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National School Lunch Program

FY2016 Method II ART Grant Summaries

State

Grant Type

Award Date

Amount

Colorado ART II 2016 September 2016 $400,421
Florida ART II 2016 September 2016 $358,293
Idaho ART II 2016 September 2016 $800,160
New Jersey ART II 2016 September 2016 $1,307,016
Nevada ART II 2016 September 2016 $380,751
 

Colorado

Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education Office of School Nutrition (CDE OSN) lacks resources to provide the quantity, quality and diversity of trainings needed to reduce administrative errors in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. To overcome these challenges, the CDE OSN will use 2016 ART Grant funds to achieve two goals: (1) provide targeted technical assistance for school food authorities (SFAs) at risk for program-related administrative errors; and (2) provide meal counting and claiming, Smarter Lunchrooms, orientation to school nutrition management, and menu planning trainings.

To achieve these goals, the CDE OSN will develop and implement a statewide-targeted technical assistance program and develop and provide additional trainings. The objective of the first goal is to decrease the number of corrective actions in areas of certification and benefit issuance, meal counting and claiming, meal pattern and nutritional quality, credible and food safety by 15%. To achieve the second goal, the CDE OSN aims to: (1) decrease the number of corrective actions in meal counting and claiming by 15%; and (2) decrease the number of corrective actions in meal pattern and nutritional quality by 15%. By accomplishing the goals and objectives of this proposal, the CDE OSN will increase SFA knowledge and skill competencies in administering the NSLP and SBP and reduce administrative review error rates.

Florida

Department of agriculture and Consumer Services

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) intends to create a comprehensive Administrative Review (AR) Module for integration within the Florida Automated Nutrition System (FANS). The module will automate the AR process on PC Tablet/Laptop-based systems. Review results will be synchronized with the FANS web portal, allowing school food authorities (SFAs) to quickly view and respond to findings online. Reviews will also be scheduled through the system, using the date of last review as well as an analytical profile subsystem that will identify SFAs with data reporting, claiming and compliance issues.

Grant funds will be used to improve program reporting, automate the workflow tasks for the corrective action process, and provide a seamlessly integrated environment between the off-site and on-site review processes. SFAs and internal staff will be trained to effectively utilize the new system. Data collected will be used to enhance future SFA reviews and training at all levels.

Idaho

State Department of Education

The administrative training and oversight processes in Idaho Child Nutrition Program (CNP) are in need of improvement due to the rural demographic and low education rate of the state. In order to improve administrative function within Idaho CNP sponsors, Idaho CNP proposes to create and implement online trainings that address administrative topics such as application determination and certification, benefit issuance, verification, meal counting and claiming procedures, and improving the nutritional quality of school meal programs. These courses would augment face-to-face regional workshops, which would allow state agency (SA) staff to train sponsors and facilitate peer interactions.

In order to assess the value and success of these proposed trainings, Idaho CNP would like to modify existing software systems and increase the reporting capacity of software programs which support the administrative review (AR) and online trainings. These modifications will allow Idaho CNP to better target and monitor error-prone local educational agencies (LEA). Increased reporting capacity combined with the proposed trainings will improve program integrity in error-prone LEAs. System updates will be accomplished by working with established vendors to create new reports and by training Idaho CNP staff to generate reports using additional software available through Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) Technology Division. Data will be collected over the course of the grant to monitor improvement in error-prone LEAs and evaluate the impact of grant activities.

New Jersey

Department of Agriculture

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), Division of Food and Nutrition, applied for a three-year Implementation Grant to address two goals and outcomes identified during the FY 2015 ART Planning Grant which will improve system integrity and better assist LEAs in New Jersey.

NJDA’s first goal is to create standard contract documents and automate the application and approval process for all Food Service Management Company (FSMC) and Vended Meal Contracts. Currently, New Jersey has 773 LEAs participating in the National School Lunch Program. For the 2015-2016 School Year, 84% (649) of those LEAs entered into contracts for their school meals. NJDA proposes to replace the existing manual paper system with an online electronic contract management system - standardizing the documents to streamline the existing process by reducing error and automating the approval process to significantly reduce the amount of time required to review and approve contracts.

The second goal is to rebuild the Division’s School Nutrition Electronic Application and Reimbursement System (SNEARS). Due to the age and architecture of the current system, SNEARS 2.0 will be built and realigned to operate on the School Year cycle. SNEARS currently operates on the Federal Fiscal Year which results in benefit loss to many LEAs. With SNEARS 2.0, NJDA will have the opportunity to address data and report inconsistencies and build a better framework for future enhancements as regulations and policies from USDA change.  Implementation of these goals will improve efficiency and program integrity in the child nutrition programs.

Nevada

Department of Agriculture

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), requires a statewide direct certification match system that consolidates eligibility data for the free and reduced lunch program into a single source. Only three local education agencies (LEAs) out of 22 in Nevada who use direct certification are currently using an electronic matching system. As a result a manual match has to be done at the level of the LEA which is time consuming, tedious, and has the opportunity for more errors to occur. If awarded this grant, funds would be available to change the workflow to automate the matching and reporting process so a statewide direct certification match could be performed. Once a statewide match is in place for SNAP and TANF eligibility, then Nevada can apply to be a participant in the demonstrations projects to evaluate direct certification with Medicaid.

When looking at current gaps in program operations areas that LEAs in Nevada have in common are menu planning, financial management in school food service, special provision programs, and applications. Although NDA has increased their training efforts over the last several years, more in person trainings are needed. If awarded this grant, the NDA would use the funds to provide regional in person trainings addressing each of these gaps and to develop additional training manuals for LEAs. 

10/14/2016