Setting up smart tuiton app – powerschool tuiton plugins for your advanced school management

Powerschool SIS is a leading student information system software solution for educational institutions. Power your school operations  with innovatives, easy to use technology that plays a central role in k-12  education.

It is a web-based student information system with parents and teacher portals, designed to meet the needs of all school districts, no matter their size . whether you are with a private school, elementary  or secondary school district, we work with schools and districts of all sizes and understand each client has unique needs and preferences.

Many schools have begun using wordare powerschools tuition plugin, a web-based student information system.,which allows teachers to record student data on a regular basis. It includes a portal for parents, which is designed to open the lines of communication between parents and educators by allowing them to log in and check on their children’s academic performance.

Powerschool’s unified solutions power the education ecosystem like never before. From the back office to the classroom to the home, powerschool unifies your technology, putting everyone on the same team to unlock students’ potential.

When parents log into PowerSchools, they have access to a wealth of information about their child’s school life, including grades the student recievedon tests and assignments for every class. In addition,  parents can get information about the courses their children are taking, attendence records, and any disciplinary action that has been taken against the student. Parents can also use powerschool to make sure their children are on track to graduat, as the system includes a graduaion plan that details how many credits their children need to earn in order to finish their diploma. Wordware Inc helped many of schools in your locality to enhance their technical capabilities.

What are the different advantages of powerschools? Well, powerschool provides a myriad of benefits. powerschool tuiton plugin effectively communicate with parents and manages day to day activities so teachers and school staff can spent more time focusing on educating their students. Wordware Inc always put efforts to serve advance features and to keep you updated with innovations and latest features. 

Wordware powerschool tuiton plugins creates custom payments plans on the dates you want. It provides real-time contracts submission and payment processing.

Powerschool enrollment offers school districts the option of setting up smart tuiton to assist families with paying fees during the registration process.In addition, the program makes it easier for teachers to stage intervention, giving them the opprtunity to help prevent students from dropping out of school.

Powerschool is also a useful tool for school administrators because it allows them to track each teachers’s classroom performance. It integrates beautifully with the existing software sytems creating a collaborative enviroment for students, parents, and teachers to work together.

 Powerschools are precisely built for yopur needs. SchoolLogic effectively manages your data, whether you have 25 or 150,000 students.

Using technologies such as SIF Interoperability and web-based API’s, Schoollogic connects to various vendors for auto dialers, online payments, transportation and outcome based gradebooks. Reduce dual entry and share common data, maximising your efficiency.

Configuring the powerschool SIS integration (Wordware powerschool plugin tuiton );

Wordware powerschool Tuiton works with industry leaders to integrate our school  lunch point of sale software with e-payment gateways trusted for their security, reliability and convenience.

You will need to complete the following steps:

1.       Log into poweschool SIS  as an admin.

2.       Click on setup : system, followed by System settings, and plugin management configuration

3.       Click install

4.       Choose the appropriate plugin from the attachments below-pluginv1.1.zip(bottom of article) and click install

5.       Click the “enable” box and then Yes

6.       Click Haiku Learning in the list of Installed Plug-Ins

7.       Click the OAuth/Data Congiguration link –might say data provider cofiguration depending on your version

8.       Send us the Client ID and Client Secret from the configuration page

To setup the PowerSchool SIS integration for your domain, our Integrations Team will need the following  details:

1.       Client ID

2.       Client Secret

3.       Admin URL

As a fail safe for this integration type, once a user is set to use Google Apps SSO authentication type can only be adjusted manually. If a user is not automatically set to this authentication type via the imports, the user can be set manually from within your domain, and following imports will not change their authentication type.

The parent portal is designed with the end user in mind. Parets once registered have access to all applications such as our food service portal which gives parents the ability to customise settings, set spemding limits(if enabled), restrict a la Carte and set-up auto-refill, and pay for lunch. Parents can also view their transaction history. All of this can be done in a single application.

Finally, our goal in creating these products was to highlight our suite all in one esaay tp access module, which can be customized to fit your needs.

If your school only has lunch nad ecommerce, only luch and ecommerce will show in their app bar. If your school decides at a later date to enable Athletics, that module can be added at any time. The same with Tuiton, Child Care, Community Education and Economics.

In conclusion, single sign on is the future. SIS integration such as owr PowerSchool plugin takes the burden off parents to remember multiple passwords, for many different sites. Schools as well will experience  less phone calls of parents who forgot passwords for any given sites. Parents logging in directly to their SIS such as PowerSchool only need to remember the PowerSchool login credentials.

Happy Parents=Happy Customers

Call us: Phone: 800.955.2649 or email:

 Email Sales: sales@wordwareinc.com or visit our website: www.wordwareinc.com

Advanced Wordware powerschool tuiton plugins for your school management

Wordware inc is a cafeteria management software firm that works for you. It brings your school best in class solutions including fee payment, Food service, tuition, activity registration, school age day care and more.

