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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Administrative Letters > Letter 2

ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:  2

POLICY CODE:  EF

TO:              Superintendents of Schools/Private School Administrators

FROM:         Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:          July 10, 2007

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 2007-08 School Year as we work to offer healthier meals and nutritional information and address children’s health.

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.

·                     Forms to be Filed

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, 2007Return to:  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 school administrative unit prior to submitting claims for reimbursement for School Year 2007-08.  The application, which is filed via the Internet, must be submitted and approved by October 10, 2007.  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 2007-08 School Year

Reimbursement Rates for the 2007-08 School Year will become available on our webpage http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/ during the month of July 2007.

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

·                     Food Distribution Program

The Food Distribution Program form is completed electronically at http://www.maine.gov/education/sfsr1.htm.  The information is entered by school administrative unit staff.  Local staff have been given an ID and password to access the Food Distribution (FD) System.  The donated commodity entitlement for the 2007-08 School Year will be available on our webpage during the month of July 2007.

·                     Commodity Food Recall/Hold Communication System (Update)

To update your Commodity Food/Recall Hold form, please download a form from http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/commodities/commodityfoods.htm. Complete information on the key 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.

·                     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, 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 email walter.beesley@maine.gov for the checklist specific to your contracting situation.

·                     Contracting with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC)

As defined in Federal Regulation 7CFR210.16, 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). 

Contracts between a LEA and a FSMC must be reviewed annually by the State Agency as required by 7CFR210(a)(6).  The Maine Department of Education offers 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 from the Child Nutrition Services Office. 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 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 located on the Department Reporting Forms page at  http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/forms.htm under Child Nutrition Services and are downloadable.

Please refer 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 email sandy.stmichel@maine.gov.

·                     Optional Sharing Information with Other Programs

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

·                     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 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.

·                     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 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 local school administrative units.  School administrative units must submit the Local Education Authority (LEA) Verification Summary Report by November 20 of every year.  This process is used to verify the accuracy of information submitted by the applicant. 

The Verification Summary Report can no longer be submitted as a paper copy.  The form is now online 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 online form requires the same information as in prior years. 

The form can be printed to use as a guide or for your records.  After you have submitted the report, an email will be sent to the person filing the form and to David Hartley at the Maine 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 could 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 the school day.

·                     Charges to Children

The maximum student lunch rate for the 2007-08 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.

·                     Charges to Adults

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

·                     After-School Snack

Schools that have a reimbursable After-School Snack Program must complete the 2007-2008 Application/Agreement for After-School Care Snacks in the National School Lunch Program at http://www.maine.gov/education/forms/childnutrition/agreeappl/agreeapplforms.htm

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

·                     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.

·                     ID and Password

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.

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 calling Nanci Kittredge at 624-6877 or emailing nanci.kittredge@maine.gov.

The following forms need to be downloaded, 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).

SAG/WB/sjs

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, 2007)

Letters 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, 2007)

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:

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

·         Gail Lombardi, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6876 or email:  gail.lombardi@maine.gov

·         David Hartley, Education Specialist, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6878 or email:  david.hartley@maine.gov

·         Anne Littlefield, Commodity Administrator, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6882 or email:  anne.littlefield@maine.gov

·         Nanci Kittredge, Planning and Research Associate, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6877 or email:  nanci.kittredge@maine.gov

·         Sandy St.Michel, Office Associate, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6843 or email:  sandy.stmichel@maine.gov

·         Amy Webb, Office Associate, Child Nutrition Services, 207-624-6842 or email: amy.webb@maine.gov