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FY 21 Non-competitive Technology Innovation Grant (nTIG) Award Summaries

Resource type
Technical Assistance

State Department of Education

Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) is implementing a statewide universal Child Nutrition Programs/Food Distribution management system and statewide point of sale (POS) system to meet the needs of the state’s sponsors and streamline the entire application process, claims for reimbursement, auditing, training, and all other needed requirements of the USDA regulations.

ALSDE CNP will contract with a proven vendor that can provide solutions to address current and future needs. They envision this system to be fully integrated, customizable, user friendly and use the latest technology available. The application will be capable of collecting the data required by federal, state and local institutional regulations and requirements, while allowing the end user to perform operational tasks and generate information required by these agencies. The current system utilized to administer these programs - Child Nutrition Online Application - has required ongoing, custom upkeep to maintain compliance with federal guidance and regulations.

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Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)

The Alaska DEED existing database was procured in 2003. While updates have been made throughout the lifecycle, many of these updates have been add-ons and retrofitting, leaving some clunkiness and manual workarounds for functionality. The goal of their project is to streamline and improve functionality for both the state agency and program sponsors. This project will include all program sponsors: NSLP, SFSP, CACFP, FD, and TEFAP. Due to state agency staffing issues in the area of IT, Alaska plans to transfer to a contractor hosted environment and have a third-party contract for a Project Manager to oversee the database work.

Our TIG request is to update some modules that have been added on through the years, and add modules and features to improve our overall functionality:

  1. Modules that need to be updated/reconfigured: Community Eligibility Provision, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and USDA Foods to include FD for schools/childcare and TEFAP
  2. Additional modules to improve overall functionality of database: Direct Certification, Administrative reviews for NSLP (to include FFVP), CACFP, and SFSP; and Online meals application
  3. Additional functional features to add across programs: Automated and/or “push” emails regarding renewals and claims for reimbursement; transfer server hosting from state agency to vendor; and online documents repository for items such as procurement plan, management plans, food safety plans, 501(c)(3) documentation, etc.

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Department of Education

Currently the state agency does not have a web-based system to interact with local school agencies for contracts, contract addendums, local agency reviews, monitoring, training, tracking, financial management for payments, and tracking of invoices for food distribution. The state agency is currently using Microsoft Word and Excel documents for these functions. Being able to reconfigure the existing system used by Health and Nutrition Unit will improve communication with the local agencies, allow the state to improve the maintenance of records, and improve the efficiency of the state agency staff.

The reconfiguration would include the following:

  • Program reviews and review letters
  • Review scheduling and tracking
  • Corrective Action Plan (CAP) letters and tracking
  • Contract and contract addendums with local agencies
  • Completing USDA specific reports such as FNS-155 report
  • Inventory on hand
  • State contracted warehouse payments for storage and delivery of USDA foods to local agencies
  • Tracking SAE (state administrative expense) funds
  • Training modules for local agencies

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Department of Education

Arizona Department of Education (ADE) intends to use their full allocation of nTIG funds to supplement funds already allocated for an on-going project with LINQ/Colyar Technology Solutions (CTS) for the development of a new CNPweb system which is used to operate and manage all Child Nutrition (CN) Programs (i.e., School Meal Programs, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program). These supplemental funds provided by the nTIG would be used for enhancements to the system that are not already included in the contract to better improve program accountability, data accuracy, program performance measurement, and the capacity to identify and target error-prone areas within and across the CN programs at the state.

ADE intends to use this grant to fund:

  1. Development and integration of a Food Distribution Program (FDP) system into the new CNPweb system that will assist ADE in the management of the USDA Foods in Schools program
  2. Enhancements to the new CNPweb system that will be identified through the internal testing as the system is being built (i.e., integration of electronic signature capabilities, budget, web forms, etc.)

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Department of Education

The California Department of Education (CDE) administers the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)/Seamless Summer Option (SSO), Afterschool Snack Program, Food Distribution/USDA Foods Program, and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) with over 1,365 School Nutrition Program Operators at 10,222 school sites, 1,062 SFSP and SSO Operators at 8,601 feeding sites, and 1,100 USDA Foods Recipient Agencies. In 2019-20, more than 981 million meals were served through the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) to over 6.2 million California children. To support continued excellence in service and program delivery, CDE will use the nTIG funds to improve the automated data collection for these programs in three key areas: 1) Food Distribution Program (FDP) warehouse management system (WMS), 2) School Nutrition Programs (SNP) system interface between the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), County District School System (CDS) and Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), and 3) Program operator online training oversight and effectiveness.

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Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education School Nutrition Unit (School Nutrition) is seeking nTIG funding offered to overcome new system challenges and build staff capacity for ongoing strategic implementation of technology and data systems. School Nutrition will use nTIG funds to extend the term limits of their data and evaluation manager and their project manager. The data and evaluation manager will verify that the overall goals of the grant have been met and will measure results to determine if project goals, objectives and activities improve technology and data systems as well as program and data integrity. The project manager position will support software development, implementation, and evaluation; system enhancements; project management; data management, business analysis; contract management; vendor accountability; and vendor and customer relations. This position will monitor the project scope; track schedules, costs, and resources; monitor for quality assurance; and submit progress reports to FNS. The project manager will identify technology and data system gaps and make recommendations to leadership for technology enhancements and needs. Further, the project manager will investigate opportunities to conduct a study on the implementation of a statewide school meal eligibility/application system and integration of Medicaid data into direct certification.

Additionally, School Nutrition will use nTIG funding to pay the partial salary and benefits of a current staff member who oversees the system’s application module to ensure the module meets internal and external stakeholder expectations as well as USDA program requirements. This position will also support the project manager and ensure sustainability of the project following the grant period.

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Department of Public Health and Environment

CDPHE-CACFP is requesting nTIG funding for innovative automation solutions to improve program operation efficiencies, accountability, monitoring and overall program integrity at the state and local levels. CDPHE-CACFP intends to 1.) employ a Business Application Support Specialist, 2.) maintenance and hosting fees, 3.) purchase future enhancements to the current technology system to improve efficiencies and customer service, and 4.) fund travel cost and time for two (2) state staff to attend the CNAAT conference in Washington D.C.

CDPHE-CACFP was awarded the FY 2019 CN TIG. In collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), CDPHE implemented a single information management system called the Colorado Nutrition Portal (CNP) to submit applications and claims, and provide access to administrative review functions. The project goals include increasing efficiency, collaboration, and coordination among the two state agencies, streamlining processes, increasing customer satisfaction for shared CDE and CDPHE customers, and increasing functionality in one system. CDPHE-CACFP continues to explore and identify enhancements to add to the CNP that benefit the state agency staff as well as CACFP institutions.

CDPHE-CACFP also recognizes the need to employ a technical consultant to manage the technical aspects of the CNP. The CDPHE-CACFP plans to hire a 0.75 FTE to oversee technology activities which include but are not limited to oversight of the software design, development, and implementation, vendor coordination of activities, user acceptance testing coordination, and technical support.

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District of Columbia
Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)

The nTIG project funds will be allocated towards the continued development of Orchard, OSSE’s data platform, which supports all Child Nutrition Program applications, compliance monitoring, and claims. The funds will support the claims module and backlogged items, including system enhancements previously postponed. Enhancements consist of but are not limited to USDA reports, system administrator functionality, and changes related to the COVID-19 waivers or other modifications not previously accounted for prior to the pandemic. The nTIG will fund existing contractors secured through OSSE’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) solely for the Orchard project. The system supports NSLP, CACFP, SFSP, and any related programs, such as SSO and FFVP.

This project focuses on implementing claims processing for each CNP. The claims processing will include new user roles as well as rate management, budgeting, and payment processing that interfaces with D.C.’s financial system, SOAR. There will also be a focus on reports and transitioning historical claims data from the existing system to Orchard.

  1. The first phase of development, iteration one, prioritizes the framework and workflow process for claims. Secondly, this iteration focuses on claims admin features needed to define budgets and rates for the different CNPs.
  2. The second phase of development prioritizes establishing data capture and submission of claims requests via the Orchard system and establishing a data connection with external organizations. In addition, these iterations will focus on the agency approval process for claims within Orchard.
  3. The third phase of development, iterations five and six, focuses on setting up the interface with Orchard and SOAR while establishing exception features such as payment holds and voucher payments.
  4. The fourth phase of development, iteration seven, removes all remaining connections between Orchard and NSACPS in preparation for the sunsetting of the existing system.

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Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) will utilize nTIG funds to accomplish both planning and implementation activities to develop, improve, and maintain automated information technology systems used to operate and manage all Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).

FDACS will conduct two feasibility studies related to its CNP systems – one to determine if a single sign-on (SSO) authentication method can be used to provide state agency staff, local sponsor organizations, and Local Education Agencies the ability to sign-in once to access all CNP systems with the same credentials; and a second study to assess the feasibility and provide a cost/benefit analysis of a potential application refactoring of the Florida Automated Nutrition System (FANS) to improve its performance, readability, portability and code adherence without changing the code functions, and to also extend the application’s usability and life cycle. FDACS will utilize the nTIG funds further to purchase needed technology equipment and software. On June 25, 2021, FDACS formally adopted a permanent, agency-wide telework policy. Because of this change, state agency staff will have the option to work remotely, which, in order to properly carry out program duties and responsibilities, will require new computer equipment and software, including multi-factor authentication for remote access, SoftPhones that will allow state agency staff to make and receive calls using a computer, and additional software upgrades to ensure records can be reviewed, scanned and maintained appropriately in a remote work environment. FDACS will also utilize nTIG funds to automate its Excel-based Meal Builder Tool to improve program operation efficiencies, accountability, monitoring and overall program integrity at the state and local level. FDACS anticipates that automation of the Meal Builder Tool will require an analysis to determine the appropriate business intelligence tool to be utilized, as well as a contracted Applications Architect and a Database Architect to develop the tool. FDACS will also use nTIG funds to redesign its free-standing Summer Food Service Program website to improve user experience and increase traffic and engagement. Lastly, FDACS will utilize the nTIG funds to provide train-the-trainer training for state agency staff on new technology applications, equipment and software, to ensure proper training can be provided for local sponsor organizations and Local Education Agencies on the new technologies, when needed.

