Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)
- Updates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team (SNT)
- Other Updates and Information
IMPORTANT REMINDER: July Claims Update
The DPI SNT is working diligently to update the Online Services claiming system to include the higher Summer Food Service Program reimbursement rates for SY 2021-22. As a result, the SY 2021-22 school nutrition contracts will not be approved until the system maintenance is completed to ensure all claims submitted receive the correct reimbursement rates. For any SFA that provided meals in July, this will delay your ability to submit the July claim(s). We anticipate that our claiming system update will be complete in mid-August and will allow sufficient time to submit July claims within the 60 day period. Thank you for your patience!
USDA Policy Memorandum SP 18-2021: Community Eligibility Provision Operations during School Year 2021-2022: Questions and Answers
On July 22, 2021, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Operations during School Year 2021-2022: Questions and Answers. This memorandum includes questions and answers intended to provide clarification to State agencies and program operators as they operate the child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO), during 2021-22 school year. These questions and answers address the impact of nationwide waivers that FNS has issued in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and how those waivers impact CEP requirements.
The per meal rate notice was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2021. The per meal rate for the National School Lunch Program for SY 2021-22 is .2600 cents which is an increase from .2450 cents in SY 2020-21.
Correction to Number 9 in USDA Policy Memorandum SP 16-2021
There has been some confusion regarding question #9 in SP16-2021. The last sentence below should have been removed in the updated Q&As. The statement is not accurate in light of the flexibilities provided by the Nationwide waivers for SY 2021-22. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
9. May students pick up meals at any school within a school food authority, or are they required to pick up meals only at the school they attend?
SFAs that implement the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-Congregate Meal Service for SY 2021-22 may permit students to pick up meals at any school within the SFA. SFAs that have elected to implement the Nationwide Parent Pick-up Waiver, may permit parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children at any school within the SFA. The following sentence should have been removed from the answer: SFAs may provide meals to students enrolled in schools outside the SFA only if they have an agreement with the student’s SFA to share eligibility information.
USDA Farm to School Grants and Farm to School 2019 Census
On July 15, USDA announced $12 million in Farm to School Grants for school year 2021-2022, awarding 176 Grantees, the most projects funded since the program began in 2013.
The department also released New Data from the 2019 Farm to School Census demonstrating the recent growth of farm to school efforts nationwide. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of school districts and/or local entities responsible for school meals participated in farm to school activities during the 2018-19 school year, more than half (57%) of which began within the past three years. You can explore the results on the new interactive Farm to School Census Website.
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Updates
On July 22, 2021, the USDA released Policy Memorandum SP 18-2021: Community Eligibility Provision Operations during School Year 2021-2022: Questions and Answers. In this Q&A, it states that all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to complete the CEP notification requirements for the 2021-22 school year, even if the LEA is operating the Seamless Summer Option (SSO).
The DPI School Nutrition Team has updated the following documents to include language regarding SSO and CEP:
- The CEP Household Notification Letter is currently available in English and will be available in Spanish and Hmong once translation is complete.
- CEP Public Release for school food authority (SFA)-wide CEP. The CEP Public Release is currently available in English and will be available in Spanish once translation is complete.
Note: If your SFA has already distributed a public release and CEP household notification letter for the SY 2021-22, there is no need to resend the information using the updated documents described above. However, if your SFA has yet to distribute these materials, the updated documents may provide additional clarity to families regarding SY 2021-22 meal operations.
As a reminder, schools that are currently approved to participate in CEP must submit an Intent to Participate Form for SY 2021-22 even if they will participate in the SSO instead of NSLP/School Breakfast Program (SBP). Additionally, schools not currently approved for CEP can still apply for CEP for the SY 2021-22 even if they will participate in the SSO instead of NSLP/SBP. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2021.
Please send any CEP-specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CEP Calendar of Requirements has been updated to reflect the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and SSO requirements as they apply to CEP schools for the SY 2021-22.
The School Nutrition Team has requested Statewide waivers of program requirements for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and Special Milk Program for the upcoming school year. Check out the Public Notification of State Waiver Requests for additional information.
P-EBT Update from the Department of Health Services (DHS)
The P-EBT Update provides information on Wisconsin's Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Programs, School P-EBT and Pre-6 P-EBT. The U.S. Congress created P-EBT to provide food benefits to support families with children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The P-EBT program is being administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in coordination with the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Children and Families.
School P-EBT Third Release Took Place on July 25, 2021
The third round of School P-EBT benefits, covering the months of April-June 2021, were added to QUEST and existing P-EBT cards on July 25. Some families may have received benefits for months before April if information about how often their child learned from home was recently updated.
Eligible families who do not have a P-EBT card will receive one in the mail with the benefits already loaded onto it in the coming days. Families who received benefits this past weekend can expect a letter in the mail soon explaining the amount they received.
More than $35 million was provided to the families of almost 170,000 students. To date, DHS has issued just short of $200 million in School P-EBT benefits to the families of almost 280,000 students for the 2020-21 school year.
Summer P-EBT Benefits Coming in August 2021
Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued August 21 to children who meet one of the following three requirements.
- They received School P-EBT benefits during any month of the school year (SY) 2020-21.
- They received Pre-6 P-EBT benefits during any month of the SY 2020-21 and live in a household that received FoodShare benefits during at least one summer month (June, July, or August 2021).
- They were enrolled during May or June 2021 in free or reduced price meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and that met certain other program eligibility criteria, even if they did not receive School P-EBT benefits during the school year.
Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375. These benefits may also be available to children who become enrolled for the first time to receive free or reduced price meals in the SY 2021-22. A flyer explaining how a child may become eligible for Summer P-EBT Benefits and what steps need to be taken is available for distribution if needed. Families with a current P-EBT card should remember to keep their cards because summer benefits will be loaded onto it.
Promote Wisconsin-Grown Produce in Schools! University of Wisconsin (UW)-Extension Harvest of the Month Webinar
Harvest of the Month is a statewide campaign for schools that encourages students to eat more Wisconsin-grown fruits and vegetables. Join UW-Extension for a virtual presentation about Harvest of the Month on August 23rd from 2:00 - 3:00 pm!
The presentation will cover:
- The Harvest of the Month campaign and associated materials
- Supplying for Harvest of the Month
- The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection’s (DATCPs) Minimally Processed Farm to School Veggie Pilot Project
- Crediting and menu planning in school nutrition programs
- Connecting to broader policy, systems, and environmental changes in schools
You will receive a link to join the Zoom meeting after you register. The presentation will be recorded and shared.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.