The Pandemic-EBT data collection is due in the data pipeline by Monday, May 31. Data provided in the pipeline will be used to provide a cash-like benefit for food assistance directly to eligible students. Student-level data is needed in order to assess eligibility for P-EBT and also to obtain household information.
Even if you have already submitted your district’s Identified Student Percentage data to CDE (deadline of Friday, June 18), we recommend conducting direct certification again in June to see if more students are eligible for free school meals, and thus can be included in the ISP. If your ISPs increases, you can re-submit your data at higher numbers. Continuing to conduct direct certification will benefit your students and schools – both for Community Eligibility Provision eligibility and for education funding purposes. The more students identified via direct certification, the more education funding for your district.
School Nutrition is excited to announce that over the past year we have taken steps to focus on our unit’s strategic plan. To meet our goals and improve our strategy, changes to our structure will take place over the next year to accommodate our growing team.
Examples of some of the changes include:
Positions and unit teams with more defined and dedicated areas of work such as policy, grants, training, and communications.
Revisioning small teams that provide support for specific program areas such as school meal eligibility, meal quality, procurement, and financial management.
Starting this summer, School Nutrition will move to a point person model to provide more individualized customer service. Sponsors can contact the person assigned to their application in the Colorado Nutrition Portal for program related questions and support with applications, reviews, and training and technical assistance needs.
Over the next few months, we will continue to share updates related to our strategic plan. To learn more about School Nutrition staff and teams, visit the contact us webpage.
Sponsors can now add specific meal service variation notes (including: where meals are served, mealtime differences, etc.) to SFSP site applications in Question 23. Click the blue question mark for more information.
School meal programs administrative reviews for school year 2021-22
On May 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a nationwide waiver that provides flexibility for administrative reviews in the 2021-22 school year for sponsors operating the Seamless Summer Option. This allows CDE School Nutrition to maintain its planned review schedule. If you are scheduled for a review or technical assistance visit next school year, additional information on how to prepare, the time frame, assigned reviewers and whether the review will be on or off-site is forthcoming.
Information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit program
On May 12, the U.S. Department of Education released a memo that provides information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which is a new, temporary federal program to help eligible families pay for internet service during the pandemic. Households with a child who was approved to receive free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program during the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year, including children who attend schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, are eligible for the EBB program.
An introductory letter and FAQ document along with thisoutreach toolkit will assist schools in learning about the EBB and provide strategies to reach out to school communities. Participating internet providers may work with schools and districts to confirm household eligibility if the school has obtained written consent from the family to release such information. For more information, visit the EBB website. View the updated disclosure reference for more information about EBB.
The P-EBT Support Center is open and can assist households with questions about P-EBT eligibility, update mailing address, benefits, as well as P-EBT card activation, issuance, or replacements. Households can call: 1-800-536-5298, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon, or email email@example.com.
Households will be referred back to districts to complete free and reduced-price meal applications if they are not identified as eligible. A dispute resolution process for households in which student information, learning modality, eligibility etc. is incorrect will be available soon. The P-EBT Support Center resource includes information for sponsors, including email templates for general questions from households.
Community Eligibility Provision toolkits now available
Take advantage of the extended application deadline of July 30 to explore how Community Eligibility Provision can work for your district. Applying for CEP this year is a no-risk opportunity to lock in your current ISPs and reimbursement rates, as well as the ability to serve free meals to all students, through the 2024-25 school year. . HungerFree Colorado developed two toolkits to support – one to help you get started with CEP (including financial calculators and information about Title I) and another to support your district in maximizing families’ participation in the FEDS Form. Check them out here:
Register for the monthly call at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29. Participants will learn about different roles in farm to school and how each role contributes to program success. The June culinary demo is all about staying cool and being rad – cucumbers and radishes. Previous calls can be viewed on the Nourish Colorado YouTube channel.
Tune into SNA's webinar: Smoothie and parfait programs to drive participation
Join the School Nutrition Association at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, and learn how to add or update your district's smoothie and parfait programs. This webinar is free for SNA members and $20 for non-members.
Watch the P-EBT support center town hall recording
The P-EBT support center town hall recording from May 19 is now available. This recording covers the P-EBT support center, mini grants, May 31 data collection, and summer benefits. View all P-EBT recordings on the School Meal Eligibility webpage.
The Farm to School Basics training provides an overview of the USDA Farm to School Program and covers the who, what, when, and how of farm to school when choosing to implement a first-time program.
The Exploring a School Garden training focuses on how school gardens can function as an extension of the classroom to teach about the importance of local agriculture and to promote nutrition education.