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Understanding USDA’S Special Milk Program for Schools. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Team 2014 - 2015. The Special Milk Program or SMP….

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understanding usda s special milk program for schools

Understanding USDA’S Special Milk Programfor Schools

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

School Nutrition Team

2014 - 2015

the special milk program or smp
The Special Milk Program or SMP….

Started in 1955 with the purpose of providing milk to children in schools, child care institutions, and summer camps that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition programs. The program reimburses sponsors for the milk they serve.

eligibility requirements for schools
Eligibility Requirements for Schools
  • Must be a recognized school
  • Must operate as a non profit program with tax exempt status – 501(c)(3)
  • Participating students cannot have access to school breakfast or lunch programs
in other words
In other words….
  • Schools who participate in the school meals programs may claim half-day students under the SMP only if those students do not have access to other school meals
  • Schools who do not participate in other school meals programs may claim all milk consumed by children under the SMP
other requirements
Other requirements

Participating schools must:

  • comply with Civil Rights laws
  • have an adequate Point of Service (POS) counting system
  • develop and adopt a school Wellness Policy
  • secure milk supplies through open and free competition
civil rights
Civil Rights
  • May not restrict enrollment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability
  • “And Justice For All” Posters
point of service pos
Point of Service (POS)
  • Milks must be counted and documented at the time the child receives it
  • Must provide protection from overt identification
  • May include more than one milk per child
  • May not include adult milks or milks used for cooking, class projects etc.
wellness policy
Wellness Policy
  • Required under USDA’s Reauthorization of the child nutrition programs 2004
  • Developed by a wellness committee
  • Needs to address the total school environment
  • Intended to be a working document with annual progress reports and public notification requirements
smp options
SMP options
  • Pricing plan
  • Pricing plan with free milk option
  • Non-pricing Plan
pricing plan
Pricing Plan
  • Milk is sold to all children with the reimbursement utilized to keep the cost to students low
  • ½ pint price should reflect difference between federal reimbursements and cost to operate the program
for example
For example
  • The reimbursement rate for the 2014-2015 school year is $0.23 per half pint. If the dairy cost for your school is .28 cents per ½ pint and administrative/supply costs to operate the SMP are .05 cents per half pint, the cost to children for milk should be approximately .10 cents per ½ pint of milk

Dairy Cost .28 (per ½ pint)

Admin/supply + .05

Program cost .33

Less reimbursement - .23

Student cost for milk .10

pricing plan with the free milk option
Pricing Plan with the Free Milk Option
  • Schools may opt to provide milk at no charge to students who qualify for free milk benefits
  • Schools are reimbursed at the normal reimbursement rate for children who pay and at the net dairy cost for children who qualify for free milk benefits
free milk option requirements
Free Milk Option Requirements
  • Public release statement
  • Applications for free milk
  • Protection from overt identification


public release
Public Release
  • Submitted each year
    • Community publication
    • Are not required to pay to have it published
  • Grassroots distribution
    • Community sites
    • Libraries, food pantries, WIC offices
applications for free milk
Applications for Free Milk
  • Must be completed by parent and determined by school official
  • Based on income, FoodShare or W-2 cash benefits case number
    • Applications based on income require the last 4 digits of an adult SS# or check the box for no SS#
  • All Materials may be downloaded at:


protection from overt identification
Protection from overt identification
  • Must provide a payment option that does not overtly identify students who are receiving free milk
  • Must provide daily accountability of milk consumption utilizing a method that does not overtly identify students receiving free milk
non pricing plan
Non-Pricing Plan
  • Children are not charged for milk (The cost may be covered through tuition or boarding fees)
  • Reimbursement is based on current year’s federal reimbursement rate
special milk contract
Special Milk Contract
  • Updated each year on the DPI website:


  • SMP Contract Manual: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/files/fns/pdf/smp_con_man_14.pdf
  • Includes accountability procedures and pricing option as well as dates of operation
  • Schools that also participate in NSLP must indicate on their school lunch contract which schools participate in SMP
recordkeeping requirements
Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Daily participation records
  • Financial accountability
  • Monthly Claims
  • Purchasing
  • Civil Rights – Disabilities
  • Temperature Logs
  • Sanitation

Must retain all required documents for 5 years plus the current school year

daily participation records
Daily Participation Records
  • Teacher checklist/student roster
    • Prototype available online at: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/files/fns/doc/smp_prtrc.doc
    • Must provide accurate and acceptable Point of Service (POS) count
  • May not be based on dairy invoices, paid milk receipts, or attendance lists
financial accountability
Financial Accountability
  • All funds must be used to support SMP
  • Fund balance cannot exceed 3 months operating costs
  • Funds must be shown as separate line or ledger item in bookkeeping system
  • Excess funds may not be transferred to general fund
monthly claims
Monthly Claims
  • Submitted online at:


  • Must be submitted within 60 calendar days of claim month
  • Must be submitted from accurate and acceptable POS system
purchasing requirements
Purchasing requirements
  • Must practice free and open competition
    • “Three Bids and a Buy”
  • Price quotes and bids must be documented
  • Contracts exceeding $150,000 require formal bid
  • More Information: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/fns_procurement
civil rights children with disabilities
Civil Rights: Children with Disabilities
  • If a child has a documented disability as determined by a licensed physician schools must provide a substitute beverage as prescribed by the physician without additional cost to the student
  • If a child has a milk intolerance schools may provide lactose free milk or a milk substitute. If the school chooses to provide a milk substitute the school must submit the nutritional information to the DPI School Nutrition Team office before serving the substitute to ensure that it is nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk
  • Physician’s Form and more info on Special Dietary Needs: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/fns_market1
temperature logs
Temperature Logs
  • Must keep a daily temperature log for any refrigerator or cooler that is used for the Special Milk Program
  • Must keep on file for 6 months
  • Record dates when cooler/refrigerator was cleaned on same log
  • Prototype Log: http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/files/fns/doc/mlkclr_ru.doc
  • SMP only schools must provide milk storage facilities to ensure that milk is kept in a sanitary and temperature-safe environment
  • Schools who also participate in NSLP are required to have at least 2 sanitation inspections each year. The results of the inspections must be posted in a public area.
other things schools need to know about the smp
Other things schools need to know about the SMP…
  • Schools are subject to an on site review of the SMP every 3 years
  • All SMP materials including the online application, are available on the DPI website:


  • “And Justice for All” posters are available by contacting the DPI School Nutrition Team
if you have more questions
If you have more questions….

You can contact:

  • Gina Kulka



  • Allison Pfaff, RDN, CD




The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

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