Understanding the Lunch Line: A Parent’s Guide
At the beginning of each school day, teachers will ask the students if they are ordering school lunch and what entree they would like to order. Teachers will total the number of entrees and then send to the Child Nutrition Services team to produce at the central kitchen.
Every child enrolled in the district is automatically assigned a lunch pin number which connects them to each student’s account in WCSD food service software program.
Children having school lunch line up and approach the Child Nutrition Service staff at the counter. Depending on the school, they may select their food items first, then approach a Point of Sale pin pad or students go to the Point of Sale pin pad first then select food items. Children will enter their unique pin code into a keypad. Cafeteria staff can look up the pin for any child who does not know or forgot their pin number.
Children receiving free lunch go through the lunch line the same way as children who have prepaid, therefore none of the children or staff are aware of who is receiving free meals and who is full pay.
Offer versus Serve Lunch Service
The lunch menu guidelines, referred to as Offer versus Serve, are set per federal and state regulations and are based on MyPlate, the USDA food guide. There are five food items offered on the lunch menu everyday: a protein, bread or grain, fruit, vegetables, and milk.
The intention of Offer vs. Serve is to ensure students are offered a full balanced meal while also allowing students to decline some items - which minimizes waste. While the most nutritious lunch contains all of the five items, the guidelines allow for flexibility in that some students do not like some of the items being served. Students would not eat the food even if they received it. To ensure students receive a balance meal while also managing waste, they have the option to decline at least two of the five items. However, one of the three items selected must be a fruit or vegetable.
If your child comes home hungry and says they didn’t get enough to eat, ask if they are taking all the fruit and salad bar items offered daily.
Seasonal salad bars are offered daily at all schools.
How much does lunch cost and how do we pay?
Families in need of assistance are encouraged to apply online for free meals via an annual meal application. The application is confidential. View payment information here.
What happens if I forget to prepay or send money, will my child go without lunch? No child will be denied a lunch, however, a charge of $4.00 for K-5 or $4.50 for 6-8th grade will be put onto your child’s account. Families are expected to pay outstanding balances.
Clean Up & Sustainability
Share Table or Basket
Each school cafeteria has a share table or basket where students can place unopened food, whole unbitten fruit, and drinks that they choose to not eat or drink. This provides an opportunity for other students to take additional helpings of food or beverages from the Share Table at no cost to them, while also sharing items that would have otherwise been thrown away. This is common practice at schools across the nation.
The WCSD has an award winning Waste Buster program whose goal is to reduce landfill waste. Children sort any left over waste by recycle, compost, or landfill. Any liquids are poured into a bucket. Signs are posted to assist the students in how to sort, as well as student helpers.