Below you will find some Frequently Asked Questions about My Food Program. If you don’t find your answer here, please reach out to us!
Will My Food Program run on Apple devices? Yes it will. My Food Program runs on just about any device with a web browser.
I am a center director of a single site organization and I have two logins, why is that? This is a special case where you are acting both as the Sponsor Administrator and Site Manager/Director. Our software is designed to process claims only at the Sponsor Administrator level, and certain features are only available to Site Manager/Directors. Thus, you may get both. If you would like to appoint someone else in your organization as either function, please look at our help center here or contact us for assistance.
In case of a network disruption or other failure, are there backup forms available? Yes, we have provided forms for you to use in an emergency. Download our backup form, available here as a PDF or as a Word Document.
When can a Sponsor see that I have entered a site closure or field trip? Our system makes this information available to a sponsor immediately after you enter the data and press “Save” in order to minimize confusion.
My state agency requires that I get approval before using a software. Can you help me document how your system works so I can receive approval? Absolutely. We can talk directly with the state agency staff if that is helpful and we can provide you with information about the specific forms and reports in My Food Program that will replace those created by your state agency. Here is an example of a packet that we put together for our Texas sponsors. Contact us and we would be happy to create a custom packet for you.
When can I switch to the New Meal Pattern?
The New Meal Pattern is available right now on My Food Program, so you can switch today!
Do I have to disallow meals?
Sponsors have the ability to select whether to disallow meals for noncompliance with the new meal pattern OR allow those meals to be paid while providing training and technical assistance. We won’t force meals to be disallowed until October 1, 2018 when the transition period ends.
How will I know if a food qualifies as whole grain-rich?
Our registered dietitian has screened the foods in our database for compliance with the whole grain-rich criteria. We’ve entered specific brands of crackers and cereals so you can be confident that you are meeting the whole grain-rich food requirement.
How will I know if a food meets the new sugar limits?
Our registered dietitian has screened the yogurts and cereals in our database for compliance with the sugar limits. We’ve entered specific brands and flavors to help you serve products that are in compliance. If you don’t see the yogurt or cereal you serve in our database, send us a picture of the Nutrition Facts Panel and ingredient list and we will enter it within 24 hours.
Why am I getting an error that “Meal does not meet 2017 meal pattern (grains) when I am allowing noncompliance with the new meal pattern?
Don’t worry, those meals are still making it to your claim. We are flagging them for you so that you are aware that those meals will no longer be payable after October 1, 2018. They will appear in your Disallowed Meals Report too. Use them as an opportunity to make menu changes!
I’m a center director and my staff are getting many errors entering meal counts.
A few things may be happening. You may have your meal time windows set too narrow, and your staff is trying to enter a meal count outside of the allowed time. If it is possible, and permitted in your state, widen these as much as possible. Federal CACFP guidelines require that meals not overlap. Our system allows you to start a meal 1 minute after the last one expired. Your state may have different regulations, please check with your sponsor for specific details in your locality.
Another possibility is that your staff is trying to enter meal counts at the end of a day when point of service recording is required by your site type. According to the CACFP rules, these are disallowed meals so our system will not allow them. Your staff needs additional training on when meal counts are to be taken.
My Food Program offers many ways and many functional levels where meal counts can be taken. Our “Staff” level credentials have only 3 buttons and was designed specifically for this function. Perhaps one staff member (or the site director) needs to be charged with visually verifying and entering the meal counts while the other is actually serving the food.
I want to use the “paper meal count” option. What are the limits for how much data I can put in one screen?
There is a limit of 2,000 individual pieces of data that our web-based system can handle using the paper meal count option. To find out how many pieces of data you are asking the system to crunch, multiply the number of participants on the roster by how many days you are open in a week by how many meals and snacks you serve plus one (for attendance).
For example, if you have a roster of 30 children, are open 5 days a week and serve Breakfast, Lunch and PM Snack (plus attendance), then you are asking the system to process 600 pieces of data (30 x 5 x 4 = 600). If you overload the paper meal input screen, you will get a generic crash page. Here are a few strategies to reduce the load on the system:
- Divide up the participants into more rosters
(remember that a participant can be on more than one roster!)
- Remove any meals or snacks that you don’t serve.
The menu system doesn’t have foods I know are reimbursable under CACFP guidelines.
It may be a syntax difference between how you are putting it in and how our system stores them in our library. As an example: If you were looking for strawberries, and typed “strawberry” in our system you will not get any results. Our system only needs a partial spelling of the word to find the food. Type “straw” and enter to initiate a search instead.
If in doubt a full list of foods can be found under the Menu function, Favorite Foods List. If you still don’t find a food that you are looking for, contact us we will have our registered dietitian review it.
I am entering a saved site menu (such as lunch) and I am getting an error.
You might be naming it the same thing as another menu. As an example, if you try to name more than one meal “lunch” our system can’t see that as a different menu without an additional descriptor. Try “Hamburger Lunch” or “Tuesday Lunch” to get around this.
What if I have a list of participants in an Excel spreadsheet, how can I upload them?
You can use the upload feature instead of creating each child individually. Download the template here and follow the full instructions here.
What is “Start Date” on a participant page?
This is the first day that a child could be claimed in the system. In practice, the first day that a child shows up at a home or center. They still have to pass all the other checks first before they show up on a claim.
What is “Enrollment Form Start Date” and Enrollment form “Expiration Date”?
Dates in this range are when you, the sponsor, will allow this child to go to a claim, provided they aren’t disallowed for any other reason. It’s a “Go/No-go” decision from the sponsor, and it goes to the exact days that you type in.
What is the Household Income Statement “First effective month” and “Last effective month”?
This is how a household is classified regarding their income (for centers: A-Free, B-Reduced, C-Paid. For homes: Tier I or Tier II). This classification is done in whole-month blocks, i.e. a household is one or the other for the whole month, we don’t switch between them at any time other than the beginning/end of a month. This has less to do with whether they are claimed (that’s the job of the enrollment form and start date/withdrawn date) and more to do with what the classification of the household is.
Does participant status have any impact on the claim?
No. Participants in active, pending or incomplete status appear on the list for attendance and meal counts. Participants in inactive status will not appear on the list for attendance and meal counts.
What if the child is entered for a meal count before their “Start Date”?
These meals are disallowed automatically, regardless of any other form or status. The same goes for meal counts past their withdrawal date.
What if a child is entered for a meal count after their “Start Date” but no enrollment form exists or it’s expired?
These meals are disallowed for a missing or expired enrollment form.
What if a child is entered for a meal count after their “Start Date”, has a valid enrollment form, but there is a missing or expired income form?
Those meals will be claimed, but at a C-Paid reimbursement level.
What if a child has an expired enrollment form but their household has a valid income form?
Those meals will be disallowed for a missing enrollment form.
How do I complete the Child Care Food Program Enrollment and Benefit Form?
You can download our instructions here to help guide you through the form.
Do I have to wait until the end of the month to send my claims to my sponsor?
No, you can send claims to your sponsor anytime you wish. In fact, this allows your sponsor to make certain that all of your claims are correct before the rush after the end of the month. Our system will allow you to send claims an unlimited number of times, so feel free to do this.
Is it required to use the mobile app to enable full functionality of My Food Program?
No. My Food Program can be run entirely from any web browser. The Mobile App was designed to make taking attendance and meal counts quick and easy for busy people.
Does MFP have an app for site reviewers?
Yes! Our electronic visit system has a new, easy, user-friendly system right within our software. This is included in your My Food Program subscription and can be accessed right from the Visits button on your dashboard. Click here to learn more.
How does My Food Program help protect the integrity of the CACFP?
Click here for a summary of how My Food Program helps uphold the Federal Regulations governing the CACFP (7 CFR 226).
Does My Food Program perform the cross-checks that allow me to forgo the 5-day reconciliation on review visits?
Yes! USDA Memo CACFP 2018-10 outlined the requirements for automated systems that would allow a reviewer to forgo the 5-day reconciliation. We have created a document that explains how My Food Program meets the software requirements so that sites using My Food Program can streamline their reviews. Download it here.
How does My Food Program help protect the integrity of the SFSP?
Click here for a summary of how My Food Program helps uphold the Federal Regulations governing the SFSP (7 CFR 225).
How does My Food Program keep my data safe?
Knowing that natural disasters and cyber attacks can happen, and have damaged other cloud-based software, our security infrastructure was planned carefully to reduce that chance. At My Food Program, we know that your CACFP data is serious business. Do you worry about what happens to your data if there is a natural disaster? What about a cyber-attack? If you’re a My Food Program customer, you can rest easy knowing that we keep your data safe and secure.
When you have a critical document, do you ever make a copy and put it somewhere safe just in case? We do just that with your CACFP data. We take a full copy of all data at least once a day and store it. The “live” data and the copy of the data are stored in separate facilities – kind of like having a bank safe deposit box. If one of our facilities experiences a natural disaster, we can quickly restore your data from the backup copy.
Malware Malicious programs, commonly known as malware, is a constant problem these days. We use several techniques to combat this problem:
- Be on constant alert for vulnerabilities in our software
- Detect suspicious changes to files
- Search for malware that is designed to hide
- Patch systems to keep them secure
We use Amazon Web Service (AWS) to house our data and we have a built-in load balancer. When you login to My Food Program you are directed to one of two identical copies of the website behind the scenes. This allows us to accomplish two things:
- A better customer experience because we have two websites to handle the traffic instead of one. This creates a quicker response time and is done automatically without any user intervention or interruption.
- Redundancy in case the website goes down. With two physical sites, if one goes down the surviving one takes the rest of the traffic. This ensures that you’ll always have access to My Food Program.