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Department of Education

The Guam Department of Education has identified a need to enhance and improve Guam’s CNP statewide system, migrating the existing program management and student eligibility modules and integrating the menu planning and production records, food distribution and inventory management, resource management, administrative reviews and financial modules that offers a streamlined way to perform all functions related to the challenges of effectively managing the Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Programs due to the use of outdated processes, incompatible software solutions, lack of communication, and the implementation of new and updated regulations, program requirements and processes that significantly impacts both the state agency (SA) and /sponsor organizations (SO) by establishing a centrally-managed database that improves administrative control real-time access to data, and less manual entry.

To address and meet this need, funds from this grant will procure a migrated single web-based system hosted by the Guam state agency’s CNP/FDP statewide system that is readily accessible by both the SA and the SFAs and SOs that offers a streamlined way to perform all functions related through the integration of menu planning, production records and inventory management, as well as associated reviews that drive efficiencies across the board. Additionally, it will provide the SA with better tools to effectively plan, schedule and conduct Administrative Reviews through a centralized, state-level system that streamlines the overall process while fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing between the SA and SFA/SOs. Integration of the Resource and Financial Management modules that are real-time tools that will reduce work, effectively plan, provide compliance feedback, and remotely monitor to ensure success, as well as associate reviews that can drive efficiencies across the board.

The procurement of new technology solutions will help the Guam state agency eliminate the use of multiple platforms and move away from unsupported legacy systems through the continued use of Primero-Edge through its sole provider and proprietary software solutions Cybersoft Technologies, Inc by providing with a complete technology solution to improve program accountability and efficiency at both the state and local level through a unified system.

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State Department of Education

The Hawaii State Department of Education assessed the technology needs of the state agency (SA), local education agencies (LEAs), and sponsor organizations (SO) when we updated our strategic plan. There are several areas identified as needing upgrades and/or enhancement so the SA can perform our duties more efficiently; as well as, providing LEAs and SOs with a more user-friendly and clearer online system. We will utilize a three-prong approach to improve program performance, accountability, data accuracy, information dissemination, training, simplification of the SA web-based system and our web presence.

Prong one addresses the hardware and infrastructure needs of the SA office. This entails replacing laptops, monitors, computer peripherals, operating software, mobile hot spots, page printers, VOIP telephone system, WiFi access points, installing a Cisco WebEx room board, and adding 3 LCD projectors. Replacement of the outdated hardware and enhancing the infrastructure will improve staff efficiencies and deliverables to our customers. We will add additional phone lines so staff can respond faster to customers requests. Improved Internet service means better program performance, accountability, virtual training, monthly Town Halls, and technical assistance training. New digital projectors will allow program specialists to conduct training in more places--reducing the need to secure a special room due to equipment requirements.

Prong two brings software enhancements to the DIS/Colyar web-based software for all CN program areas. Specifically, the areas include simplifying the initial application process, annual renewal, claim information entry, financial data reporting, and the Administrative and Procurement Review processes. These enhancements will address the shortcomings of the current web-based software. The Food Distribution module will be added to interface with WBSCM. This will improve functionality and accountability of the commodity program for our LEAs and sponsors. The SA will also have the ability to extract data to analyze the fiscal efficiencies of the CN programs through ad hoc SQL queries which are not possible at this time. This will help answer future queries from FNS, as was the case for the Mathematica study. The SA would also utilize the federal AZURE server via DIS/Colyar for more security. The SA will contract with our current CACFP and SFSP software training provider, Brighton Training Group, to customize additional training modules. The topics covered by the additional modules are Eligibility Determination, Maintaining a Nonprofit Food Service, Child Care, HeadStart, At-Risk, and Adult Day Care and Emergency Shelters Recordkeeping. These modules will allow SOs to have more on-demand training readily available for their staff rather than having to wait for the annual in-person training. In addition, the SA will purchase additional licenses and further the training on Mosaic software. This tool would help meet the many challenges LEAs and SOs face when attempting to satisfy the USDA requirements for standardized recipe compliance, nutritional regulations, and meal pattern. This area has been extremely problematic during ARs and will help streamline sponsor operations.

The third and final prong involves contracting a web design company to overhaul the HCNP website. The goal is to provide a more user-friendly, streamlined website for our LEAs, SOs, potential new sponsors, and the community. We also need to improve accessibility to the website and include documents to better comply with Civil Rights requirements. SA staff will receive training on the use of the new hardware, as well as, new software. Training will be provided to the LEAs and SOs, as needed. The SA will also send two staff members to the bi-annual CNAAT Training event in 2022.

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State Department of Education

Idaho CNP will use the nTIG funds to provide the following TIG projects:

  • Sub-Grants to local sponsor organizations or LEA’s - The Idaho CNP proposes to provide technology improvement in the form of mini-grants being offered to CNP sponsors to meet their technology needs via the purchase and installation of software and or equipment. These mini-grants will allow sponsors to effectively apply technology to provide information and tools needed for reviews, program operation and outreach, will streamline and improve the accuracy of communication at all levels, and will also lead to a reduction in administrative burden for Idaho CNP operators and state agency (SA) staff. Funds will be divided over three years with each year receiving $172,676 which will be offered as sub-grants. Each sub-grant will not exceed $24,000. Sponsors will be required to submit 3 cost estimates in their grant application to Idaho CNP. All applications submitted will be evaluated and scored. Highest scoring projects will be awarded funding. Recipients will be required to submit progress reports and documentation of costs prior to receiving grant reimbursement.
  • Meal Site Enhancement - Idaho CNP will contract with CTS/Colyar to update the current center site application in our online application system, MyIdahoCNP, to include all center site program types (adult care, child care, early Head Start, Head Start, outside school hours, at-risk afterschool care, emergency shelter) and report hours of operation, days of operation, meal service and meal times by each program type that operates in the center. The current application only separates child care and at-risk afterschool programs. All other program types are included under child care. Several sponsors now operate multiple program types in a center. Days of operation and meal times vary by each program type. It is important the state agency collects sufficient information about each program operations to ensure the center is in compliance with the regulations.
  • Serious Deficiency Module - Idaho CNP will contract with CTS/Colyar to add a report to the state agency online application, claiming, compliance and serious deficiency system for CACFP-(MyIdahoCNP), for tracking the serious deficient institutions in one list report. All data for the list report is collected in the Serious Deficiency Module but is only viewable by each Institution. USDA requires the state agencies to maintain a full list of serious deficient Institutions. Currently the state agency maintains a separate Excel tracking log in addition to entering data in the Serious Deficiency Module. Adding this new report will streamline the process and eliminate the need to enter the same data in two different locations.

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State Department of Education

Illinois State Department of Education (ISBE) hopes to modify/expand the direct certification platform to include students determined eligible for free and reduced price meals through a state-wide application process for Illinois 1,100 sponsors. Currently, applications are mailed or electronically submitted on the local level. ISBE hopes to develop a state-wide application process that would approve the applications on the state level and upload the approved applications into the new certification pages at ISBE. The new certification pages would include not only the direct certification of SNAP, TANF, Medicaid and Foster Child, but also display the approved applications to make it a one stop locations for all the school needs. In addition, as the certification pages are updated, ISBE will also look for ways to strengthen and improve the matching processes within the Direct Certification System. With the application automated, it will reduce the paperwork burden at each sponsor and approve the accuracy of the approval process for the state.

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State Department of Education

The funds from the nTIG will be used to update and integrate components of our existing web-based Child Nutrition Software package, including:

  • Add Direct Certification/Verification to web-based program – In an effort to improve Direct Certification matching, we are planning to contract with our current software vendor to add the DC/DV package, moving from our in-house system.
  • Add Administrative Review Desktop version – Migrate the CNPweb.NET desktop Administrative Review application to a stand-alone version that does not require an Internet connection to assist when reviewing in remote locations without internet.
  • Create a Document Repository – Create a public space (no login required) for document availability. Setup an interface for staff to be able to upload/update online documents and display features. Adding this function will allow IDOE to share content with active and potential sponsor quickly and efficiently.
  • Food Distribution Program Upgrades – Add additional functional capabilities to the FDP system. This enhancement will help IDOE and state-contracted warehouses better manage inventory levels, add a function for Balancing Trucks for Web Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) commodity ordering (currently done externally) and add a function to allow the display of processor inventory to potentially add Monthly Performance Report verification.
  • Project Manager – hire a contractor to coordinate with IDOE staff, our contracted IT vendor, Dynamic Internet Solutions (DIS), and other stakeholders for each project to plan, design and implement the grant projects.

Scope Change: Indiana has removed the Document Repository Project from their scope and added a Data Analytics Tool for CNPweb to be used across all programs (National School Lunch Program – NSLP, Child and Adult Care Food Program – CACFP, and Summer Food Service Program - SFSP).

