Special Milk Program
This memorandum serves as guidance on the requirements for preventing overt identification of children certified for free or reduced price school meals, and provides suggestions about methods school food authorities (SFAs) could use to avoid overt identification as much as possible.
Defining Overt Identification
The appropriation provided in the 2008-2009 New York State Budget for the 2008-09 school year for the school lunch and breakfast programs resulted in a two percent cut to State reimbursement. The budget language specifically states that such reimbursement shall be limited to 98 percent of the State reimbursement rates that were applicable in the 2007-08 school year. All prior year claims received for payment in the 2008-09 fiscal year were not subject to the 2% cut.
When filing claims for reimbursement, the person responsible for completing the report should use the highest number of free and reduced price eligible students approved during the month for every month except October. This is true whether you are completing claims on-line or paper. The reason you must report the highest number of students throughout the month is because the number of students eligible in the school/facility on the last day does not necessarily reflect the highest number of free and reduced price students served during the month.
Any meals or milk served to students who are on a vacation break are not eligible for reimbursement. It is the intent of the law that only those children who are participating in the normal educational process be eligible for meals or milk under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast and Special Milk Programs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a final rule on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards for the school nutrition programs in the December 15, 2009 issue of the Federal Register. The final rule implements the legislative provisions included in the 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act that require all school food authorities that participate in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program to develop a food safety system that implements the HACCP system. Please see the link below for additional information.
When contracting with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC), a school food authority (SFA) has several fiduciary responsibilities that must periodically take place during the term of the contract to ensure the fiscal integrity of its child nutrition programs, for example: administrative oversight, monitoring, reviewing invoices and record keeping.
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released its updated version of the 1995 guidance entitled Contracting with Food Service Management Companies: Guidance for School Food Authorities. This guidance provides clear information and guidance regarding the responsibilities that reside with the district or school or residential child care institution (RCCI)when it decides to contract with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC).
Any public school that intends to use a Food Service Management Company (FSMC) to run their food service operation must competitively bid for services. A non-public school, jail or residential child care institution participating in a Child Nutrition Program that wants to use a management company to manage their food service operation in whole or in part must competitively bid for those services.
State Agencies (SAs) have just received another memo from USDA reiterating the importance of School Food Authorities (SFAs) ensuring Food Service Management Company (FSMC) compliance with the procurement requirements. These requirements are established in regulations affecting the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Special Milk Program (SMP) which became effective on November 30, 2007 and emphasizes that: