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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:    3

 

POLICY CODE:   EF

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools/Private School Administrators

 

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:             July 11, 2003

 

SUBJECT:      School Nutrition and Food Distribution Program Agreements, and School Nutrition Applications

 

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

 

Welcome to the 2003-04 school year and thank you for your continued good work of offering high quality, nutritious and appealing meals to all Maine students.  Please join us in preparing for this school year by reviewing the following information.

 

1)                  Program Agreement

 

a)      Please complete and return the enclosed Policy Statement and Attachment 4, Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems and Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs by August 15, 2003.  Return to:  Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023.

 

b)      The Program Application is available on the web and must be completed by each school administrative unit prior to submitting claims for reimbursement for School Year 2003-04.  The application which is filed via the Internet must be submitted and approved by October 10, 2003.  Failure to complete an application by the deadline will delay claims payment. The web address is http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htm.

 

2)         Reimbursement Rates for the 2003-04 School Year

 

The following are Federal reimbursement rates for student breakfast, lunch, milk, and after-school snacks:

 

 

 

 

Severe Need

 

After-School

 

Lunch

Breakfast

Breakfast

Milk

Snack

Paid

$  .21

$  .22

$  .22

$ .1300

$ .05

Reduced Price

$1.79

$  .90

$1.13

    

$ .30

Free

$2.19

$1.20

$1.43

  

$ .60

 

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

 


3)                  Food Distribution Program

 

The Food Distribution Program is completed electronically at http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htm.  The information is entered by school administrative unit staff.  Local school staff have been given an ID and password to access the Food Distribution (FD) System.  The donated commodity entitlement will be $.1575 for the 2003-2004 school year.

 

4)                  Commodity Food Recall/Hold Communication System

 

Please complete and return to the Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services the enclosed form requesting a key person for immediate transfer of information to all food service areas regarding Commodity Food Recall/Hold.      

 

5)                  Provision of Meals by or for Other Organizations

 

In accordance with Federal Regulations, a copy of all contracts must be submitted to Child Nutrition Services of the Maine Department of Education for approval under Federal regulations.  If your school food service is providing meals to or receiving meals from another school administrative unit, a non-profit agency, any other administrative unit, or any other organization, your contracts need approval from this Department. A checklist which includes all regulation changes to date is available to assist you in developing contracts with other agencies.  Please contact Walter Beesley at 624-6875 or e-mail walter.beesley@maine.gov for the checklist specific to your contracting situation.

6)         Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk (SNP-15 and SNP-15M)

 

Quantities of printed applications are not available from this office.  Each school administrative unit must print a sufficient number of applications to cover the projected student enrollment.

 

For your convenience, we have enclosed "camera ready" copies of each side of the Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals and one set for Free Milk.  Please be reminded that applications need to be printed front and back.  Applications will also be available on the Department of Education Web site:  http://www.maine.gov/education  and may be downloaded.  Should you have additional questions, please call Mary Moody at 207-624-6876 or email mary.moody@maine.gov for assistance.

 

Each set is separated by a sample form printed front and back on colored paper.  DO NOT print your forms from the samples as they will reproduce poorly.

 

In addition to English, applications for free and reduced price meals are also available in the following languages:  Cambodian, Chinese (Mandarin), Creole/Haitian, Croatian, French, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese.  Should you need copies, please contact Sandy St.Michel at (207) 624-6843 or e-mail sandy.stmichel@maine.gov for assistance.

 

7)         Optional Sharing Information with Other Programs

 

            Included in the packet is a form for schools to use for permission from parents to share free and reduced price information for other educational purposes or testing.

 

8)                  Predetermination of Students for Free Meals or Milk

 

The Direct Certification Predetermined Eligibility List for free meals or free milk will be available on-line. 


 

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

 

Students who have a pre-determined eligibility letter from the Department of Human Services 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 Mary Moody at 207-624-6876 or email mary.moody@maine.gov for assistance.

 

9)         Homeless Students

 

            To expedite the delivery of nutritional benefits, school officials may accept documentation that the children are homeless from the local educational 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 meal application.

 

10)       Verification of Free and Reduced Price Meals

 

Federal law requires that verification of applications for free and reduced price meals under the Child Nutrition Services must be completed by local school administrative units by December 15, 2003.  This process is to verify the accuracy of information submitted by the applicant.  School administrative units must submit the attached report to the Maine Department of Education by December 20, 2003.  Failure to complete verification could affect claims for reimbursement and grant payments.

 

11)       Lunch Time

 

Lunch service shall take place no earlier than 10:00 a.m. and no later than 2:00 p.m. during the school day.

 

12)       Charges to Children

 

The student lunch rate for the 2003-04 school year is $1.50 for elementary students and $1.75 for high school students.

 

13)       Charges to Adults

 

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

 

14)       After-School Snack

 

Schools that have a reimbursable After-School Snack Program must complete two forms.  One form is enclosed and must be returned to the Department of Education and the other is an online application for After-School Snacks.  The web address to access this application is http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htm.

 

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

 

Schools need to 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.  Sample guidelines are enclosed.

 

16)       ID and Password

           

            The ID and password assigned to a person is also the legal signature of the individual.  Any task completed while using the ID 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.

 

The following forms need to be completed and returned to the Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services Office:  Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs, Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Benefits, Commodity Food Recall/Hold, Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems, and Application/Agreement for After-School Care Snacks in National School Lunch Program (for those participating in the After-School Snack Program).

 

Enclosures:

 

Agreement for Child Nutrition Programs

Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Benefits

Commodity Food Recall/Hold

Letters to Parents (for Free and Reduced Price Meals) – Milk Only

French Letter to Parents (for Free and Reduced Price Meals)Instructions

Somali Packet (for Free and Reduced Price Meals)

Application For Free And Reduced Price School Meals 

Application for Free Milk

Notification of Eligibility Determination for Free or Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk 

Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems      

Free and Reduced Price Income Guidelines

Verification Report (Appendix 18)

Guidelines for School Policies on Handling Lost, Stolen or Misused Tickets and Charging Meals

Calendar of Events

Sharing Information Form (Optional)

After-School Snack Form

For additional information please contact:

 

·         Judith Malcolm, Policy Director/Team Leader School Support Systems 207-624-6843 or e-mail:  judith.malcolm@maine.gov

·         Mary Moody, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6876 or e-mail:  mary.moody@maine.gov

·         Walter Beesley, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6875 or e-mail: walter.beesley@maine.gov

·         Anne Littlefield, Commodity Administrator, 207-624-6882 or e-mail:  anne.littlefield@maine.gov

·         David Hartley, Field Examiner, 207-624-6878 or e-mail:  david.hartley@maine.gov

·         Debby MacLeod, Accountant II, 207-624-6889 or email:  debby.macleod@maine.gov

·         Nanci Kittredge, Account Clerk, 207-624-6877 or e-mail:  nanci.kittredge@maine.gov

·         Sandy St. Michel, Secretary, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6843 or e-mail:  sandy.stmichel@maine.gov

·         Danielle McKay, Secretary, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6842 or e-mail:  danielle.mckay@maine.gov

 

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