School Year Menu and Meal Kit Information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through June 30th 2020. This allows schools to offer meals to all children at no charge to minimize the challenges of meal service during a pandemic. Schools are not required to provide meals to students learning remotely, and every district is able to determine what works best for their student population.  Belchertown Public Schools has chosen to continue to offer free meals to all children 18 and younger for up to 5 days per week.  This includes students learning physically in school, students learning remotely, homeschooled students, and all other children 18 and under.  Children do not have to be enrolled in Belchertown Public Schools to receive meals.  

Students learning physically in school as part of the hybrid learning model will have access to breakfast and lunch on school days.  Students learning remotely or those not in district may order Meal Kits for weekly pick up.  Click the link below to find out more and to order.  

A la carte items in school will still cost $1, and milk alone will cost $0.50 (fifty cents).  Adults pay $1.07 for breakfast and $4.00 for lunch.  

We make menu substitutions to the best of our ability for any student with a medically documented food allergy, and all meals made at school are peanut free.  

September Menu

October Menu

Click here to order Meal Kits


FAQs

Q: What is a meal kit?

A: A meal kit includes all the food components listed on the menu so you can create meals at home when learning remotely.  Options are Small, which includes 3 days of breakfast, lunch, and milk, or Large, which includes 5 days of breakfast, lunch, and milk according to the school calendar. Meal components come frozen or refrigerated with reheating instructions.  

 

Q: Why are weekly meal kits handed out on Wednesdays instead of Mondays?

A: Food safety is a top priority.  To distribute meal kits on Mondays, all meals would need to be ready to go the Friday prior.  Then the meals would sit (refrigerated of course) Saturday and Sunday.  Come Monday, you would be receiving food that has already been sitting in the refrigerator for 3 days.  When you eat your Friday meal for that week, that food would have been sitting around for 7 days.  We want to make sure all children consuming our meal kits receive food that is safe and of good quality.  

 

Q: Why do I have to order every week?

A: Weekly ordering prevents wasted food. We saw many meals wasted during the closure when families would complete a one time sign up, then not show up to pick up meals.  We want our food in kids bellies, not landfills. 

 

Q: My familiy does not drink 1% milk.  Can we get a different kind?

A: Due to our contracted vendor, All Star Dairy, we have only have access to 1% milk in larger sizes.  The order form you fill out each week will give you the option to decline milk if this is not what you like at home.  

 

Q: My household does not participate in free or reduced meals at school.  Will I be taking away from others who need it more if I participate?

A: No, you will not.  Free meals have been extended to ALL children 18 and younger, and not just those who qualify for supplemental programs.  The food service program, the district, and the entire community benefit from the reimbursement received when children participate in school meal programs.  The more, the merrier!

 

Q: Since meals are free, should I still fill out a Free and Reduced meal application?

A: YES, being approved for free or reduced meals at school can also qualify your household for discounted internet and utilities.  

 

Q: Can meal kits be picked up at any other time than Wednesdays from 11am-1pm?

A: No. On Wednesdays, all students are learning remotely and class schedules include a break for meal pick up.  Elementary aged children who are at home with adults can come pick up meals at this time.  Older students who are home independently can come pick up meals themselves by walking, bicycle, or their own vehicle.  If these options do not work, parents may have a friend or neighbor pick up meal kits by providing the student name. 

 

Q: My child does not like all of the meals on the menu this week.  Can I make a substitution?

A: Meal kits offer customization by offering small and large sizes.  We offer substitutions to the best of our ability for medically documented food allergies.  We cannot customize individual meals in kits due to the amount of time it takes to produce them. 

 

Q: What are the nutritional requirements for the school lunch?

A: Meals served as part of the National School Lunch Program must follow high nutritional and food safety standards. In 2010 the Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed, which based the new school meal standards on independent, expert recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. This act was passed to ensure that children are offered healthy food while they are at school. the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act aims to help reduce America's childhood obesity epidemic and reduce health risks for children by helping schools produce balanced meals, so children have access to healthy foods during the school day. All meals served:

  • Ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
  • Increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
  • Offer only fat-free or low-fat milk;
  • Limit calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size;
  • Increase the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

USDA has made a commitment to improve the nutritional quality of all school meals. The Department works with state and local school food authorities through the Nutrition Education and Training Program and Team Nutrition initiative to teach and motivate children to make healthy food choices, and to provide school food service staff with training and technical support.

USDA resources:

 


Kelly Slattery, RD, LDN
Food Service Director
Belchertown Public Schools
59 State Street
Belchertown, MA 01007
(413) 323-0442
kslattery@belchertownps.org

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