What is the goal of the School Nutrition Program?
The goal of the program is to provide high quality, nutritious meals to our students at a price that is affordable to all.
Who makes the menus for Central Union School District?
Menus are planned by the Coordinator of Food Services and based on the following menu criteria:
- Quality-Taste, Appearance, and Overall Acceptability
- Food Cost Benchmarks-The average cost per meal must meet established benchmarks.
- USDA Commodity Allocations-Foods donated by the USDA are incorporated into the menus on a daily basis. These food items are high quality foods that meet or exceed food quality standards.
- Nutrition Value-All school menus must meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Lunch menus should meet 1/3 of the student’s nutritional needs. Breakfast should meet ¼ of the RDA’s and caloric needs.
- Federal Reimbursable Meal Requirements-Central Union School District follows the National School Breakfast and Lunch Patterns for the Enhanced Food Based Meals.
Why is breakfast so important?
Eating breakfast at school is one of the smartest ways your child can begin the day. Often students simply don't have enough time in the morning to eat breakfast at home and go to class without eating anything at all. A hungry child just cannot concentrate on learning. Research proves breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It breaks the fasting of our bodies while we sleep and gives us fuel for starting a new day. In most studies, children who eat breakfast improved their grades. Teachers observed increased attentiveness, motivation, self- discipline and concentration in students who participate in the School Breakfast program. Studies have found that children who ate breakfast make fewer mistakes and better grades.
Also, skipping meals can start poor eating habits which may lead to a risk of obesity.
Why is lunch served at school?
Every student needs lunch during the school day. Many students would receive no meal or a nutritionally poor meal if they had to bring their own lunch. Research has shown that hungry children cannot learn. A child with an empty stomach is lethargic, irritable and is not able to participate fully in learning experiences. Good nutrition is critical to student achievement.
How are the lunch menus determined at each school?
The menus are planned by the Coordinator of Food Services. School meals must meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Regulations also establish a standard for school lunches to provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories.
How big are the servings for meals?
- Meat/Meat Alternate: Minimum 2 ounce serving
- Grains/Breads: Minimum 2 ounce serving
- Vegetables/Fruits: Vegetables and fruits are served in ½ cup servings; minimum 1 cup offered daily
- Milk: 8 ounce serving
What is Offer vs. Serve?
Offer vs. Serve (OVS) allows students to decline a certain number of food items in the meal. The goal of OVS is to allow students the option of declining foods they do not intend to eat to minimize plate waste and encourage schools to offer more food choices.
What is in a breakfast?
The components for a reimbursable breakfast are 2 meats or 2 breads (or one of each), 1 milk, 1 fruit/vegetable.
What is in a lunch?
The components for a reimbursable lunch are 1 meat, 1 bread, 1 milk, 2 fruit/vegetable.
What is a meal component?
Meat, Bread, Milk, Fruit, and Vegetable
What is a reimbursable meal?
A meal that contains 3-4 components for breakfast is 2 meats or 2 breads (or one of each), 1 milk, 1 fruit/vegetable and a meal that contains 3-5 components for lunch is1 meat, 1 bread, 1 milk, 2 fruit/vegetable
How should we handle cash payments?
When paying with cash, put cash in a sealed envelope with your child’s first and last name on it. Also, please write the teacher’s name and grade on the outside of the envelope. Include the student’s 5 digit ID number if known.
How should we handle check payments?
When paying by check, write your child’s (first and last) name and teacher’s name on the check. If you know your child’s 5 digit student ID number, put it on the check, too. If you have more than one child at the same school you may include payment for both children in one check with both 5 digit student ID number and name of each child.
Can I pay for my child’s meal on the internet?
Go to EZSchoolPay.com, Simply register and you’re ready to go. You will need your students identification number that can be obtain by contacting your school cafeteria clerk, or the Food Service Coordinator at 559-925-2611, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. EZSchoolPay is available anywhere, anytime you have a computer with internet access.
What if my child forgets money?
Central Union School District will continue to serve your child up to two days even if your child has no money on their account or cash. You will then receive a bill for the outstanding balance.
How do I get a free and reduced application?
Your student(s) will receive an application at the beginning of the school year but you may submit an application at any time during the year. You can also pick up an application at your student’s school or the district office located at 15783 18th Ave., Lemoore.
Do I need to fill out an application every year?
Yes, you need to fill out one application every year per family. This is a federal requirement.
Where do I send my completed application?
Please have your student give the completed application to their teacher or cafeteria worker at the school.
Why does it take so long for my Free and Reduced Application to be approved?
At the beginning of the year, applications may take up to 10 days to be processed because of the high volume of applications received. If your child received free or reduced meals at the end of the previous school year, he/she will remain in that status temporarily for 30 days in the new school year. A new application is required and will be reviewed to determine if your household qualifies for free and reduced meals.
What is HACCP?
HACCP stands for Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point.
”Section 111 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265) amended section 9 (h) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by requiring school food authorities (SFA’s) to implement a food safety program for the preparation and service of school meals served to children in the school year beginning July 1, 2005. The program must be based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles and conform to guidance issued by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). All SFAs must have a fully implemented food safety program that complies with HACCP principles or with this optional guidance no later than the end of the 2005-2006 School Year.” Central Union School District Nutrition Services has implemented the HACCP program at all schools. Food safety is monitored at all steps of food preparation.
What is Trans fat?
Trans fat, also called trans fatty acids (TFA), is formed when hydrogen is added to a vegetable oil to make a more solid fat like shortening or margarine. This process is called hydrogenation, and it is used to increase the shelf life and maintain the flavor and texture of foods. Trans fats behave like saturated fats by raising the “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) that may increase your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), a leading cause of death in the United States. Central Union School District's menu planning team work very hard to eliminate trans fats from the products we choose to the menus we serve.