Q: What is the National School
A: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed USDA
to update the National School Lunch Programs meal pattern and nutrition
standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new
meal pattern went into effect at the beginning of school year 2012-13,
and increases the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
in the school menu. New dietary specifications set specific calorie
limits to ensure age-appropriate meals for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
Other meal enhancements include gradual reductions in the sodium content
of the meals. While school lunches must meet Federal meal requirements,
decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared
are made by local school food authorities.
For more information regarding the National
School Lunch Program please visit the USDA's website at
Q: What is considered a lunch
A: Students must choose
at least three of the five following food items, one must be a fruit or
Often, mixed dishes or combination foods are
offered that may include two or more food items. For example, a serving of
pizza would count for one meat serving and one bread serving. In this
case, only one additional item (fruit or vegetable) would be needed to make a meal. A minimum
of three items are considered a complete lunch meal. Students who have
less than three items will be charged the a la carte prices.
Q: Does my child have
to take milk?
A: We offer 1% low-fat plain and flavored milk,
fat-free plain milk, and lactose-free milk. We encourage students
to take milk with their meal because of its nutritional benefits.
However, it is not required as a part of the meal. Our schools
participate in Offer vs. Serve, so students can choose not to take milk
with their meal as long as they have selected at least three other
components of the meal.
Our schools sell 4 oz fruit juice as a fruit choice, so students
may select fruit juice as one of their fruit options. For
example, a meat, bread, vegetable, and fruit juice would qualify as a
complete lunch meal. Additionally, cups are available at no extra charge
for students who would like to have tap water.
Q: What alternatives do I have to
accommodate my childís need for a milk substitution due to lactose
A: The school division has made available lactose-free milk
in half-pint cartons as part of the lunch and breakfast program at no
additional charge. No documentation is needed for a child to make this
selection as a beverage. Also, see the previous question
ďDoes my child
have to take milk?Ē
Q: What if my child has a
serious allergy to milk? What steps do I take to obtain a meal
modification for my child?
A: If your child has a disability (such as a milk
allergy that causes anaphylaxis) a diet order from a physician is
required. These orders from a physician, for disabling conditions, must
answer a series of questions in order to be implemented by the school.
The diet order must:
ē Identify the disability,
ē Explain why the disability restricts the childís diet,
ē Address the major life activity affected by the disability,
ē List the food or foods to be omitted from the childís diet and the food
or choice of foods that must be substituted.
When a child has a disabling allergy to milk, diet orders typically will
include all potential sources of milk in the studentís diet, not just
fluid milk (i.e., cheese and milk by-products such as casein/whey).
Contact the food services department at 365-4566 to get a diet order form
or to determine if you need one.
Q: Why canít my child have
more than one snack item?
A: In an effort to
promote good eating habits, the purchase of additional a la carte items
has been limited. Students may only purchase one snack item at lunch. They
may also purchase one beverage in addition to milk. Parents should contact
the food service manager at their childís school if they would like to
place specific restrictions on their childís account.
Q: What is a pre-paid meal?
A: Parents can specify
how their children spend money. One option is to pre-pay for meals only
limiting the child to one school lunch and/or breakfast each day with no
extras. For example, a check for $27.50 may be used cover two weeks of
lunches ($2.75 x 10 days).
Q: Will other students know
that my child is receiving free or reduced price meals?
A: No, this information
is confidential. Each studentís status is entered into our computer
system. All students have an identification number that they use to
purchase their food. When students pay at the register, they enter
their number and the computer adjusts the account automatically.
Q: Why are my younger
children receiving free or reduced-price meals and my high school children
A: Only the elementary
and middle schools in Hanover County participate in the National School
Lunch Program. Assistance for high school students is limited.
If you feel you have a financial need, please contact your childís high
school for an application.
Q: Why do I pay more for my meal as
an adult but the portion sizes arenít any larger?
A: Adult customers pay a higher price for their meals
($2.10 for breakfast and $3.55 for lunch) to cover the true cost of the
meal. The food service department does not receive any type of state or
federal reimbursement for meals sold to adults.