to automatically notify districts if an enrolled student becomes Directly Certified for free meals at school. The process of matching enrolled students to SNAP and TANF records continues during the summer months, but notifications are not sent out to schools. In July, DPI completes a process in the Direct Certification system that re-evaluates the eligibility of all Direct Certification students in the system. If a student was eligible the prior school year but is not longer receiving SNAP or TANF benefits the student is identified as ineligible for Direct Certification and the name will not be on the school’s Direct Certification notification list. If that same student does become eligible later in the school year, the student’s name will then show up on the notification list.
The goal of the Direct Certification process is to eliminate the need for an eligible household to submit a Free/Reduced Price Application for free meal benefits and therefore eliminate the need for the school to evaluate the application form. In order for this to work to its maximum benefit, schools need to access their new school year Direct Certification notification list as soon as possible. Once DPI opens up STARS enrollment for the new school year, the Direct Certification lists will be available to districts when the district uploads their new school year enrollment into STARS. It is very important that the person responsible for doing this for your district is aware of this so they are prepared to complete this process as early as possible. In most cases, early August would be a good timeframe.
As you complete this school year, please be reminded of the following details:
A new study conducted by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, found that students at elementary schools participating in USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program consumed 15 percent more fruits and vegetables. Almost all students tried the fruit and vegetable snacks (97 percent and 84 percent of students, respectively); and a substantial majority ate most or all of snacks provided (86 percent and 61 percent, respectively).
There has been some confusion about the amount of FFVP grant funds listed in NDFoods and how a school should determine the total amount of FFVP funds available to that school.
Example: The school’s total grant award for the year is $14,050. Ten percent of the total grant award ($1,405) may be spent on administrative expenses. The NDFoods system displays the total grant award and the total amount of funds that can be used for administrative expenses. The administrative funds are not in addition to the total grant award; instead, the funds are a portion of the total award.
If you have questions, call Kaye Knudson at 701-328-2275 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The training sessions are developed specifically for North Dakota school foodservice authorized representatives, school principals, and school foodservice managers and/or head cooks. Due to the challenging menu criteria for school lunches, it is critical to have the school foodservice staff person who plans menus attend the training. To find out the criteria required for the HealthierUS School Challenge go to the Team Nutrition web site and click on “HealthierUS Schools” on the left side.
There is no registration fee for this training. Lunch is on your own. It would be beneficial for interested schools to attend with at least two staff, one in charge of menu planning and one to assure the HUSSC criteria are met for the nutrition education, physical activity, and other foods available in school. All schools (elementary, middle, high) are eligible to apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge certification. There is a monetary award of $500-$2,000 for HUSSC award winning schools.
Please be aware that a large amount of information about processes within NDFoods is communicated through the work queue on the NDFoods main page. It is suggested that you log into NDFoods a couple times a week to see if you have any messages.
USDA recently released two new Standards-Based nutrition education curricula for elementary grades. These interactive and exploratory lessons are a way to connect gardens with nutrition messages in the classroom, cafeteria or lunchroom, and at home.
Both resources are available on the USDA Team Nutrition web
Also available are:
Jazz up your elementary school meal menus and encourage healthy choices with these free graphics from Team Nutrition.
USDA recently released a new policy memo about the use of salad bars in the National School Lunch Program. The memo is an excellent resource to assist schools in effectively using a salad bar as part of the service of reimbursable meals; including information on portion sizes, point of service meal counts, nutrient analysis and food safety for school meals.
We all like to be recognized for our work. School Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week, May 6-10, 2013, is a time to say thank you to your foodservice employees. Showing how much you appreciate a school nutrition employee can be as simple as saying thank you or as special as holding a reception to recognize their achievements. If you need creative ideas for the event, visit a list of ideas that range from simple to extravagant, to celebrate your hardworking child nutrition employees.
A document has been added to the NDFoods HELP documents for sponsors to retrieve their payment information. On the Child Nutrition home web page; click on the ‘NDFoods Help Documents’ link (under the NDFoods icon). The process is listed under the ‘Claims for Reimbursement’ section. Click on the Help icon on the Search Claim Payments line ----If you have any questions, please contact Carla at 328-2319.
What are healthy food choices? What is a balanced diet?
Categorical Eligibility of Children in Foster Care
Paid Lunch Equity: Guidance for SY 13-14
Guidance Related to the ADA Amendments Act
Enhancing the School Food Safety Program – Frequently Asked Questions