Superintendent's Memo #148-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 22, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Annual Agreement to Participate in the School Nutrition Programs for 2009-2010

The School Nutrition Programs Web-based system (SNPWeb) will be available for data entry of the 2009-2010 annual agreement beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2009. The Annual Agreement to Participate in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Afterschool Snack Programs must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education no later than July 1, 2009.

Federal regulations require each school division to enter into an agreement with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) annually in order to participate in these school nutrition programs. The Agreement is created and submitted using the School Nutrition Programs Web-based (SNPWeb) system. The division superintendent is the legal signature authority required to sign the agreement and is the individual responsible for compliance with all regulations governing the school nutrition programs.

School divisions that contract with a food service management company (FSMC) for the operation of their school nutrition programs may not delegate this authority to any employee of the food service management company. Federal regulations require that the school division “...Retain signature authority on the State Agency-School Division Annual Agreement, free and reduced price meal applications, and all claims.” (7CFR 210.16 (a) (5))

In conjunction with the SNPWeb online agreement, the “Annual Agreement to Participate” (Agreement) document must be downloaded and printed from the “Online Forms” section of SNPWeb. Two copies of the Agreement, with original signatures of the division superintendent, must be returned to VDOE by July 1, 2009, along with any other supporting documents that require VDOE approval. A copy of the Annual Agreement packet (Agreement and supporting documents), approved and signed by VDOE, will be returned to the school division. This signed document must be maintained on file in the school division and must be readily accessible during federal or state reviews. Federal reimbursement for school nutrition programs cannot be paid for school year 2009-2010 until the Annual Agreement is fully executed and approved by VDOE.

Mandatory School Breakfast Program: Section 22.1-207.3, Code of Virginia, requires school divisions to establish a school breakfast program in each school in which 25 percent or more of the currently enrolled students were eligible for free or reduced price meals in the previous school year. Board of Education regulations establish eligibility for free or reduced price meals on October 31 of the preceding school year as the basis for this determination. Eligibility data for existing schools should be reviewed before completing the Agreement.

All new, realigned, or non-participating NSLP schools with 25 percent or more of the enrolled children determined eligible for free or reduced price meals on October 31, 2009, shall begin a school breakfast program by the first operating day of January 2010. Eligibility data for these schools should be assessed after October 31. If any of the schools meet the criteria, a breakfast program must be established. Schools that meet the eligibility requirements must offer a breakfast program unless an exemption is granted by the Board of Education pursuant to Board of Education regulation 8VAC20-580-40.

Initial Carry-over of Previous Year’s Eligibility: Federal regulations allow a student’s documented eligibility for free or reduced price meals in the preceding school year to be carried over into the new school year to ensure access to program benefits while current eligibility determinations are made promptly. The carry-over of a student’s previous school year eligibility in Virginia will be valid for up to 30 operating days into the subsequent school year, or until September 30, whichever is earlier. This applies to direct certification, categorical determinations, and income applications. A new eligibility determination in the current year supersedes the carry-over eligibility.

Free and Reduced Price Eligibility Income Determination:
The USDA Eligibility Manual for School Meals, January 2008 edition, must be used as the regulatory guidance manual for eligibility determinations by all school divisions.

Many households have different sources of income at different frequencies, such as weekly or bi-weekly wages and monthly social security benefits. To avoid inconsistencies in calculation of household income, the following procedures must be followed:

Adult meals: Meals served to adults are not eligible for federal reimbursement, nor do they count toward determining the value of donated food assistance. Federal reimbursements, students’ meal payments, and other nonprofit food service revenues cannot be used to subsidize meals served to adults. Meals served to adults must be priced so the payment is sufficient to cover the entire cost of each meal including the value of donated foods.

Questions regarding the Annual Agreement may be directed to the school nutrition program specialist assigned to the division, Catherine Digilio Grimes, director, or Lynne Fellin, associate director, by contacting the school nutrition program office at (804) 225-2074.

PIW / CDG / LAF / idl