Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers


1. What is the National School Lunch Program?  The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residental child care institutions.  It helps provide nutritionally balances, low-cost lunches or free lunches to children each school day.


2.  Why follow the nutrition requirements for NSLP?  All NSLP lunches must meet the Federal requirements.  Schools that meet the USDA requirements recieve cash subsudues(reimbursement rates for student meals) and USDA Foods from U.S. department of agriculture.  Schools on the NSLP also offer free and reduced applications.  This all helps to keep costs down for parents while serving healthy meals.


3.  Why does my child need 1/2 cup veggie or fruit to be charged a reimbursable meal?  Students in grades JK-12th are offer versus serve.  This means that the student can refuse some of the components of the meal, but have to have at least a 1/2 cup of veggie or fruit to be charged a meal.  This is a USDA requirement.

. If a student in grades JK-12 does not have a 1/2 cup of fruit or veggie on their tray they will be asked to go back and pick something off of the fruit or veggie bar to make the meal complete.

. Our fruit and veggie bars offer a variety of choices every day.  Your students can have several choices from the fruit and veggies bars at no additional charge.


4.  If we are on a free application why do I receive low balance emails?  Maybe your student is picking up ala carte items.  A free or reduced application covers the cost of the reimbursable meal.  It does not cover the cost of the extra entree's, extra milks, or any other ala carte items. Ala carte is the household's responsibility.


5.  If we qualify for free or reduced, when does the application take effect?  The day that we receive the application is the day that it takes effect.  Any charges made to your account before we receive the application is the household's responsibility.


6.  How long is the free or reduced application good for?  If you qualify for free or reduced meals you are covered for the current year and 30 days into the next school year.  A new application will need to be submitted at the beginning of every school year.


7.  Can a guest have lunch with a student?  Yes, you are encouraged to eat a meal with your student.  Guests of all ages pay $3.65 for a meal and please bring check or cash.  We cannot charge your students account for the guest meal.  The government does not reimburse us for a guest meal.  This is why you are charged more than a student to cover the cost of the meal.  Please make sure to let the office know by 9am that you will be eating with your student so that they can let the kitchen staff know.


8.  Why do you sell chocolate rice krispie bars, muffins, potato chips, does this fit the guidelines?  Manufactures have made many improvements in the products that schools purchase to help us meet the USDA guidelines.  Our products are whole grain, baked lay's chips, 100% juice, low sodium and low fat, individually wrapped in serving sizes.  Schools were the first to omit trans-fat!


9.  What happens to my positive lunch account balance at the end of the year?  It will stay in your account for the following year.  If your last student in your family graduates or you leave the district we will refund your money at your request.  If you only have a couple of dollars some students choose to buy a snack or beverage to zero it out.


10.  How can I track what my student is spending or if or when a payment was posted?  The parent and student have access to the lunch account.  On the Tea home page in the upper right hand corner you can click on the Infinite Campus portal and log in Campus to see your students lunch account and make online payments.  You can also set up for recurring payments.


11.  My student has a diet restriction can they still have a school meal?  Yes, we accommodate students with diet restrictions.  We need to have the parent take the special diet form to their doctor and have them fill it out and sign it.  A new form needs to be filled out each school year.


Please contact me if you have any questions.


Delores Stratmeyer

Food Service Director

605-498-2700 option 7