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School Nutrition Bulletin 2021-30

Monday, January 25, 2021

Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)

  • Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team

Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team

 

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Round Two
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) for the administration of additional P-EBT benefits again, as during the 2019-20 school year. These benefits provide additional, temporary funds for food for students that would have received free or reduced-price school meals if not for the COVID-19 health emergency. The criteria for P-EBT eligibility has somewhat changed from the 2019-20 requirements.
 
P-EBT Eligibility Criteria for the 2020-21 School Year:
  1. The child would have received free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program if not for the COVID-19 health emergency. This includes children who are directly certified or certified by the school meal application. It also includes children enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school or a school operating under Provision 2; and
  2. The child does not receive free or reduced-price meals at school because the school is closed, operating virtually, or has been operating with reduced attendance hours for at least five consecutive days in the current school year.
Learning Model Survey
The first step in establishing student eligibility for P-EBT is gathering information on school learning models (i.e. in-person, virtual, hybrid). A survey collecting learning model data at the grade level will be sent to school principals or administrators of schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program today, January 25, 2021. The learning model data collected from this survey will be used to determine if eligibility criteria #2 (above) is met.
 
Next Steps
DPI will be working to prepare the list of P-EBT eligible students. To support this process, please continue to run direct certification frequently and send out, collect, and determine Free and Reduced-Price School Meal Applications, as only students eligible for free and reduced-price meals are eligible for P-EBT funds.
 
As you identify changes to students’ economic status or food service eligibility, please work with the appropriate staff at your school/district to make updates in your student information system (SIS). For public and choice schools, please ensure any updates in the SIS are also reflected in WISE. With many SIS programs, this should occur automatically. Additionally, please update your benefit issuance (BI) list accordingly. For non-choice private schools, eligibility changes should be reflected on your BI list — WISE is not required for non-choice private schools.
 
Student eligibility data will come from a combination of direct certification data and data that has been entered into the state WISE portal for food service eligibility. Additional student eligibility data may be needed, so the School Nutrition Team may request your BI list to further assist with the process. Further information regarding BI lists and P-EBT is forthcoming.
 
Sharing of Eligibility Information for P-EBT
Per USDA Policy Memorandum released on April 15, 2020 to SNAP and Child Nutrition Program administering state agencies, question #8 provides information regarding the sharing of eligibility information for administration of P-EBT.
 
Q. Can State educational agencies and school food authorities administering a school lunch program under Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) share participant data for the purpose of P-EBT?
 
A. Yes, under the statute, data sharing is allowable. Section 1101(e) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA, P.L. 116-127) states “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Agriculture may authorize State educational agencies and school food authorities administering a school lunch program under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) to release to appropriate officials administering the supplemental nutrition assistance program such information as may be necessary to carry out this section.” FNS recognizes that information sharing is critical to the success of P-EBT and encourages States to make full use of the data sharing authority provided through the FFCRA. When FNS approves a State plan for P-EBT, the Secretary is authorizing the release of the information to appropriate officials as detailed in the State plan.
 
Questions about the learning model survey and P-EBT can be directed to PEBTSupport@wisconsin.gov.
 
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This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
 
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.
You can contact the School Nutrition Team at dpifns@dpi.wi.gov. To subscribe to schoolmealsnews, please send an email to dpifns@dpi.wi.gov.
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