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Department of Education

The Iowa state agency is requesting nTIG funds to implement technology projects that will streamline processes and ease the administrative burden of the state agency and local organizations administering the USDA programs of NSLP, SBP, FFVP, SSO, SFSP & CACFP. The Iowa Technology Innovation Grant will:

  1. Improve program operation efficiencies, accountability, monitoring and overall program integrity.
    1. The state agency will implement an analytics and ad hoc solution for School Meal programs (1A.1) and CACFP (1A.2) to better respond to time-sensitive data requests and continue to ensure program integrity while maximizing staff resources.
    2. A school meals program earnings report will be developed and provide year to date totals by claim month. Having the school meals total within the data system will reduce staff time and decrease the potential for errors.
    3. Automatic notifications or system warnings to local CACFP organizations will be implemented to indicate if year-to-date reimbursement exceeds year-to-date net expenses.
    4. The state agency will implement a minimum of 15 enhancements to the annual program application in IowaCNP for all three CNPs. Application enhancements will provide error messages to prompt the applicant to validate or provide additional support for entered data or automatically populate or remove application questions depending on the responses provided.
  2. Maintain automated information technology systems to effectively and efficiently administer child nutrition programs.
    1. To ensure the goals and objectives included within this submission are sustainable after development has been completed, the maximum allowable amount is budgeted for technology maintenance agreements. The maintenance agreements will be monitored to ensure sustainability of new and existing applications and enhancements.

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State Department of Education

The KSDE will reduce the risk of administrative error and increase program integrity by updating its online claiming and review management system, Kansas Nutrition – Claims and Information Management System (KN-CLAIM).

The KN-CLAIM system, used to collect data and process claims in all the Child Nutrition (CN) Programs administered by Child Nutrition & Wellness (CNW), was purchased in 2004 and was built using classic Active Server Pages (classic ASP) and Visual Basic 6 (VB6) technologies. Due to the obsolescence of classic ASP, and other functional and performance limitations, KN-CLAIM was rewritten using Microsoft’s ASP.NET technologies through the FY 2015 ART Grant so that CN professionals and KSDE staff would have access to crucial improvements in processing, performance and security. Updating KN-CLAIM to the .NET Framework was a vital first step in modernizing the system.

KSDE proposes to use nTIG funds to further optimize the KN-CLAIM system through database and source code refactoring. KSDE IT staff will be completing this work in-house. Refactoring efforts will incorporate years of lessons learned (from both field and engineering experiences), changes in web technologies, and longer-term planning for KN-CLAIM to produce a platform for continued growth, easier expansion, and improved maintainability. A key aspect of KSDE’s refactoring will be to analyze the data models and business rules that drive the current product, with the objective of identifying and streamlining patterns and designs for building the next generation of KN-CLAIM. The result will be a product that can be more efficiently and effectively maintained – as well as capable of better adapting to future needs.

Another key aspect of the refactoring effort is in simplifying and streamlining the user experience. This will include the development of a “dashboard” capability for KN-CLAIM that provides vital system information to program administrators in a clear and effective manner. Personalized dashboards will improve operational efficiencies, accountability, and monitoring which will increase overall program integrity at the state and local levels. Along with the dashboard, the enhanced user experience will include unified data entry for data fields that are redundant for sponsors of multiple programs. This simplification of data entry will benefit sponsors by reducing paperwork and increasing integrity through the reduction of data entry errors. The KSDE refactoring efforts will involve the development of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create links between KN-CLAIM and the Student Information Systems (SISs) used by LEAs – either directly, or by way of KSDE’s own statewide SIS. The implementation of this functionality will greatly reduce the data reporting burden for sponsors, as many data elements managed by KN-CLAIM are also present in local SISs.

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Department of Education

The Louisiana Department of Education, through the Division of Nutrition Support (DNS), administers the USDA Child Nutrition Programs in the state (School Meal Programs, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program). The DNS began in-house development of automated CNP software, over 20 years ago, to more effectively and efficiently enable program sponsors to submit on-line applications for participation and claims for reimbursement. These automated CNP application and claiming systems have also allowed the state agency to more effectively review applications, eliminate duplications of data collections, implement edit checks to minimize errors, improve data capture, storage and reporting capability, and improve program integrity through transparency and data analysis.

With the nTIG funding, the DNS will be able to fund an internal review of the on-line CNP applications and claims it has developed and implement a plan to update the CNP applications, with specific emphasis on writing new applications to update and improve the software capability, security, and integration with other data systems. An Education Program Consultant 2 or Program Consultant 3 position (funded by SAE funds) will be designated to work with a contracted Project Manager (funded by nTIG funds) to fulfill nTIG grant obligations, to include:

  • Monitoring project scope, tracking schedules/costs/resources, monitoring for quality assurance, and submitting progress reports to FNS;
  • Verifying overall goals of the grant have been met;
  • Measuring results to determine if the project goals, objectives and activities are increasing communication efficiencies in technology systems to improve program and data integrity; and
  • Assuring that the plan for sustainability of the project is implemented.

Scope Change: Louisiana has removed enhancements to their CNP software from their scope and has instead begun a contractual project with eScholar Unique ID, which is used by all SFAs with the potential to be extended into other sponsoring organizations, such as Early Childhood Centers and Non-public schools who receive state funding and scholarships.

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Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) will use the nTIG funds to improve and adapt existing technology systems to enhance functionality and expand the system capacity for data collection, analysis, and verification. MA DESE intends to use nTIG funds for both planning and implementation initiatives to address identified technology needs and plan for larger systemic improvements and procedures. All technology and system-based work done as part of this grant opportunity will be done with the existing MA DESE contractor, Kyran Research Associates. Kyran is on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Master Service Agreement (MSA) for IT services. MSAs result from competitive procurement conducted by the state’s Comptroller’s Office. State agencies are allowed to procure directly from MSAs.

Currently, MA DESE has identified several large-scale systemic changes to the online security portal which will be assessed for feasibility and utility among stakeholders. As part of these planning and feasibility meetings, MA DESE will seek feedback on these key conceptual changes:

  • Reorganization of the Security Portal which would be centralized on each sponsoring organization. Currently, the Security Portal is organized by the CNP—CACFP, SFSP, NSLP, SBP, Special Milk, and USDA Foods. Many organizations/SFAs in Massachusetts operate across several of these programs simultaneously, but maintain distinct and independent applications, forms, and information. MA DESE will propose to stakeholders a major change to how these data is organized to be sponsor/SFA-centered; this will result in a singular login for each organization where they can view each CNP application, documents, training certifications, and more for all the programs in which they operate.
  • Modify the existing payment processing system to accommodate the changes anticipated to the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS). There is currently a proposal to change MMARS and MA DESE will use nTIG funds to assess how these changes will impact payment processing for CNP and identify a solution.
  • Assess methods to more easily facilitate Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) request verification. MA DESE seeks to identify the feasibility for merging student enrollment data available from the MA Student Information Management System (SIMS) with existing eligibility data in the Security Portal. Identify methods to align MA DESE free/reduced price data with the SIMS “Free and Reduced Price Percentage Alignment” variable.

For planning activities, MA DESE will utilize nTIG funds for an assessment of internal systems and procedures and identify areas for automation and improved user experience. MA DESE will bring together stakeholders to discuss feasibility and value of identified larger, systematic changes to the security portal to improve the experience for both state agency staff and CNP operators. Planning activities will include strategic planning to envision the future of the online security portal system and ensure that all potential updates are for sustainable, long-term program change. Part of this process will include a review of internal and external processes to identify procedures for automation, and improvements to data accuracy. In addition to planning initiatives, MA DESE has identified implementation deliverables which will impact all CNP at the state agency and CNP operator level. MA DESE has identified several changes to be made to the Security Portal which will address program accountability, data accuracy, performance measurement, and targeting error-prone areas of operation.

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Department of Education

Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition (Maine DOECN) oversees the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), USDA Food Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Over the past two years, we have been transitioning all of our USDA programs over to CNPweb from a prior system developed in-house which was in need of significant work to meet the changing regulations and guidance, When our CACFP team joined Maine DOECN in July 2017 they had no prior automation of their program. We have since added the module for USDA Foods, NSLP/SBP and SFSP will be rolled out for Summer 2022. We have an additional module for Administrative reviews as well. Maine intends to use nTIG funds to pay for the annual CNPweb maintenance fee.

CNPweb is a web-based system hosted in a secure cloud. Security is managed by Maine DOECN and each authorized user has unique login credentials. There is no hardware. By having all of our USDA programs in the same system, we are able to have consistency among multiple programs and automate the annual application, claiming, review and USDA Foods ordering processes. This has resulted in improved program accountability, data accuracy, program performance measurement, and the capacity to identify and target error-prone areas.

Scope Change: Maine requested a scope change to use nTIG funds for the following enhancements instead of the maintenance fee:

  • Rebuild our CEP Model
  • FFVP Claims, Rate, Eligibility and Application Enhancements
  • Ability to deny claims and track use of one-time exceptions
  • State ability to add/edit account codes
  • Add Claim Approver for CACFP
  • Additional Reporting for NSLP, CACFP, and USDA FDP program
  • Additional enhancements awaiting final confirmation

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State Department of Education

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will use the nTIG funds to begin the process of automating activities of the CACFP Program Compliance Section for scheduling of reviews, evaluation documents, the corrective action and serious deficiency process, reporting and tracking, and communications. The primary focus for these activities will be the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), since a large portion of the Program Compliance monitoring activities in Maryland are related to CACFP and the work is not automated.

