Food and Nutrition Services
Fueling students for academic success
The Food and Nutrition Services Department supports academic achievement by providing students with nutritious meals and exceptional customer service.
Any student who is approved for free or reduced-price school meals will receive breakfast and lunch at no charge. A new application must be submitted each year, unless you already received a letter from District 196 indicating that all of your child(ren) have been approved for the current school year.
It is the vision of the Food and Nutrition Services Department to provide the opportunity for all students to meet their daily nutritional needs for meals consumed at school. We provide healthy food choices that support the district’s wellness policy.
UPDATE: Seven-day meal kit pick-up only available at middle and high schools; elementary students will take home kits
Beginning February 22, seven-day meal kits will only be available on Wednesdays at District 196 middle and high schools, and can be picked up from 10-11 a.m.
Students learning in person will still have access to free breakfast and lunch, as well as take-home meals to support them on distance learning days and weekends.
Students who are enrolled in the 196 Digital Academy full-time distance learning model will still have the option of picking up a free seven-day meal kit at any of our secondary schools. Beginning Wednesday, April 21, meal kits for our 196 Digital Academy learners will be available to pick up on Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at any secondary school. If your family would like to pick up seven-day meal kits, please provide updated information by completing this seven-day meal kit survey by Friday, April 16. Completing this brief survey assists our Nutrition Services Department in preparing an adequate number of kits.
Has COVID-19 affected your ability to afford food? Second Harvest SNAP Outreach Specialists are available over the phone for application assistance and sharing of food resources. Use their online screening tool to be screened for eligibility and send a referral. Or, call 651-209-7963 to leave contact information. Multilingual interpreter services available.
There is no charge for free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch. A second full breakfast or lunch for a student is the same price as an adult breakfast and lunch. Only individual meal pricing is listed for an adult breakfast and lunch (weekly, monthly and yearly pricing is not available). Milk is included with all meals, but for additional cartons of milk or if purchased separately, it is an Ala Carte charge of 40 cents each for all eligibility levels.
For questions about your student’s meal account or balance information, please contact the food and nutrition services manager at your student’s school.
How school meals are planned
Breakfast and lunch menus are planned in accordance with USDA guidelines. A registered dietitian, along with a menu committee, plans each meal with regard to nutrition, food quality and availability. Menus are planned to reflect preferences of the school community and to encourage students to eat nutritious meals. Menus, recipes and products are constantly updated to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by:
- Providing one-third of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for specific food groups, as well as one-third of calorie needs for each age or grade group for lunch, and
- Providing one-fourth of the RDA for specific food groups, as well as one-fourth of calorie needs for each age or grade group for breakfast.
Grade groups are used to determine the proper nutrition for students. The three grade groups are K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The major differences between the three are the number of calories, number of bread/grain servings and the amount of protein for each group.
Food allergies and special diets
Parents or guardians of a child with a severe food allergy or special diet needs should contact the school nurse. Parents may be asked to have their child’s licensed physician complete a Special Diet Statement and submit it to the school nurse.
The school nurse will share the Special Diet Statement with the school Food and Nutrition Services manager and the district supervisor. The school manager and the parent will meet to complete the Special Nutrition Needs form and agree on a communication plan.
For more information about food allergies and special diets, visit the Allergies page.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at email@example.com. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and wish to file either an EEO or program complaint may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.