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Counting and Claiming - RCCI


Meals are counted at the point in the food service operation where it can be accurately determined that a reimbursable meal has been served to an eligible student. Claims are submitted to DPI each month for each participating program.

Point of Service (POS) Records

  •  RCCIs can use an electronic system or manual counting procedures to count meals at the point of service. If using a manual check off sheet, the following participation records for counting meals, which include an edit check, are recommended.
  • Meal count systems that are not acceptable include:
    • Attendance counts or pre-meal counts: counts taken prior to meal service are important for production purposes but do not provide an accurate count of meals served.
    • Tray or entree counts: tray or entrée counts do not ensure all required components were on the tray, trays were not stuck together, or that each entrée was part of a reimbursable meal.
    • Meals delivered or leftover: The number of meals delivered or leftover is not necessarily the number of meals actually served and accepted.


  • An RCCI may claim meals in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) on all days of the month where students are attending and receiving meals, including weekends and summer months.
  • RCCIs without day students claim all students in the free category for each participating program.
  • RCCIs with day students that are not claiming by eligibility, claim day students in the paid category.
  • Pricing RCCIs with day students that have eligibility information through DC, application, or other source eligibility, claim students in their prospective free, reduced-price, or paid categories.
  • Claims for all programs are site-based. In an RCCI, students should be counted and claimed at the site where they are receiving a meal.
  • Before entering a claim, it is recommended to view the Submitting Site-Based Reimbursement Claims webcast, then follow the step-by step instructions in the Site-based Online Claims Manual.
  • Submit claims online with Online Services

Edit Checks
  • RCCIs without day students and RCCIs with day students that are not claiming by eligibility, may use a simplified edit check by ensuring that the daily counts do not exceed the highest number of enrolled students that month.
  • RCCIs that establish eligibility through application or DC, must complete a traditional edit check using an attendance factor and verify daily counts do not exceed the attendance-adjusted eligible counts.
  • The appropriate Daily POS Forms linked above, which have a built-in edit check, are recommended.
Claiming Deadlines
  • Federal regulations impose a claim submission deadline of 60 calendar days after the last day of the month for which the claim applies.
  • The USDA allows DPI to approve one late claim exception per 36-month period for all Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).
Manual (paper) Claims
An agency should only submit a manual claim when:
  • The RCCI needs to modify an existing claim that has already been “paid” or “processed”.
  • The RCCI is blocked from submitting online claims by DPI and needs to submit a claim to meet the 60-day claim deadline.
  • The claim deadline lands on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday. Please plan ahead to avoid manual claim submissions.
  • To submit a manual claim, email the original or modified Claim Excel Template as an attachment to
Severe Need Breakfast
  • RCCIs qualify for Severe Need Breakfast if 40% or more of the student lunches served in the second preceding school year were claimed in the free or reduced-price categories.
Withholding Food for Punishment
  • Students who would normally participate in any USDA meals programs, but were moved to isolation, should be provided with a reimbursable meal/snack. The RCCI would include the student in the meal count if she/he took a reimbursable meal during service time while in isolation.
  • Excluding these students would be considered ‘withholding food for punishment’ and is unallowable in the USDA CNP.
Age Limit
  • The age limit for claiming meals in the NSLP and SBP for students enrolled in an RCCI is 21 years of age.

Meals Served to RCCI Staff
  • RCCI staff that are assisting with the operation of the meal program may receive one meal at no charge. This includes staff that prepare and serve meals, perform the counting and claiming, and supervise the meal service. Staff meals cannot be claimed for reimbursement.
  • If RCCI staff that are not directly involved in the operation of the meal program receive a meal at no charge, the RCCI nonprofit food service account (NPFSA) must be reimbursed for the full cost of the meal (adult meal price) or paid for directly from another fund.