The nTIG funds will be used to hire a technical writer, business analyst, and project manager. These contracted resources will evaluate the needs of the program compliance team and the existing technology portfolio of MSDE. They will also assist in writing and evaluating any requests for information and/or request for proposals. The business analyst and project manager will assist in the implementation of either a custom system or an existing system.

With automation, the activities of the program compliance team would be streamlined and take significantly less time than they do currently with the manual systems in place. An automated system will leave less room for error, thereby increasing the integrity of the recordkeeping and reporting activities. Finally, automation will allow us to capture data to be used for reporting, tracking and trending, and for quality improvement purposes.

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Department of Education

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) continues to use an introspective process in identifying areas of improvement regarding technology systems, the needs of smaller Local Education Agencies (LEAs), especially private schools and public school academies, and technology improvements to ensure error-free data transactions from LEA’s point of service systems to MDE systems.

MDE aspires to implement a web application leveraging the USDA's Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Application prototype to support LEAs having limited technology support. MDE plans to use a public-facing web application called MiBridges, hosted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and currently in use for other public assistance program benefits, to design and develop a public-facing application for parents to apply for free and reduced-price school meals and are approved electronically. LEAs must be able to access approved student information.

MDE conducted a feasibility study, funded by a USDA planning grant, to determine how existing point of service systems transacting with the Michigan Nutrition Data (MiND) system could improve data collection and seamless transmission capabilities. MDE intends to use the Michigan Datahub as an intermediary to collect student-level information, consolidate it into building-level information, and feed it to the MiND claims system. The MiND system is currently undergoing upgrades through a previously awarded Technology Innovation Grant (TIG).

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Department of Education

Our technology activities will build on learnings from the previous TIG and ARTS implementation grants to continue our journey in developing the most efficient, timely and effective technology system to facilitate sponsor access. We are laying out our three priority areas.

  1. Improve our existing CLiCS system, specifically the user interface and underlying technology used in the application process to facilitate sponsor access and information. Our current application process is confusing and can be interpreted as having a two-step process rather than one process with multiple steps.
  2. Conduct a field analysis to review what new tools have been developed since our last review (over four years ago) to assure we are still developing and expanding our technology to meet current and future needs. We need to assess whether CLiCS is still the best option for our long-term needs.
  3. Continue to upgrade remaining CLiCS user interface screens to allow expanded filtering access and usability for staff and sponsors for the different program functions. The new user interface will offer improved functionality and adaptability to changes in business processes, and will also enable us to make the screens more accessible to users with disabilities.

Scope Change: In addition to the projects listed, Minnesota will be building a new in-house Administrative Review module into the CLiCS system that will be integrated with our current applications and claims system and eventually be used for all programs.

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Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) office is requesting the Technology Innovation Grant award to:

  1. Rebuild School Nutrition Program (SNP) financial report system that will allow the state to accurately identify Local Education Agencies (LEAs) compliance with the federal financial requirements per 7 CFR 210.14, 7 CFR 250 and 2 CFR 225. An enhanced SNP financial report will allow for DESE FNS to monitor LEA’s financial health of the school meal program’s non-profit food service account. An upgraded financial reporting system will allow for DESE FNS to create a streamlined process to monitor and collaborate with school business officials when conducting oversight of the resource management section of the Administrative Review.
  2. Enhance our Colyar Technology System (CTS) for state agency and LEAs benefit regarding professional development. The enhancements will include the Training Registration and Professional Standards modules. The Training Registration module allows the state agency to create and offer trainings for participants in the school nutrition programs in a central location. This module has a registration function and a post-assessment function. These streamlined functions alleviate burden on the state agency who currently pieces together every training video to a post-assessment survey. The state agency will be able to document specialized training provided during Technical Assistance (TA) Reviews through this module. The Professional Standards module offered by CTS allows LEAs to track training for employees by site. Training can be viewed by role of the LEA employee. Hours are tracked by area of training and whether certification was received or not. This module is easily accessible by the state agency during an Administrative Review to review for professional standards compliance and will be used in corrective actions to address a finding. These modules paired together provide a standardized professional development resource that the state agency has not been able to provide before.
  3. Purchase software and equipment to record, edit, and transcribe digital training for LEAs. This will allow the state agency to provide a variety of digital training classes including different training techniques, such as webinars, pre-recorded classes, and live or recorded demonstrations. These improved trainings will allow the state agency to provide high quality training that will help engage the learners, allowing them to understand and retain more information. In addition, robust transcription software would allow the state agency to be more efficient in producing accessible videos for people with hearing loss.

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Department of Public Health and Human Services

Through the 2019 TIG grant period RKV Technologies determined that Montana CACFP’s current technology infrastructure, Gold Systems, does not and will not provide optimal support for the program’s future goals. Therefore, RKV Technologies and program staff explored various data system options and enhancements to optimize CACFP operations in Montana.

Montana CACFP intends to use nTIG funds to replace the current data system (Gold Systems). This will be accomplished through the potential development and utilization of the CACFP Module through Colyar Technology Solutions (CTS). CTS can be coordinated with the existing infrastructure for NSLP and SFSP operated by the Montana Office of Public Instruction. Additionally the CACFP operations in Montana utilize two different data systems for various users—Gold Systems and Minute Menu/Kid Kare. The web-based solution CTS can work to address the need to connect data silos and improve end user capabilities by supporting users across program levels and connectivity through one system.

A complete system overhaul for any program requires thorough training and support for end users. The state agency will need to facilitate multiple end user trainings for local level providers. Sustainable manuals and trainings for a new system will also need to be created to support end users moving forward. Moving toward a centralized system for CACFP will require program operators at all levels to have access to technological equipment when needed. Equipment (desktops, laptops, notebooks) will be purchased at the state and local level--- based on need and availability of funding, which is to be determined.

Program manager and one other CACFP project staff person, will attend the Child Nutrition Access & Accountability through Technology National Training (CNAAT) as required by the grant opportunity. Travel to CNAAT is further needed to support the CACFP staff in managing the program effectively; managing IT procurement and contracts; utilizing best practices in the use of technologies for program access; and demonstrating accountability, and operational efficiencies. CNAAT also facilitates collaboration regarding technology solutions that comply with federal regulations and policies, supporting daily operational needs, enhancing programs access, and ensuring program integrity.

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Office of Public Instruction (OPI)

The Montana Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs (MT OPI SNP) will use the nTIG funds to maintain SNP Systems IT Program Manager and support from a Software Analyst. The Program Manager also acts in the capacity of Business Analyst, System Administrator, Tester, and Trainer, as needed and when prudent. The program manager, Bitsey Draur, in conjunction with Christine Emerson, state director, will be responsible for monitoring project scope, tracking schedules/costs/resources, monitoring for quality assurance, and submitting progress reports to FNS; verifying overall goals of the grant have been met; measuring results to determine if the project goals, objectives and activities are increasing communication efficiencies in technology systems to improve program and data integrity; and assuring that the plan for sustainability of the project is implemented.

The OPI SNP has a fully integrated Child Nutrition software suite, including agreement, claiming and reimbursements; direct certification with integrated on-line free and reduced application; document library; ad hoc and analytics reporting; static reporting; menu planning; meal counting and claiming; and administrative review. This set of systems are primarily maintained by TITAN and Colyar Technology Solutions, both LINQ companies. The direct certification and integrated on-line free and reduced application are enhanced and maintained by a contracted Software Analyst, who also maintains some local services and backups for the core Colyar Child Nutrition system. The program manager manages the subcontractor/vendor and the Software Analyst tasks, as the team works together to develop, improve, and maintain the in-house and vended systems that automate and support the Child Nutrition programs.

Using nTIG funds, the contracted staff will work with the MT OPI SNP to target technical areas that seek to improve program integrity, software usability, sustainability, and performance, while keeping software current with changing regulations. The following items will be addressed with the hired contracted resources and no additional software costs:

  • Move the Direct Certification Application nightly jobs to containers for more sustainable and reliable batch processing
  • Analyze, refine, design, develop, and test automated Direct Certification potential match linking confidence level assignment to increase automatch and decrease the number of students on the potential match lists that require user intervention
  • Upgrade the on-line free and reduced application using OPI standardized technology so it is more easily sustainable for the long term
  • Coordinate (schedule, establish requirements, design, test, train) all systems’ defect fixes and enhancements related to minor federal regulation changes
  • Maintain backups and multi-environment data
  • Produce reports for the OPI and partners
  • Provide technical assistance to systems users
  • Address and resolve system issues by identifying and fixing root causes
  • Design and produce adhoc reports
  • Train users on various systems as needed
  • Maintain security on all systems

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Department of Education

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) will use nTIG funds to improve, modernize, and streamline compliance tracking and sponsor- and state-level reporting. The NDE will use funds to enhance its online application, claims, and compliance tracking platform with modifications to provide a more responsive design with the goal of reducing redundancy in USDA Administrative Review (AR) form questions for both external customers as well as internal state agency staff. Improvements made to the compliance tracking platform will also strengthen program integrity and compliance tracking, allowing the NDE to ensure program sponsors are reviewed according to programmatic requirements while reducing the likelihood that human oversight compromises state agency program oversight. The NDE will also seek to strengthen its database used for tracking CACFP Serious Deficiency declaration by converting its Access database to a web-based user interface that will store information and supporting documentation. The NDE will also use funds to purchase reporting tools that will support the timely submission of federal reports. State legislative requirements can limit support of the permanent staff positions; therefore, staff time is a limited resource and automating the generation of federal reports would be a significant time savings for the NDE Child Nutrition Programs staff. Finally, the NDE will utilize grant funds to implement tools intended to enhance program efficiencies for external users. These efficiencies streamline the application and claiming processes to help reduce human error in reporting.

