Child Nutrition Highlights for 2021-22
Child Nutrition Highlights for 2021-22
Posted on 08/17/2021
stay informed about child nutrition

FREE School Meals for ALL Kids!

We are participating in the National School Lunch Program, and we are happy to announce that breakfast and lunch will be available at every school, free of charge for all enrolled students for the upcoming school year. With free meals, we are anticipating larger meal counts, and our staff will work hard to ensure a smooth meal service. We understand that there are challenges that are unique to each school, so if you would like to brainstorm with us, we are happy to hear your thoughts and walk through your space with you to see if we can find collaborative ways to best serve our students. Each child will be able to receive one breakfast and one lunch per school day. Unfortunately, there will be no opportunities to make additional purchases.

Applying for Free/Reduced Meal Benefits Encouraged!

apply onlineAlthough we will be offering meals free of charge to every enrolled child, there are many benefits to qualifying for Free/Reduced Priced meals such as:

  • Reduced or waived fees for school activities
  • Pandemic EBT Benefits
  • Special Grant funding for schools based on F/R percentages
  • Help qualify schools for Summer Meal Programs

Families can apply online or they can complete a paper application. Application packets will be sent to each school, If you need more just ask us! We encourage handing applications out to all families; however, families cannot be required to complete one. We also have applications in other languages, just let us know what your needs are! Once approved, children will be eligible for benefits for the entire school year.

Did you know that school principals and counselors can submit an application on behalf of a student?

If there are students that you believe would qualify for the program, but their parent or guardian has not applied, an Administrative Application can be submitted on their behalf. Let us know if you have concerns about a student, and we can help you through the process.

Student Debt

debtBreakfast and lunch are FREE to all students this year, but any charges that were made prior to the pandemic still must be paid before students graduate or withdraw. We often receive donations and apply these funds to unpaid balances starting with seniors and families who now qualify for Free or Reduced meals. Families can pay online through the district website. Donations can also be made to the school of your choice—look up the lunch donation login code for your school and spread it around! Our goal is to get all student debt paid off this year while families don’t have to worry about accumulating more debt!

Keeping Data Safe

dataWe are committed to keeping Free and Reduced data confidential, as required by law. We recognize that there may be times when this may cause frustration, but please keep in mind that we have an obligation to each family that submits an application to keep their information safe and confidential. Parental consent must be obtained for us to share a child’s eligibility with anyone outside of the Child Nutrition office. We do have a system in place for principals and counselors to obtain a list of children in their school where parents have already given their consent to share their confidential data for programs such as Backpack 4 Kids, reduced school fees and other services. If you have questions, please let us know. We want to do everything we can to help families in need get all of the services they need!

Food Allergies and Special Diets

allergiesSince all meals are free this year, we anticipate an increase in feeding children that follow a special diet for severe food allergies or other medical conditions.  We can provide healthy meals for students with special dietary needs! In order to provide an alternate meal, including omitting parts of the meal, we will need documentation from the child’s physician or other recognized medical authority. There is a form online for families to compete. Please have families call us, and we can talk about what accommodations we can provide and we will help them get the correct documentation in place. We are unable to make any accommodations for dietary preferences. Please note: it could take up to two weeks to process a request for a diet modification.

A La Carte Charges

registerUnfortunately, the Child Nutrition Program will be unable to support a la carte charges at the beginning of the year, including adult meals. Stay tuned for information about how we hope to provide meal options for staff in the near future! In the meantime, we encourage adults and students who need more than one breakfast and lunch to support ASB Student Stores or bring snacks from home.

School Food Events

platesWe love to feed kids and we love to see schools come together to provide after school events that help nourish children and their families. The Child Nutrition Program is licensed to provide breakfast and lunch during the school day, so if you are planning an event where you will offer food, please make sure the person in charge of your event has communicated their plan with our local health district. If you need help or have questions, please call us!

We’re here to help!

contact usIf you have any questions or concerns during the year, please contact us:

Child Nutrition Coordinator
Stacie Beltran, 360-662-1092 

Production Manager
Michelle Waller, 360-662-1095 

Child Nutrition Director 
Melissa Hill, RD, 360-662-1096