Sponsors receive their program payments based on the number of meals served multiplied by the appropriate combined administrative and operating rates for reimbursement. Sponsors assume complete responsibility for all of the information they submit on their claims. Claims for reimbursement must reflect only meals that meet SFSP requirements, and are actually served to eligible children during the claiming period.
Sponsors must maintain records of all operating and administrative costs, as well as any program income received. These records must be available for review by the State agency.
After the reimbursement claim form is completed, as a sponsor you must then log on to the Web site and submit your claim electronically within the month following the month covered by the claim. Claims will not be paid if they are submitted more than 30 days after the last day of the month covered by the claim. Revised claims that reflect an increased reimbursement amount must be submitted within 60 days. Sponsors that operate fewer than ten days in the final month of operation must submit a combined claim for the final month and the immediate preceding month within 30 days of the last day of operation.
You may only claim for reimbursement those meals that meet SFSP requirements. Reimbursement may not be claimed for:
- meals not served as a complete unit;
- meal patterns or types not approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
- meals served at sites not approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
- meals consumed off-site;
- more than one meal served to a child at a time;
- second meals in excess of 2 percent of the number of first meals served by type during the claiming period;
- meals served outside of approved time frames or approved dates of operation;
- meals served to ineligible children in camps (those not meeting the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced price school meals);
- meals that are spoiled or damaged;
- meals in excess of the site's approved level of meal service (cap for vended sponsors);
- meals that were not served; and
- meals served to anyone other than children.
Administering the Program: Record Keeping
Sponsors must keep full and accurate records so they can substantiate the allowable administrative and operating costs and the number of program meals that they have submitted on each claim for reimbursement. To justify claims for reimbursement, sponsors must maintain the following records:
- records of meal counts taken daily at each site;
- records of claimed operating costs, including food, and other costs;
- records of claimed administrative costs, including labor and supplies; and
- records of funds accruing to the program
All sponsors will use daily site records in order to document the number of program meals they have served to children. The sponsor must provide all necessary record sheets to the sites. Site supervisors are then responsible for keeping the records each day. The site personnel must complete the records based on actual counts taken at each site for each meal service on each day of operation. Site personnel must be sure that they record all required counts. These counts should include:
- the number of meals delivered or prepared, by type (breakfast, snack, lunch, supper). Vended programs must support this information with a signed delivery receipt. Programs with a central kitchen should also support this information with a signed delivery receipt for good program management. A designated member of the site staff must verify the adequacy and number of meals delivered by checking the meals when they are delivered to the site.
- the number of complete first meals served to children, by type;
- the number of complete second meals served to children, by type;
- the number of excess meals or meals leftover;
- the number of non reimbursable meals;
- the number of meals served to program adults, if any; and
- the number of meals served to non-program adults, if any.
Sponsors should collect these site records at least every week. They may have their monitors pick up site reports on designated days, or the site supervisors may be asked to mail the records to the sponsor's office. When they collect the site records, sponsors should check for the site supervisor's signature. Any sponsor serving vended meals must be sure that the figure entered as the number of meals delivered on the site record is the same as that entered on the vendor's report. If there is any discrepancy between the numbers, the sponsor should immediately contact the vendor and site supervisor and resolve the problem. The sponsor should make a permanent note of the discrepancy as well as the action that was taken to resolve it.
Operating costs are allowable costs incurred by the sponsor for preparing and serving meals to eligible children and program adults. These costs include, but are not limited to, cost of food used, labor, nonfood supplies, and space for the food service. Rural sites may include costs that are directly incurred in transporting children from rural homes to rural food service sites. All costs must be documented and they must represent actual costs.
Food Costs for On-Site Preparation
The data that are necessary for computing the cost of food used are more extensive when sponsors prepare their own meals on-site or at a central kitchen. Records to support the cost of food used should include, at a minimum:
- receiving reports which record the amount of food received from the supplier;
- purchasing invoices;
- records of any returns, discounts, or other credits not reflected on purchase invoices;
- inventory records that show the kinds of food items on hand at the beginning and end of the inventory period, the quantity of each item, documented major inventory adjustments, and the total value of the beginning and ending inventory; and
- canceled checks or other forms of receipt for payment.
Cost of food used means beginning inventory plus purchases, plus other costs of food, minus credits to costs of food, minus inventory adjustments, minus ending inventory. Sponsors must record the dollar value of food that is unused (ending inventory) at the close of program operations. Sponsors must subtract this ending inventory from all food costs incurred as a result of program operations.
Food costs cover the cost of purchases and the cost of processing, transporting, storing, and handling food that is donated (including USDA commodities) or purchased by the sponsor. Sponsors cannot charge the program for major reductions of food in stock which are the result of fire, theft, spoilage, contamination, or any event other than normal usage.
Labor costs include compensation by sponsors for labor that is required to prepare and serve meals, to supervise children during the meal service, and to clean up after the meal service. These costs may include wages, salaries, employee benefits, and the share of taxes paid by the sponsor. Sponsors must keep accurate time and attendance records for all labor costs that are submitted on the claim for reimbursement.
Other Operating Costs
Other operating costs may include, but are not limited to:
- costs of nonfood supplies;
- rental costs for buildings, food service equipment, and vehicles;
- utility costs; and
- mileage allowances.
If sponsors feel that they may have "other" costs that are not listed, they may contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for a determination as to whether or not those costs are eligible for reimbursement. Sponsors must keep all records and documentation to support any costs that they claim for reimbursement.
Administrative costs are costs incurred by the sponsor for activities related to planning, organizing, and administering the program. Generally, these activities include:
- preparing and submitting an application for participation, including a management plan containing budgets of operating and administrative costs, and staffing and monitoring plans;
- establishing the eligibility of non-camp sites by collecting school or census tract data for open sites or family size and income forms for enrolled sites to determine if 50 percent or more of the children are eligible;
- for camps, determining the number of children eligible based on a review of family size and income forms;
- attending training provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
- hiring and training site and administrative personnel;
- visiting sites, reviewing and monitoring operations at sites, and documenting these visits and reviews;
- preparing and submitting a plan for and synopsis of the invitation to bid when the sponsor wants to contract with a food service management company;
- preparing and submitting claims for reimbursement; and
- performing other activities that are necessary for planning, organizing, and managing the program.
Generally, costs incurred for these activities are:
- labor costs for administrative activities;
- rental costs for offices, office equipment, and vehicles;
- vehicle allowance and parking expenses;
- office supplies;
- insurance and indemnification;
- audits; and
You must be certain that you have records that document the amount and purpose of all administrative costs you claim. For example, you must keep time and attendance records to document labor costs. If monitors or supervisors want reimbursement for travel, they will need comprehensive mileage documentation in order to claim this expense as an administrative cost.
You must keep records that document:
- the date(s) of training for site and administrative personnel;
- the attendance at each training session by having all attendees sign an attendance form; and
- the topics covered at each training session.
Sponsors that have requested advance payments for operating costs must send certification that they have completed training for site and administrative personnel to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Without this certification, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will not release the second advance payment for operating costs to the sponsor. This requirement, however, does not apply to school sponsors.