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Department of Agriculture

The Nevada Department of Agriculture intends to use nTIG funds for:

  • Enhancements for Nutrition Programs System (NPS): In 2020, the Food and Nutrition Division (FND) purchased new, updated child nutrition program (CNP) system modules from Colyar Technology Solutions (CTS) for CACFP and SFSP for administering these programs, including applications, counting and claiming, and compliance monitoring. As part of this purchase, we have also automated our Administrative Review process. This purchase enabled us to greatly improve these processes for staff and sponsor/operators and create an easier, updated, more user-friendly system environment, and improved program integrity.
    • We are now approximately 8 months post implementation, and have determined additional enhancements that are needed to improve effectiveness and functionality, and provide more options to the modules such as ad hoc report creation, checklists, more detailed views, etc.
    • The proposed enhancements will not only improve accountability, they will improve data accuracy, provide more report writing capabilities and options for increased data analytics.
  • Training and Development: FND is committed to providing effective training for staff and program sponsors/operators. However, due to staff experience levels and tenure, this critical function proves to be challenging. While we complete required training for all child nutrition programs we administer, we lack uniform division-wide processes or procedures for developing, delivering, scheduling, and tracking training for FND staff and program sponsors/operators. The methods we use tend to be rudimentary and time-consuming.
    • FND would like to purchase a learning management system (LMS) to automate the training development, delivery, scheduling, and tracking functions required for compliance, both at the staff level and for all CNP sponsors/operators. We plan to purchase a system that can be utilized for both internal and external users. We would also like to buy course authoring software to decrease the time to develop and deliver training courses.
    • This purchase will facilitate a consistent, more robust, centrally-housed system in FND for all CNP-related training for all users. This will also enable us to create courses that are tailored to the specific needs of our staff and sponsors, including training that will help sponsors with errors or findings in ARs, etc. The courses we develop and deliver via the LMS will improve compliance and program integrity, increase knowledge in targeted areas based on needs, improve effectiveness of program administration, and improve results.
    • Based on our initial research and available products we have reviewed, we believe any system we purchase can be quickly implemented; therefore, we are selecting the option of consulting with the stakeholders and assessing the needs during the first 3-6 months of the grant period before making a final decision on purchasing the product(s).

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New Hampshire
Department of Education (DOE)

The New Hampshire Department of Education (NH DOE) Office of Nutrition Programs and Services (ONPS) administers New Hampshire’s USDA-funded child nutrition programs (CNP). The current food and nutrition technology system called MyNHDOE is a state developed system with most system updates going out to contractors. The current system is eleven years old and is still at the most basic level for claiming and reporting purposes. The system currently lacks the functionality to move all programming applications, reports, and reviews forward digitally, it does not integrate with the state reporting system, NH First, and it falls short of capturing all required CNP data for the state.

The NH DOE ONPS will award a vendor(s) to deliver updates to the food and nutrition technology system or to build a new system to provide increased functionality, further data integration, report development, and training for, Department of Information Technology (DOIT), NH DOE personnel and CNP operators. The significant updates to the system or the build out over the three year period will help achieve the below goals:

  1. New system to add the administrative reviews to MyNHDOE or alternative system for all CNPs and eliminating the burdensome paper documentation.
  2. Additional reports created within MyNHDOE or alternative system to meet the need for all required CNP data reporting.
  3. Integration of MyNHDOE or alternative system with the NH First system.
  4. Training for DOIT on current system to reduce the need for outside contractors.

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New Jersey
Department of Agriculture

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Food and Nutrition requests funds from the CN Non-Competitive Technology Innovation Grant. The funding will be used for a one year project to develop web forms, in-house, on our Electronic Contract Approval System (ECAS). The review of Requests for Proposals (RFP) for the Food Service Management Companies (FSMC) contracting with New Jersey School Food Authorities (SFA) is a manual and voluminous process with just under 600 contracts to review. To relieve this administrative burden of the review and to simplify the FSMC RFP for SFAs, we will be automating the process.

Several years ago, we built ECAS with the FY16 ART Implementation Grant which created a foundation to get all contracts off paper and into an electronic format. USDA requires state agencies to review and approve all RFPs to ensure compliance with federal requirements before SFAs can advertise and send to interested FSMCs. Currently this is done manually via email correspondence through a designated inbox. A PDF of the RFP is completed by the SFA, submitted to the designated email address, and reviewed by the state agency. If items are missing or corrections are needed, the approval process timeline lengthens which can cause missed deadlines and delays in operation of the School Nutrition Program. The addition of the RFP review and approval process in a web-based system such as our current Electronic Contract Approval System (ECAS) will significantly improve the turnaround time as well as the accuracy of information submitted. Inclusion of the RFP review and approval process in the web-based system will allow for more efficient communication with SFAs as well as improved tracking of each step of the process. The automation will include adding a template of the RFP document with data input fields, check boxes and upload capabilities. The fields, check boxes, and upload tools will be built on screens within ECAS where SFAs enter the required information and a state agency approved RFP is ultimately generated. Inclusion of the RFP approval process in a web-based system will be more efficient for both the state agency staff as well as the SFAs.

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New Mexico
Public Education Department (PED)

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) utilizes information technology systems to fulfill operational and regulatory responsibilities related to administering child nutrition programs. NMPED oversees School Breakfast Program (SBP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO), Provisional Programs, Afterschool Snack Program (ASP). Because NMPED recognizes the crucial role information technology plays in the effectiveness of oversight on the state level, NMPED seeks funding to invest in information technology software to facilitate the coordination of data and information for New Mexico’s student nutrition programs. NMPED cultivates an IT environment in which software, systems, and data is flexible, scalable, and rapidly respond to changing regulations, guidance, and legislation. Because automation reduces inefficiencies and provides transparency into indicators that assess effectiveness, NMPED would like to enhance the current software systems further.

NMPED approaches the management of IT projects from an enterprise perspective that facilitates smooth interfaces among NMPED IT projects and with School Food Authority partners. These projects and their interfaces must be adequately established through appropriate enterprise architecture. Adhering to recognized IT standards and FERPA, security, and privacy requirements is essential to this goal. By managing and governing its projects from a long-term enterprise perspective, NMPED will be better positioned to take advantage of economies of scale, focus on integrating data from external data systems and improve collaboration and coordination across state and federal agencies. NMPED follows standard IT waterfall project management best practices and framework when implementing new software; however, when appropriate NMPED will tailor the life cycle to accommodate the specific circumstances of the project (procurement, size, duration, budget constraints).

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North Dakota
Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) will use the nTIG funds to replace their current state-developed Child Nutrition and Food Distribution business management system, NDFoods. NDFoods was developed and implemented in partnership with the North Dakota Information Technology Department (NDIT) in 2012. Since then, NDFoods has gone through several phases of updates, fixes and enhancements. The system functionality currently meets the needs of the state agency, but continued sustainability is unsure. A limited number of NDIT staff understand NDFoods applications, interfaces and (coding) enough to effectively plan and complete system changes. This poses a significant risk to the continued maintenance of the system. Replacing NDFoods with a vended system that has a proven history of effectively meeting state agency program management needs will eliminate risk and ensure accurate and accountable program administration in the future.

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Department of Education

The Ohio Department of Education (the Department) is requesting nTIG funds to develop a web-based statewide standardized income eligibility application for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) by either contracting with a qualified software solutions vendor or working with the state of Ohio Information Technology Office to develop and host the application that will be available for use by an unlimited number of Ohio sponsors and state agency staff. The intent is to offer the application in multiple language versions. This software solution will either be hosted by the vendor or hosted by the state of Ohio. Currently, most Ohio child and adult care centers use a manual process to collect and process income eligibility applications to determine CACFP benefits eligibility. The web-based income application platform will reduce income eligibility application processing errors and ease the administrative burden on child and adult care centers while simultaneously increasing program integrity by reducing human error in the manual entry and approval process.

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Department of Human Services (DHS)

Oklahoma DHS’s current inventory, ordering, and distribution system will terminate June 30th, 2022. Our Agency will build an internal system that can be managed by the state agency. This system will allow our agency to modernize and improve the current distribution system and allow the state and local agencies increased functionality and visibility in an effort to streamline the processes through a web-based program. The new system will be built on the state reference architecture to ensure long-term supportability. The new system will replicate the required functionality of the existing software.

We are considering developing a solution using PowerApps in our Microsoft environment and leveraging internal resources, Microsoft, and/or a partner that Microsoft recommends to help with development of the application. Additionally we may decide to develop the solution in our SalesForce Environment and have used a development vendor for these kinds of projects in the past with success.

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State Department of Education

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will utilize the nTIG funds to create a unified reporting system for the agency’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) program. This unified system will be used to support input from the end users at the school district level for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Funding will be utilized to create a Seamless Summer Option (SSO) on an annual basis, as well as an Administrative Review account, every 3-5 years. The federal grant funds will be used to aid in the rewrite of this unified CNP System. Currently, all district personnel and staff at the Oklahoma State Department of Education have to login to each of the three disparate systems in an effort to gain information and/or make updates to each program. This is a time consuming process that can be alleviated with a new system that will include a re-write and design with the Front End being written in Angular, and the Back End will be rewritten in C#, .net core, and Entity Framework Code First.

