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Financial Management

Overview

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Managing finances is important for the success of a school food service operation. School Food Authorities (SFAs) must comply with state and federal regulations related to resource management, procurement, and allowable costs. The purpose of the school food service account is to operate and improve a school meals program that serves nutritious and appealing meals that meet meal pattern requirements.

AIDS Banking

Please make sure you have completed your banking information at the Aids Banking System to receive payments via ACH (direct deposit) from DPI. This includes all payments from DPI, not just those for Food Service.

AIDS Banking 

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State Aid Payments Received in May 2022 (Earned in SY 2020-21)

Schools participating in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Elderly Nutrition, and/or Wisconsin School Day Milk Programs:

Allowable Costs

When evaluating expenses, SFAs must ensure funds support the operation and improvement of the school meals program(s) and that all expenses are allowable (i.e., necessary, reasonable, and allocable) in accordance with 7 CFR 210.14, 220.13(i) and OMB guidance under 2 CFR Part 200.

Indirect Costs

Other

Annual Financial Report (AFR)
All SFAs participating in USDA School Meals Programs are required to submit a food service Annual Financial Report (AFR) each year. The report categorizes food service revenues and expenditures by program for July 1 through June 30, which is the school fiscal year. The AFR is due annually by August 31, and can be submitted electronically by accessing Online Services or the Reporting webpage. The report may be amended online through December 31 for the prior school year.
 

Resources

Budgeting and Cost Control
Managing school meals program resources can be challenging. There are industry standards and performance indicators to assist food service directors and business managers in improving the quality and efficiency of the operation. The food service budget consists of revenue (sales) and costs (labor, food, equipment, purchased services, and other). Food and labor costs are a large piece of the budget. Tools to aid SFAs in managing a budget can be found below.
 

Resources

 
Non-Program Foods
SFAs are required to ensure that all revenue from the sale of non-program foods accrues to the non-profit school food service account (7 CFR 210.14(f)). Non-program foods include any non-reimbursable foods and beverages (adult meals, a la carte, vending, catering, etc.) purchased using funds from the non-profit school food service account. Revenue available to support the production of reimbursable meals cannot subsidize the sale of non-program foods. When the SFA sells more non-program foods than adult meals and a la carte milk, the Non-program Food Revenue Tool (see Tools below) must be completed annually.
 

Tools

Resources

Memos

Paid Lunch Equity (PLE)

Paid Lunch Equity Waiver Form 2022-23 SY

The WI Department of Public Instruction has been approved for Waiver 25: Paid Lunch Equity [42 U.S.C. 1760(p)(2) and 7 CFR 210.14(e)] July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023). The USDA has provided additional clarification on the difference between the PLE Waiver and the flexibility offered under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 allows School Food Authorities (SFAs) with a zero or negative fund balance as of December 31, 2021, to not have to run the PLE tool or increase paid lunch prices. If the paid lunch price is set below the PLE requirement, a nonfederal fund transfer is required.

The PLE waiver exempts SFAs from all PLE requirements. This allows SFAs with a negative balance in the nonprofit school food service account as of December 31, 2021, to not complete the Paid Lunch Equity tool nor raise paid lunch prices for the school year (SY) 2022-23. The waiver also allows all SFAs, regardless of fund balance, to reduce the paid lunch price that was listed on the SY 2020-21 School Nutrition Online contract without having to contribute nonfederal funds.

Therefore, all SFAs will need to complete the PLE Waiver Form, which will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the PLE survey, that collected the SFAs fund balance on December 31, 2021, is discontinued and all information regarding PLE will be collected through the PLE Waiver Form.

Memos:

Instructions:

These reflect the 17- 18 SY PLE Tool, but can aid in completing subsequent PLE tools. 
 
Reimbursement

Annually, after July 1, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the School Nutrition Team (SNT) release categorical meal, milk, and snack reimbursement rates. SFAs can use these rates to budget the amount of federal and state revenue earned per meal in addition to any local revenue.

Rates

Resources

Unpaid Meals
SFAs operating the school meals programs are required to have a written and clearly communicated policy to address unpaid meal charges per USDA memo SP 46-2016. USDA and the SNT have developed resources that SFAs can use in their efforts to manage the challenge of unpaid meal charges. Bad debt is an unallowable cost to the nonprofit food service account per 2 CFR 200.426 of Subpart E. Resources found below cover best practices, questions and answers, and guidance memoranda.

 

Resources

Best Practice Manual from USDA Memo SP 29-2017

Memos

Contacts

Deb Wollin, SNS

Nutrition Program Consultant
(608)
267-3724
debra.wollin@dpi.wi.gov

Karen Jardaneh, RDN, CD, SNS

Nutrition Program Consultant
(608)
267-9128
karen.jardaneh@dpi.wi.gov

Jessica Oele, MS, RDN, CD

USDA Foods Procurement Contract Specialist
(608) 266-3296
jessica.oele@dpi.wi.gov