Student Meals at School
For more information or if you have questions, please call the District Food Service office at 471-5676.
~ Policy ~
The District participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, as well as, the Child Care Food Program providing meal service to all children in attendance regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.
- Field trip meals are available. Once a child is eligible for meal benefits, they cannot be required to “pay” for a meal regardless of the location from which the meal is served.
- Federal regulations dictate that students must come to the cafeteria (unless deemed physically incapable) and allowed to make their own meal selections and staff must not choose meal selections for children without parent/student input.
- Federal Regulations require that meal substitutions are made for children with life threatening medical disabilities and/or foods that interfere with major body functions documented by a written prescription from a licensed physician. Work with the School Health Nurse and/or Cafeteria Manager if you have this need. The documentation to support the meal modification must be updated annually.
- Substitutions are not made for non-life threatening medical disabilities and/or foods that interfere with major body functions: such as foods children dislike, cultural, religious or ethical beliefs. Our menus contain ample food selections so the child can avoid “problem” items and still select a healthy lunch.
- Adult breakfast and lunch can be purchased for $1.75 and $4.00 respectively. Parents are welcome to dine with students but should follow established school check-in procedures before coming to the cafeteria.
~ Meal Pattern ~
The department has implemented a USDA Food Based Meal Pattern which is a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The main concepts are:
- Planned student meals will meet Pre-K, K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade groupings that feature age-appropriate calorie limits.
- At breakfast and lunch, students must take at least one serving of fruit and/or vegetable to have a reimbursable meal. We offer a wide variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes.
- We offer 1% unflavored milk or fat-free flavored milk.
- Meals will contain whole grain rich items and limit sodium content of items served.
- When Offer vs. Serve (OVS) is implemented, students may decline 1 breakfast item or 2 lunch components and still have a reimbursable meal as long as one choice is a fruit or vegetable.
~ How the Food Service Program Works ~
The Food and Nutrition Department operates on a self-sustaining non-profit basis. Federal and state reimbursements and government commodities help to offset the cost of meals for students.
- All students have an established Cafeteria account that allows your child to enter his or her personal identification number (PIN) to access his/her account. Your child's PIN number will stay the same while the student is enrolled in the Highlands County school system.
~ Community Eligibility ~
Starting this year, the School Board of Highlands County will be participating in the Community Eligibility Provision to provide breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge. À la carte items will continue to be offered at most locations.
~ Breakfast & Lunch ~
- Breakfast includes 2 fruit/juice items, 2 grain and/or meat items, and a choice of milk flavors. Breakfast is planned to meet ¼ of the child’s daily nutritional requirements. Kindergarten Learning Center participates in Breakfast in the Classroom where breakfast is offered to each student daily. If you do not want your Kindergarten student served a daily breakfast, please contact the Cafeteria Manager at the Kindergarten Learning Center, for an Opt Out of School Meal form.
- Lunch includes a choice of meat/meat alternative, grain items, fruits, vegetables and a choice of milk flavors. Lunch is planned to meet ⅓ of the child’s daily nutritional requirements.
- A la carte items are available and prices are set to encourage students to select a reimbursable meal as the best nutritional value.
- Cafeteria staff does not monitor student a la carte selections unless the parent has established guidelines for their child with the school’s Cafeteria Manager.
~ Payment Options ~
- Payment for à la carte items is due at the time the items are served. Parents may make advanced payments
- Cash or check payments should be submitted in an envelope (available from the Cafeteria Manager) with the child’s name, student ID number, and homeroom teachers name on the outside. If you are writing a check, please make it payable to your child’s school and include the student’s full name and ID number in the Memo portion of the check.
- Older students may also pay for meals by giving cash and/or checks to the cashier.
- Payments are accepted by credit/debit cards by going to myschoolbucks.com where you can make prepayments, view transactions on your child’s account, and arrange to receive email reminders when the meal account balance is low.
- Low Balance Notification
- Parents can sign up for low-balance email alerts by registering an email address at myschoolbucks.com.
- Leftover Account Balances
- Any remaining account balance as of June 30th is carried to the next school year. If a student has withdrawn or graduated and has a positive balance a request for a refund may be made within 30 days. If no request is received within 30 days, the account will be closed and the funds will no longer be available. If you have deposited money into your student’s account and you have a positive balance, you may speak to the Cafeteria Manager and complete a Refund form. Amounts under $20 can be refunded at the site. However, refunds in excess of $20 must be processed through the district office and a check is mailed.