This is a multi-year project that will greatly benefit the end user. Currently children who qualify for one of these programs generally qualify for the other two as well, but parents must complete the information three different times, and school personnel must input the information three different times per student into each system. This proposed unified system will prevent staff from being required to login to numerous disparate systems, and prevent fat fingering information that is entered into more than one site, thus reducing duplication of data entries and reducing the likelihood of errors during import. The current code is antiquated and the project requires an upgrade that will include a single sign on, and enabling all three current systems to be co-located in one place, with one login, sharing information amongst the various applications and reducing repetitive entry, and the possibility of entering erroneous information, or leaving information out for a certain application.

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Department of Education

The PA Department of Education (PDE), Division of Food and Nutrition (DFN), proposes a number of solutions that will assist with improving technology.

  1. DFN has used CN PEARS for nearly 20 years as the application and reimbursement system for sponsors of the Child Nutrition Program. We will enhance the Budget and Management Plan in the SFSP module of CN PEARS.
  2. Implement a technology solution in CN PEARS that will provide a simpler method of disallowing meals for the SFSP when issues are found during site reviews.
  3. Upgrade e-learning modules on the School Nutrition Toolbox to contain both voice and script (currently only contain script). The School Nutrition Toolbox is used by School Nutrition Program (SNP) sponsors as a mechanism for online trainings. The system houses over 20 trainings. The content is reviewed annually and updated as necessary, however, the look and feel needs modernization to provide a better learning experience.
  4. Develop an interface between CN PEARS and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) so that there is an automated dialogue between OCDEL’s licensing system and DFN’s CN PEARS system in order to keep licenses up to date in the CN PEARS system for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
  5. Implement use of a 777 Final Status report in CN PEARS to assist with the reconciliation process.
  6. CN PEARS Security Groups Enhancement will allow us to manage security groups more efficiently by replicating security groups from user to user, and turning security groups on and off for individual users. This enhancement also provides a report that will allow us to compare security group rights across users.
  7. CN PEARS Sponsor Search Enhancement will allow us to more efficiently transition from one sponsor to another or from one year to another with fewer screens and “clicks”.

Scope Change: Pennsylvania has amended their scope to include incorporating Meal Disallowance functionality into a SFSP Site Monitoring Form and adding functionality for Direct Certification with Medicaid for the identification of reduced-price eligible participants.

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Rhode Island
Department of Education

RIDE is proposing three distinct scopes of work related to the FY21 nTIG funding.

  1. Farm to School Local Procurement Tracking Platform: Over the course of the last two years, RIDE has been working with the recently formed RI Farm to School Network to develop key functional requirements and identify data points to be tracked in a local purchasing database. The goal is to create a web-based tracking platform that can be integrated into RIDE’s Child Nutrition Program management system to track local procurement metrics for School Food Authorities. Through our initial work on this project, RIDE has determined that manual data entry is not only a barrier to the collection of local purchasing data but also leaves significant room for error. In line with the goals of this grant, RIDE’s proposed planning activities would serve to aid in the development of an automated system that would improve efficiency and accuracy of data collection, providing accountability for farm to school efforts and allowing us to measure program performance. RIDE proposes to hire a contractor that will be tasked with consulting with local stakeholders regarding the current systems in place for CNP purchasing and invoicing. This will include, but is not limited to, working directly with Foodservice Management Companies, School Food Authorities, and local and national distributors to identify the systems currently in place, limitations of those systems, and identifying the technology that would be necessary to integrate existing systems into an automated local purchasing tracking and reporting tool. The chosen contractor will be tasked with the aforementioned research as well as compiling the findings into a comprehensive request for proposal that will allow RIDE to select a vendor that can successfully implement a web-based tracking system that meets the needs of local level operators as well as state agency staff. Implementation of such a system will allow local level and state agency staff to save time and money related to data collection and reporting, set a baseline for goal-setting, make data-driven decisions, and will allow for real time reporting of local purchasing data.
  2. Application and Claims Management Enhancements: RIDE recently transitioned to a new, web-based claims management and application system for all of its CNPs. While this new system represents a vast improvement over the prior system, RIDE is aware that the new system, provided by Colyar, has several available enhancements that will further streamline and automate current processes while also increasing our ability to effectively monitor and report on our CNPs. After reviewing the available system enhancements, RIDE has determined that the LINQ Data Analytics application, which will allow RIDE to nimbly review program data across programs, and the System Alerts module, which will generate automated alerts to both state agency and field users for various application and claims status triggers, will be invaluable to improving the management and oversight of our child nutrition programs. RIDE proposes to use nTIG funds to support the initial implementation of each of these enhancements as well as the first year of maintenance fees related to the data analytics module. In addition to these “off the shelf enhancements”, RIDE will assess and pursue additional enhancements focused on alignment with updated processes and procedures related to local and regulatory changes, including implementation of the SFSP Final Integrity Rule.
  3. Statewide Meal Benefit Application: Following the program disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global health pandemic, RIDE has been seeking opportunities to streamline program requirements for both SFAs and families participating in the School Nutrition Programs. The return to the collection of meal benefit applications for SY22-23 has presented a challenge for schools and families alike as this process was not in common use for the previous two school years. In an effort to streamline this process and reduce the burden on families and schools, RIDE proposes to contract with UniteRI to build a statewide electronic platform for the submission of meal benefit applications for the School Nutrition Programs. Use of UniteRI’s platform will not only allow for one, centralized location in which meal benefit applications can be electronically submitted, which will reduce financial and administrative burden at the local level, but it will also provide families the opportunity to elect for disclosure of information and self-referral for additional services, such as SNAP and WIC benefits, that are offered by providers connected with the UniteRI platform. RIDE believes that this partnership will serve to improve the efficiency and integrity of program operations while also providing an invaluable service to the families in our state by reducing barriers to participation in complementary assistance programs offered throughout the state. RIDE proposes to use nTIG funds to support the initial design and implementation of the meal benefit application as well as the first two years of licensing and network access fees after the initial implementation.

Scope Change: Rhode Island has added an implementation phase to Project 1 and reduced the enhancements to the claims and application management system (Project 2).

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South Carolina
Department of Education

The current system the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) uses to manage and track South Carolina’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and other child nutrition program-related activities is more than a decade old. While some system improvements were incorporated over time, the current technology, user interface, and reporting capabilities are inadequate to meet current needs and the SCDE’s distribution and oversight roles. School Food Authorities (SFAs) and Recipient Agencies (RAs) using the system need better technological processes. The SCDE will use nTIG funds to conduct a feasibility study and cost benefit analysis to find and then implement Off-the-Shelf (OTS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in administration of the NSLP and all related child feeding programs. In seeking an effective system, staff from the SCDE will visit two other states to learn about the feasibility of their systems. The SCDE will explore both procuring a new system and options to enhance its current Colyer system; the agency will follow state procurement procedures in alignment with 2 CFR Part 200.317-327.

The goal is a robust, comprehensive process to administer all of the SCDE’s child nutrition programs that will help the children of South Carolina (SC) receive the full benefit of every dollar allocated to these programs, regardless of the source of funds. Specific areas of system functionality improvement will include a user-friendly, easy-to-understand experience; a web-based platform that makes information accessible and visible for all users; the ability to access and use data from all USDA and stakeholder systems and perform automatic calculations; an all-in-one, centralized solution that enables and maintains all the functionality the SCDE, SFAs, and RAs need, including communication; the ability to easily exchange data with the USDA, easily access all necessary real-time data, and track funds and update the USDA on changes as required; the ability to display products on hand, track products per USDA and state requirements and submit reports per USDA requirements; and all enhancements necessary to stay current with USDA requirements. The system needs to have a robust, smart-edit function for dynamic option selection, and allow for robust reports, data analytics, and ad hoc reporting.

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South Carolina
Department of Social Services (DSS)

SC CACFP conceived of at least a dozen different projects to consider for allocation of nTIG funds, primarily consisting of crucial enhancements to our existing software solutions. In order to improve program accountability, identify functions and locations of concern, and replace antiquated paper processes, we intend to advance development of our Compliance module. In order to improve program administration and data accuracy, we intend to enhance our Applications module with new automations and integrations for application facilitation and expedition; new screens and forms for complaints, contacts, technical assistance, preapproval visits, and public releases; and rewritten budget and personnel screens, to include new and improved tables, fields, and functionality. These important updates will save time, solve numerous problems with our current processes and systems, and provide CACFP staff and operators with new tools to bridge gaps in our communication, documentation, and administration.

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South Dakota
Department of Education

Using nTIG funds, South Dakota would purchase a software system to help sponsors with menu planning, production records, meal counts and overall proper documentation of meal preparation and service. This system would be maintained by the state agency (SA) and the SA would be able to access sponsor accounts. Having a computerized online system will allow local education agencies (LEA) and sponsor organizations (SO) to create and store daily menu plans, production records, and consolidate meal counts. The system will identify missing meal components and insufficient quantities during menu planning, allowing mistakes to be corrected proactively. The overall purpose of implementing the online software system is to assist our CNP operators in writing compliant menus to meet USDA requirements, reduce the time and stress of meal planning, and reduce the chance of errors in meal preparation and service, meal counts and production records, thus preventing review findings and fiscal actions. This system should also aid in agencies that see turnover in key kitchen staff, by having convenient access to old menus and records.

