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Special Milk Program (SMP)

Overview

Federal Special Milk Program

The School Nutrition Special Milk Program (SMP) provides milk to students in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve that do not have access to other Federal child nutrition meal service programs (i.e. National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP)).
 
School Food Authorities (SFAs) are reimbursed for milk served to students in half-pint increments. There is no federal requirement to offer milk at no charge, rather pricing is based on the option selected by the school. 
 
SFAs have 3 different pricing options: pricing (with free milk option), pricing (without free milk option), and non-pricing. Information about each pricing option and program requirements can be found below.

Requirements

For all SFAs participating in the SMP

Allowable Milk Types

Pasteurized fluid milk meeting state and local standards, having vitamins A and D at levels specified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is no requirement that a variety of milk be offered. The following milk types per age/grade group are allowable:
 
  • 1 year old: Unflavored whole milk
  • 2-5 years old (not yet in kindergarten): Unflavored low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk
  • 6 years old and older: Flavored or unflavored fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk

Milk sold to adults, as a la carte, or used in meal prep cannot be claimed for reimbursement.

Financial Management

Financial records must be kept to document SMP revenue and expenditures. Funds must be utilized to provide milk at no cost or at a low cost to children. Allowable costs include milk, coolers to store milk, milk cooler repair, napkins, straws, and direct food service labor.
 

Pricing Milk

 

half-pint cost + $0.02-$0.05 (administrative costs) - reimbursement = half-pint price X 180 operating days = annual fee

Food Safety

Letter to Household

  • SMP-Only Household Letter
  • Note: The SMP-only Household Letter should be distributed by SFAs that participate in the NSLP and SBP that offer SMP to split session, half-day pre-kindergarten, or kindergarten students without access to the NSLP and/or SBP meals.

Procurement

Read more about procurement requirements

Q: What procurement procedures do schools follow to secure milk contracts?

A: All SFAs must meet federal procurement (purchasing) requirements by documenting efforts to maximize open and free competition. Depending on the value of the purchase, the schools has several options.

Read about Micro Purchase Method (purchases costing less than $10,000)

 

This method is a non-competitive form of procurement where small-value procurements can be completed by the school quickly. The main requirement for this procurement method is the price must be reasonable and multiple purchases must be spread among similar vendors. This procurement method is ideal for small random/unexpected purchases, purchases that need to be made quickly due to outages, or for purchases for supplies that are purchased a few times a year.

 

Read about Small Purchase Method (purchases costing less than $250,000)

 

This method is a competitive form of procurement often called three bids and a buy where schools can quickly and competitively purchase and award contracts with a value of less than $250,000. This is the most common procurement method used. Schools can simply call, email, fax, or be in-person at the time of requesting the bid, provide the vendor/supplier enough information and product specifications to submit a bid (verbal or written), and the school will award the contract/purchase to the lowest bidders meeting all the requirements of the bid. The bidder must also be a responsible bidder; able and capable of providing the product or service being procured. Additional information and resources can be found on the 3 Bids and Buy website.

 

Read about Formal Procurement Method (purchases costing more than $250,000)

 

Additional information and resources for this procurement method can be found on the Formal Procurement Method webpage.

 

 

 

 

 

Record Retention

Records must be kept for all purchases regardless of the procurement method used, including micro-purchases. Examples of solicitation documents for milk bids, along with other milk procurement resources, can be found on the Milk and Dairy Procurement webpage.
 

Reimbursement Rates

Special Dietary Needs

For SFAs participating in SMP only

Pricing Options

SFAs must choose one of the following pricing options:
 
Pricing (with free milk option)

Checklist

Calculate Price

Reimbursement provided to schools should be maximized in order to reduce the cost of milk to students. It is recommended to charge the difference between the anticipated per half-pint milk cost and the reimbursement rate. Consider adding on 2 cents to cover any milk price adjustments and administrative costs associated with SMP.

$____ (half-pint cost) + 2¢ – $____ (reimbursement) =
$____ (half-pint price) X 180 days =
$____ (annual charge)

Note: Documentation must be maintained to justify milk price adjustments and administrative costs greater than 2 cents

Count

Milk is provided without charge to children eligible for free milk and are claimed in the free claiming category. Children who are not eligible for free milk pay the established price and are claimed in the paid claiming category. There is no reduced claiming category.
 
The point-of-service (POS) counting system must determine how many half-pint equivalents (8 fl oz) are served to students by benefit category without overt identification. SMP POS templates are posted under the "For SFAs participating in the SMP" requirements section.

 

Manuals

Form PI-1405

Application Materials

*Do not distribute before July 1, 2020*

 

Public Release

All SFAs are required to distribute the SMP Public Release before the start of the school year. SFAs should send this to the media, grassroots organizations, major employers contemplating or experiencing large layoffs, and local unemployment offices (as applicable). SFAs are not required to pay to have the Public Release published, but must maintain documentation of to whom the release was sent along with the specific materials distributed.

Application Materials

Materials must be distributed to all households and used to qualify students for free milk benefits. SFAs may also choose to use Direct Certification to find students that qualify for free milk.

Sharing Information and Disclosure Agreement

If the SFA exercises the option to waive or subsidize other district/school fees (e.g., registration, athletic fees, technology fees, etc.) based on a student’s free milk benefit status, the SFA must utilize the Sharing Information with Other Programs form. This form must be sent to all free benefit recipients, as determined through an application and Direct Certification.
 
SFAs are not allowed to have a blanket fee waiver. SFAs must allow households to limit consent to only those programs they wish to share information. Additional benefits outside of the milk benefit cannot be provided until a signed form is returned to the SFA allowing the information to be shared. For anyone receiving benefit information to approve students for non-milk benefits, a Disclosure Agreement form must be signed and on file at the SFA.
Pricing (without free milk option)

Checklist

Calculate Price

Reimbursement provided to schools should be maximized in order to reduce the cost of milk to students. It is recommended to charge the difference between the anticipated per half-pint milk cost and the reimbursement rate. Consider adding on 2 cents to cover any milk price adjustments and administrative costs associated with SMP.

$____ (half-pint cost) + 2¢ – $____ (reimbursement) =

$____ (half-pint price) X 180 days =

$____ (annual charge)

Note: Documentation must be maintained to justify milk price adjustments and administrative costs greater than 2 cents

Count

All children are charged the same price for milk. It is not provided without charge to children eligible for free milk. All milk is claimed in the paid category.

If a SFA charges for milk by half-pint equivalents (8 fl oz) on a daily basis, the point-of-service (POS) counting system must record individual student names for billing purposes. If a SFA collects milk fees on an annual, semester, or quarterly basis, the POS can record the total number of milks served rather than by individual student names. SMP POS templates are posted under the SMP-only Requirements section.
 

Claim Manual for SMP-only

Form PI-1405

Non-pricing

Checklist

Count

All children are provided milk without charge, or milk is included in tuition, boarding fees, or paid by private donation or endowment. All milk is claimed in the paid category.
 
The SFA may record the total number of half-pint equivalents (8 fl oz) of milk served at the point of service (POS). There is no requirement to track milks served by individual student names. SMP POS templates are posted under the SMP-only Requirements section.
 

Claim Manual for SMP only

Form PI-1405

Contact

Gina Kulka, SNS
Nutrition Program Consultant
(608) 266-5770
Tanya Kirtz

Nutrition Program Consultant
(608) 266-2410
tanya.kirtz@dpi.wi.gov