You are here

School Nutrition Bulletin 1718-7

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)

IMPORTANT! Direct Certification Updates
Wisconsin School Meals Rock Student School Breakfast Video Contest
Site Based Claiming-Helpful Hint
Reminder: What’s New with School Nutrition Webinar Feedback Survey (response requested by December 22, 2017)

IMPORTANT! Direct Certification Updates

Direct Certification with Medicaid Data

As you are aware, Wisconsin is participating in the USDA National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Demonstration Project to Evaluate Direct Certification for Free and Reduced Price School Meals using Medicaid Data. We have been working very closely with the USDA, Wisconsin Departments of Health Services and Children and Families, and Covering WI to update the web-based direct certification system. Starting Monday, December 18, school enrollment data will be matched with Medicaid eligibility data to identify children who receive Medicaid, or live with a child who receives Medicaid, and whose family income, before expenses and deductions, does not exceed:
  • 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for free school meal eligibility; or
  • 185 percent of the FPL for reduced price meal eligibility.

New Direct Certification Eligibility Codes

As a result of adding additional eligibility data to the Direct Certification Program (DCP), there will be two new codes added to the direct certification eligibility codes for Medicaid-Free and Medicaid-Reduced.
M – Student is identified by the state’s Medicaid database at the income level for FREE meals and is automatically eligible.
Z – Student is identified by the state’s Medicaid database at the income level for REDUCED price meals and is automatically eligible.
Some points worth noting with these additional matches:
  • Students do not qualify for free or reduced price meals on an application indicating a Medicaid case number.
  • Some students may be in an eligibility carryover status for the first few days of school; however, if they carried free meal benefits last school year and are now matched on DC with a Z code, the Z code is considered a NEW eligibility determination and would change their status to reduced, thus ending the 30-day carryover period.
  • If a household submits an income application and the information provided qualifies them for free meals, and they showed up in DC as code “Z”-Medicaid reduced, the application takes precedence over the DC match, and the student qualifies for the free benefit. The student always receives the best eligibility benefit.
There is no change to how direct certification is completed or how the input file is set up as a result of these enhancements. More information on the direct certification process, file formatting and eligibility codes is located on the School Nutrition Team Direct Certification webpage.
The following is the hierarchy of match codes:
S: Food Share (SNAP)
O: Food Share and W-2 Cash Benefits
T: W-2 Cash Benefits (TANF)
G: FDPIR (coming soon)
E: Foster
M: Medicaid-free
Z: Medicaid-reduced
N: No match

Other Direct Certification Program Upgrades

The school code from your input file will now be included in the output file.
SFAs have access to an Independent School Matching Report on the left navigation bar that summarizes results.
Direct Certification Users: Please note that due to system maintenance for the week of December 11, Direct Certification users may receive an error message, or experience an unusual long time for processing of files. Please try again in 10 minutes.

Wisconsin School Meals Rock Student School Breakfast Video Contest

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Team and the Hunger Task Force are pleased to announce the Wisconsin School Meals Rock Student School Breakfast Video Contest. Teams of students are invited to submit an original video telling us why their school breakfasts rock. The goal of the contest is to connect students with the school meals program and promote the positive practices of your school’s food and nutrition services.
Entry materials are available on the Wisconsin School Meals Rock webpage, found by clicking on the Students link in the navigation menu. Video entries and the entry form must be submitted by Friday, February 2, 2018. Submit entries to

Site Based Claiming-Helpful Hint

For those school food authorities (SFAs) who utilize a foodservice software company that can generate an excel file identical to the site based claiming template file within Online Services, be sure to save the file that is generated by your software company as either a .xls or .xlsx file prior to uploading.

Reminder: What’s New with School Nutrition Webinar Feedback Survey

Just a reminder that in our on-going efforts to meet the needs of our customers, please consider filling out this short survey about our “What’s New with School Nutrition” webinar series. Your feedback will provide valuable insight that will help us plan future training sessions. We request responses by Friday, December 22.
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.
You can contact the School Nutrition Team at To subscribe to schoolmealsnews, please send an email to