SD Department of Education would purchase a customizable off the shelf online system for Meal Patterns and Productions for the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, Seamless Summer Option, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. LEA and SO users will have the ability to develop and edit menu plans which will automatically populate into production records. System will identify missing menu components and required minimum portion sizes according to approved USDA nutrient analysis software. Serving costs and waste analysis can be calculated on production record based on the menu plan. USDA Food Buying Guide items and information will be pre-populated into the system. Users can manually add nutritional information; CN labels, product formulation statements. Daily meal counts can be recorded and program will summarize meal counts for the claiming month. The SA will be able to view production records and menu plans. The SA has received informal cost estimates for LINQ/TITAN/Colyar Menu Planning, PrimeroEdge Menu Planning & Production Records and Health-e Pro Menu Planning and Nutrient Analysis. We feel we have developed a realistic estimate of system cost for this grant. This new system could potentially integrate with our Colyar application/ claim/ compliance system or our PrimeroEdge direct certification system. The SA will complete a competitive procurement process to purchase this system.

Scope Change: South Dakota has amended their scope so that their Meal Planning system will be used for School Nutrition Programs (National School Lunch and Breakfast Seamless Summer Option) only, and not the Summer Food Service Program or the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

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Department of Human Services (DHS)

TNDHS will use nTIG funds to develop, improve and maintain automated information technology systems used to operate and manage the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). TNDHS intends to use the nTIG funds for implementation activities.

Implementation activities will streamline and automate areas within the CACFP and SFSP application and claims processes that have been identified for improvement. Enhancements to the CACFP and SFSP application and claims processing system, Tennessee Information and Payment System (TIPS) will provide benefits to both the state agency and the program participants. These areas include:

  • automating components of the CACFP claims process by allowing CACFP program participants to upload claim data directly into the state agency online claims payment system
  • improving the SFSP site list in the SFSP application to allow for more streamlined state agency approval and reduce SFSP sponsor errors
  • tracking SFSP advance payment request timelines to allow better federal compliance and simplify reporting

The significant project under the nTIG project will be implementing an SFSP Meal Counter mobile application to allow SFSP sponsors to directly manage SFSP site applications and report SFSP meal counts via mobile devices. This mobile application will increase program accountability, decrease SFSP administrative paperwork and decrease SFSP sponsor errors.

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Department of Agriculture

The Texas Department of Agriculture will pursue multiple strategies to address technology needs.

Project 1: USDA Foods Ordering (personnel costs & training development)

  • This project will transition to a new software system to enhance USDA Foods ordering management. TDA currently uses inadequate software to manage the USDA food ordering process that has resulted in inefficiencies and ineffective processes. To alleviate this problem, TDA plans to transition food ordering management processes to USDA’s WEBSCM system, a proven system that already supports ordering processes for multiple states.

Project 2: Technology Enhancements (innovate business solutions & feasibility studies)

  • USPS: This enhancement will enhance TDA’s current application software, TXUNPS, to improve compliance, reporting and overall program management. Currently, sponsoring organizations enter address information into non-restricted fields in TDA’s application system, TXUNPS. This results in inconsistent and inaccurate data that limits TDA’s ability to identify duplicate meal site locations and limits overall reporting capabilities. The enhancement would ensure all address information in TXUNPS is based on a valid, United States Postal Office address and conforms to standard address field requirements.
  • Create a Waiver: This enhancement would allow TDA to create custom waiver forms to address USDA regulatory flexibilities issued during disasters and normal business operations. The solution would ensure all required federal reporting requirements are met and allow for efficient approval of waivers needed by sponsoring organizations. Waivers are currently managed outside of an integrated software solution and have a high risk of data entry error, are difficult to edit/update, and data collected is difficult to merge for comprehensive data reporting. Because of the complexity of this project it will be broken into a feasibility and implementation phases. In year one of the grant, TDA will design system specifications. In year two and three, TDA implement the enhancement.

Project 3: Menu Planning Software Maintenance (system maintenance support)

  • This project would partially fund continued maintenance of menu planning software for one contract year currently provided to local school food authorities in Texas at no cost. TDA currently utilizes the software solution MENU, which is provided by a third-party vendor, Cybersoft technologies.

Scope Change: Texas removed Project 2 from their scope, in favor of prioritizing Projects 1 and 3.

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State Board of Education

USBE-CNP will use the nTIG funds to accomplish two goals. The first goal is to procure web-based software to help support and enhance our USDA Foods inventory management capabilities. The second goal is to utilize the nTIG funds to modify and update our current web-based software claiming system CNPweb.

USBE CNP will procure web-based software to help support and enhance USDA Foods inventory management capabilities at the state level. Specifically, the enhancements are planned to increase automation capabilities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness for functions that are currently manual data entry. Eliminating human contact and human created errors will result in increased program integrity. For example the new application will:

  • Create the capability to upload information from an outside application into the state inventory system. This will allow the state agency to capture critical inventory information in a single location. Greatly improving transparency of USDA Foods management at the state level.
  • Send automatic notifications to sponsors about transactional activity related to Planned Assistance Level (PAL) as it occurs in the system and inventory deadlines. This will improve USDA Food activity awareness, therefore, improving inventory management at the state and local level overall.
  • Provide a historical record of transactional activity related to PAL for quick reference and data integrity.

USBE-CNP will also use the nTIG funds to modify and upgrade CNPweb web-based software application. Currently, USBE-CNP anticipates/sets aside roughly $100,000 per year in system modifications and upgrades to keep up with CN Program regulatory changes and automation capabilities to improve program efficiencies, effectiveness and integrity. The nTIG funds will be used to supplant the current SAE funds that have traditionally been allocated for those modifications and upgrades, allowing USBE-CNP to re-allocate SAE funds to other program areas to increase efficiencies and program effectiveness and integrity.

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Agency of Education

The state agency is proposing to use the funds for two separate projects, both with the shared goal of using technology to create efficiencies to save staff time, reduce errors, and provide better service to program sponsors through improved data sharing capabilities.

  1. Phase II Implementation Costs – Harvest System: The state agency is in the middle of implementing a new child nutrition management system to replace the CNP Web system previously used by the state for many years. The new solution, Harvest, is the result of a competitive bid process, and will offer significant new automation and functionality over the old system, with a lower annual maintenance cost. The vendor, MTW Solutions, is working closely with the state agency to develop the product, which they intend to market to other state agencies upon completion, increasing competition and innovation in this marketplace. The system maintains and improves upon previous automation performed by the old child nutrition management system. In addition, it provides significant new automation in a number of areas, including management of late claim requests for all programs, approval of annual applications for all programs, and significant process improvements for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program applications, fund allocations, report generation, and claims processing. Throughout, the system includes automatic edit checks to prevent human error, and new work flow management tools to help the state agency complete our responsibilities. Finally, the new system is designed to be extremely intuitive for sponsor users, which will reduce the need for the state agency to return applications due to unintentional errors. The funds from the nTIG grant will allow the state agency to fund Phase II of the project, which will begin in late 2021. Among other items, Phase II includes connecting to any Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) available from USDA for data validation, ability for the system to automatically check sponsors against data from the National Disqualification List, and development of APIs to import data from SFA student information systems and point of sale systems.
  2. Pilot of EdFi Model: Vermont proposes to implement a pilot of the EdFi model to facilitate near real-time data capture from LEA partners in SY23, exponentially increasing speed of data submission and data quality feedback loops to and from LEA partners in the field. The intent is to modernize AOE’s current data collection system to improve automation of LEA data submissions with the goal of significantly improved data accuracy and speed. This will support AOE’s means to monitor and measure program performance. This work also will accelerate AOE’s ability to get resources to LEAs and families. Upon successful piloting, a full scale implementation of EdFi for all Vermont LEAs is planned for SY25. We would use nTIG funding to secure a contract with a senior back-end developer with extensive .NET experience, who would be tasked with helping the state ensure we set up a performant and maintainable data infrastructure. EdFi is mostly written in .NET, and having an experienced developer on hand will help augment current state resources so we know we will have a good product, business process, and capacity to “own and operate” the new solution at the end of the work. Contractor services would be required for 3 years, at a minimum, to move the project from study to implementation of a pilot solution in preparation for full implementation. In order to carry out the work, there will be associated contracted server or cloud storage costs throughout the course of the work.

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Virgin Islands
Department of Education

The VIDE currently processes sponsor claims and applications utilizing a manual process that has been in existence for some time. While sponsors are able to submit program documents electronically via email, we are tasked with reviewing and processing the documents manually. As technology is advancing daily, being more pronounced since Covid-19, we realize more than ever the need to move towards digitizing and improving our application and claim processes as soon as possible. VIDE is seeking to move the from manual claims to online claims for all Child Nutrition Programs.

The VIDE recently opted into the Community Eligibility Provision beginning SY 2020-2021. The state agency would acquire a data matching software/program that will allow VIDE to conduct data matches of free and reduced price students required for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Data matching software will allow VIDE to conduct data matches of free and reduced priced students in the territory, and ensure that the required deadlines for CEP election, notification and reporting are met; thus ensuring the continuation of CEP.

VIDE is considering a commercial data matching software product which will allow VIDE to conduct the annual DC process, as required by NSLP regulations. The data matching software will assist in the calculation of the ISPs for LEAs/schools in the VI, a process that was previously completed with the assistance of the FNS. Some possible linkage software products that are possible options for the VI are Data Ladder and Experian Data. The VI continues to look at other potential products that could fit the need.

