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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Administrative Letters > Letter 1

 

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:   1
POLICY CODE:   EF

 

TO:                Superintendents of Schools/Private School Administrators

FROM:           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:            July 11, 2006

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

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

Please join us in preparing for the 2006-07 School Year as we work to offer healthier meals and address children’s health and nutritional needs.

All forms for Child Nutrition Services 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.

  1. Forms to be Filed
    1. Please download, print, complete and return the following forms:  Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Meal Benefits, Letter to Parents, Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems (Attachment 4) by August 15, 2006.  Return to:  Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0023.
    2. 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 2006-07.  The application, which is filed via the Internet, must be submitted and approved by October 10, 2006.  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 2006-07 School Year

Reimbursement Rates for the 2006-07 School Year will become available on our webpage http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/index.htm during the month of July 2006.

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

  1. Food Distribution Program

The Food Distribution Program form is completed electronically at http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htmThe 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 $.1675 for the 2006-2007 School Year.

  1. Commodity Food Recall/Hold Communication System (Update)

Please update 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals and Free School Milk (SNP-15 and SNP-15M)

Printed applications are not available from this office.  Each school administrative unit 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 available on the Department of Education Reporting Forms page http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/forms.htm under Child Nutrition Services and are downloadable. 

Please refer to the Income Guidelines 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 e-mail sandy.stmichel@maine.gov.

  1. Optional Sharing Information with Other Programs

A form is enclosed for schools to use for permission from parents to share free and reduced price information for other educational purposes or testing. 

  1. 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 207-624-6842 or 207-624-6843 for assistance.

  1. 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.

  1. Verification of Free and Reduced Price Meals

Federal law requires that verification of Applications for Free and Reduced Price School Meals under the Child Nutrition Services must be completed by local school administrative units by November 15, 2006.  This process is to verify the accuracy of information submitted by the applicant.  School administrative units must submit the School Food Authority Verification Summary Report to the Maine Department of Education by November 20, 2006.  Failure to complete verification could affect claims for reimbursement and grant payments.

  1. 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.

  1. Charges to Children

The maximum student lunch rate for the 2006-07 school year is $1.75 for elementary students and $2.25 for high school students.  Reduced Price for Lunch is no more than $.40.

There is no maximum rate for paid breakfast; however, there is a maximum charge of $.30 for reduced price breakfast.

  1. Charges to Adults

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

  1. After-School Snack

Schools that have a reimbursable After-School Snack Program must complete the 2006-2007 Application/Agreement for After-School Care Snacks in the National School Lunch Program.  This is available at http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm

The maximum charge for Reduced Price Snacks is $.15.

  1. 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.

  1. ID and Password

The ID and password assigned to a person is 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.

When filing documents the legal agent is the Superintendent of Schools.  If the Superintendent has changed from last year please contact Child Nutrition Services for a new ID and password by emailing nanci.kittredge@maine.gov.

The following forms need to be completed and returned to the Maine Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services Office:  (1) Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Benefits, (2) Letter to Parents, (3) Commodity Food Recall/Hold, (4) Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems, and (4) Application/Agreement for After-School Care Snacks in National School Lunch Program (for those participating in the After-School Snack Program).

Enclosures:

http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm

Policy Statement for Free and Reduced Price Benefits

Suggested Anonymity and Accountability Systems

Commodity Food Recall/Hold (Due September 1, 2006)

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

French letter to Parents (for Free and Reduced Price School Meals) - Instructions

Somali Version Income Eligibility Guidelines

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

Verification Report-Appendix 18 (Due November 20, 2006)

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

Calendar of Events

Sharing Information Form (Optional)

Application/Agreement for After-School Care Snacks in National School Lunch Program

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

For additional information please contact:

SAG/WB/sj