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Department of Education

The Virginia Department of Education – Office of School Nutrition Programs (VDOE-SNP) administers the School Nutrition Programs (SNP), the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the At-Risk portion of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The management information system used to administer these programs is SNPweb, a Colyar Technology Solutions (CTS)/Linq solution; despite upgrades to the system as the programs have grown and undergone regulatory changes, the nTIG funds will offer the VDOE-SNP the opportunity to enhance existing capability and offer innovative improvements that will make local level administration more efficient.

Over the next three years, VDOE-SNP would like to make improvements to its Direct Certification module, its Fresh Fruit and Vegetable module, and its Administrative Review module, all of which will enhance customer experience and align the software system with the administrative needs of the state agency. Additionally, VDOE-SNP would like to introduce new technology to its sponsors to streamline local administration, such as a mobile meals route enhancement to the SFSP site application, a SFSP meal counter application, and SFSP site application calendar functionality. VDOE – SNP also sees the opportunity to augment the administrative review process through the integration of a Risk and Program Monitoring enhancement to SNPweb. This enhancement would allow state agency personnel to more closely monitor for red flags and analyze program trends in support of program integrity.

The ambitious plan will require additional expertise; the VDOE-SNP currently has a Systems Analyst and an Operations Supervisor to plan and execute these projects. VDOE-SNP would need to hire several contract staff, including a Project Manager and Business Analyst, to assist in the development and implementation of the aforementioned projects. The nTIG funds will enable VDOE-SNP to prioritize and plan technology upgrades as well as think innovatively about customer needs in a changing landscape. The funding will support VDOE-SNP’s ongoing training and technical assistance efforts and allow the agency to hire subject matter experts to execute its goals.

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Department of Health

The Virginia Department of Health would like to use nTIG funds to complete the following:

  1. Annual Certification items:
    • Updated checklist/error messages/Certification Statement/etc. to improve efficiency in the Annual Certification process
    • Budget roll over approved for independent centers, and to be prompted only on their renewal year
  2. New Application items:
    • Updates to language on Management Plans (FDCH and CC) to ensure all language aligns with VDH's CACFP
    • Update Checklist prompts for additional items, to be comprehensive of what is asked of each new organization
  3. Farm to CACFP Data collection: Addition of a question on the site and provider levels: Does this Site/Provider participate in Farm to CACFP Activities? Y/N
  4. Application Process overhaul: Work with Colyar moving through Pre-Screen Questionnaire, to longer Pre-Application, to Application, all the way to approval, and look at our CHAAMPS process. How can we make it more efficient?

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Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Child Nutrition Services (CNS) is using a web-based Food Distribution software system purchased and implemented in 2009. Maintenance and operations activities were suspended in FY19. This system no longer meets business needs. In FY21, CNS began exploring new software solutions and is currently in a planning phase for a new system. A contracted business analyst is formally analyzing our current system and business practices, desired business practices and future needs, and preparing functional requirements for a new system. This work is scheduled to conclude by September 30, 2021. We are proposing implementation activities to procure a Food Distribution Program system with nTIG grant funds. A Food Distribution Program system is vital in improving program operation efficiencies, accountability, monitoring, and overall program integrity for the management of USDA Foods by both the state agency, School Meal Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program operators.

Desired features of a new system include:

  • Sponsor Application, Profile, and Contact Information
  • Entitlement Allocation
  • Product Information and Pricing
  • re-Order Survey
  • Consolidation of Food Orders
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Sponsor Ordering
  • Warehouse Communication, Orders, and Deliveries Management
  • Invoicing and Accounts Receivables Management
  • Reports

Innovative solutions to improve efficiencies, accountability, monitoring, and program integrity include:

  • Interface with the CNS Application and Claiming system; Washington Integrated Nutrition System (WINS) for Sponsor Application, Profile, and Contact Information
  • Product Information and Pricing Direct Links
  • Inventory Tracking System
  • Warehouse Communication, Orders, and Delivery Management

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West Virginia
Department of Education

The West Virginia Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition will be utilizing the nTIG funds to make enhancements to our Web-based Application, Claiming and Evaluation software. WV utilizes the Application, Claiming and Evaluation software in the administration of the School Nutrition Programs, Child and Adult Care Food Programs and the Summer Food Service Program. nTIG funding will afford WV the opportunity to purchase enhancements, that will be procured to existing software vendor (Colyar Technology Solutions) to allow for more effective program monitoring and operational integrity.

WV is seeking to enhance our current Application, Claiming and Evaluation Software with the following modules:

  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) – Meal Counter software will reduce paperwork, reduce the administrative burden of adding new SFSP sites, allow meal count forms to be stored in PDF format, allow for the management of SFSP sites daily meal counts from the web.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and SFSP – Serious Deficiency enhancement will allow state agency to enter and track all CACFP and SFSP Serious Deficiencies in one module.
  • National Disqualified List – will allow for the automatic checking of identified contacts against the USDA provided NDL lists.
  • Combined SNP At-Risk Application –would allow sponsors to manage their At-Risk site application in their SNP without having to complete a separate CACFP application.
  • Pre-Screen Prospects – will engage interested potential sponsoring organizations to learn more about becoming a sponsor.
  • Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) Tool – will ensure LEAs participating in the NSLP have sufficient funds for students not eligible for free or reduced price meals.
  • FFATA Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act – will free up staff resources by pulling required reimbursement data for all programs.
  • All FNS Reports export features (FNS-10, FNS-418, FNS-44)
  • Impersonate User for UAT – Will speed up User Acceptance Tests time by not having to create and setup security for new test users.

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Department of Public Instruction

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) has a list of Child Nutrition program projects identified for the nTIG funds. Each project includes planning, development, testing, user acceptance testing (UAT) and then placement into the production environment. These projects will improve program accountability, data accuracy and assist with error-prone functions across the CN Programs.

Project: Food & Nutrition System (FNS) Oracle migration to SQL

  • Migration of Child Nutrition (FNS, FDP, SNACS) state applications and reports to connect and run on SQL server.

Project: National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program: Enhancements to the School Nutrition Team (SNT) SNACS (school nutrition accountability software) system.

  • SNACS Review Module: General updates to Administrative Review forms for 2021-22, update the Site Selection options on Site Selection form, update the Resource Management Comprehensive Review form, Fiscal Action Workbook, Resource Risk Indicator Report and add FNS-640, Infant and P-K checklist. Add functionality for reviewer to sort and rename documents uploaded by SFA, reformat Administrative Review Report for accessibility and disable the function that allows a reviewer to permanently close a review.
  • SNACS Eligibility Certification Module: Update SNACS online F/R meal application and translate into Spanish and Hmong, correct the issue that currently does not allow for the generation of the Independent Review of Applications report, add functionality to accept PDF uploads of manually entered Free/Reduced Meal applications in order to provide SFAs an efficient way to store a copy of the paper application and connect VCR submissions in SNACS to FNS portal.
  • General SNACS Enhancements: Update SNACS to allow for additional fields to be added to letter templates, add functionality for notifications to be sent in email format to SFAs and DPI reviewers (applications received, correspondence, etc.) and create functionality to provide SFAs the ability to upload documents outside of the review module.

Project: Child and Adult Care Food Program

  • FNS Contract/Application: (Family Day Care Home) Improve the contract/application navigation to allow users to click on previous pages. Create a PDF of the contract/application. This will allow for previous year contract electronic record retention. (Centers) Improve functionality to allow sites to be deleted prior to being approved. Allow list of sites to be sorted.
  • FNS Reimbursement Claims: Improve the At-Risk and Emergency Shelter claim system to allow calculated claim screens to be pushed into the payment process and allow for more than one claim to be processed per processing period.
  • FNS Family Day Care Home Provider application improvements to include provider date of birth, upload of regulation documentation and improve/provide search feature.
  • Develop electronic household size income statement using USDA template.

Project: Summer Food Service Program

  • FNS Reimbursement Claims: Create process to recover USDA Foods handling charges from reimbursement claims. Improve SFSP claim to include feature to deduct overclaim from a future claim and remove final claim edit issues.
  • Develop electronic household size income statement using USDA template.

Project: USDA Foods

  • Create an automatic process: The WDPI is currently migrating its USDA Foods inventory management system to a cloud environment and making updates to the system in the process. Due to technical issues with the migration and implementation of updates a manual process is being used to shift data between the USDA Foods system now in the cloud and DPI’s internal FNS online services system for collecting fees. A separate project is needed to bridge these two systems to eliminate manual transfer of files between the systems.

Project: Special Milk Program

  • Improve the Special Milk Program FNS claim system to submit site based claims with enrollment and milk data. Improve claim system to allow calculated claim screens to be pushed into the payment process and have option for agencies to submit claim adjustments.

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Department of Education

The Wyoming Department of Educations (WDE) Child Nutrition Programs will use the nTIG funding to pay for the annual support, licensing, hosting, and maintenance costs of our previously procured online Child Nutrition Programs system. WDE’s online software system has been implemented for use by the WDE and Program participants for of all of the USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) and includes the Food Distribution Program management software. This specialized software has been highly customized to meet the needs of Wyoming Child Nutrition, including payment software that interfaces with the Wyoming State Auditor’s Office. This program software allows for Wyoming Child Nutrition to follow all state and federal program compliance requirements.

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Page updated: March 26, 2024