With more than 25 years of experience in cafeteria software, schools, hospitals and business across the country, we are trusted for our technology solutions because they provide what all you need and even more.

Wordware has a powerful lunch solution that works for both parents and schools.

Wordware software brings you a state-of-the-art tuition management system that is fully integrated with power schools with all supporting features!

Powerschool is the number one leading education technology platform for K-12 schools. Powerschool integrates seamlessly with Wordware Inc. our ability to connect to powerschool’s API, and development of powerschool plugin, gives parents the ability to single sign on into their parent portal in powerschool with a user-friendly experience and a one-stop shop.

Powerschool SIS is a leading student information system software solution for educational institutions.

It serves 32 million students, 66 million parents, and 100 million users in over 70 countries around the world.

Administrators, staff and parents have access to the information they need. Our easy to use product suite of products goes from application to application as easy as clicking a button!

Our lunch cafeteria solution will also make your life easier, free and reduced processing has never been so accurate or so simple to use.

You must have some questions regarding this software. So, we are here to answer them!

What is a powerschool used for? Powerschool is a Milford public school’s student information system. It is an easy to use, web-based student information system. It’s an award winning magnificent system that allows both educators and administrators to effectively and conveniently manage student records.

How does powerschool help parents, students and teachers? Well, our software has many benefits for parents, teachers and students. Parents can be able to understand where their kids stand as it provides access to parents and guardians to enable them to communicate with teachers and monitor grades, attendance and homework assignments. They can do so in real time from home or the office or ANYWHERE!!

What is required for a parent to connect to the powerschool server? The user need the following to connect:

  1. A computer with a connection to the internet
  2. Safari, internet explorer 6, Netscape 5.0, Firefox 1.5 or more recent (i.e., a browser capable of 128 bit encryption)
  3. A login username and password supplied by Wordware.

What information can be accessed on powerschool sites? From powerschool site parents and students can access the following information:

  1. Daily school bulletin used by the school
  2. Teacher comments
  3. Attendance for the past two weeks or for the whole quarter.
  4. Final grades from the previous quarter.

How to login into powerschool as a student? To login as a student you must have to follow the following steps:

  1. Type the powerschool URL into the address bar of your browser and press “Enter”.
  2. Click on “Student Access”.
  3. The username and password field will display on-screen.
  4. Enter your powerschool login credentials, then click submit.

Wordware also provides other facilities like food service, that is, wordware food service. ePayTrak is now in integration with Wordware Lunch Cashier. So, you can make one time payment in ePayTrak for your family’s Wordware lunch account.

Hoe our software manages health, fees and transport?

Our software provides marvellous features and benefits regarding the health of a student. It records multiple factors such as hearing, Vision, nurse visits, physical exams, health-related incidents, dosage dates, and makes an appropriate report of it. Applying lunch, tuition, transportation and other school related fees to accounts for students, alumni, parents or staff.

Payment plays a crucial role in overall customer experience. Powerschool plugin provides flexible billing. Investing in flexible customer-focused bill payments reduces the risk of bad debt, and   adapts quickly to changing customer experience.

Customers have seemingly endless options when it comes to their commerce decision from what they buy and how they buy it. If parents want to pay for lunch, tuition or any school fee they can do all of that in our new school checkout application. They can use ACH or debit  or credit card also.

Customisable tuition contract: Our lunch cafeteria  solution will also make your life easier,  free and reduced processing has never been so accurate or so simple to use. Our included free and reduced online application is a timely manner by not having to enter parent information.

Also, we have reports to cover all aspects of free and reduced; Accu-claim ( edit checks), free and reduced student lists, we can also create reports in our student export tool. This tool will allow you not only to generate a csv report with one of our many available labels, which allows that report to be totally custom based on your need.

Our product suite includes Wordware lunch point of sale and cafeteria accountancy management, edutrak tuition management, along with a multitude of other add on platforms. Each of these can be a stand-alone product or you can have all products with one easy access point for parents.

Most of the schools are approaching wordware for their school management software application. Wordware serves their customers with full satisfaction and complete support. Our dedicated team always ensures the latest features in the field of school related applications for your schools. You can call us on 8009552649 or  email us sales@wordwareinc.com or can contact us on our website www.wordwareinc.com.

Wordware powerschool tuition works with industry leaders to Integrate our school lunch point of sale software with e-payment gateways trusted for their security, reliability and convenience. We also integrate the most powerful POWERSCHOOL school management software application to ease your school process.

Real Time insight at home, access to assignments, and course schedule helps students to stay on track, meet deadlines, engage in learning, and do their best.

So, power your school operations with innovatives, easy to use technology that plays a central role in K-12 education

Wordware PowerSchool Tuition plugin, parents can truly experience a one-stop shop environment

Tuition Management, Food Service, School Fee’s all have a common denominator… providing tools to parents to be able to access information. Those tools need to provide parents a convenient way to pay for their service. With our PowerSchool plugin, parents can truly experience a one stop shop environment. One login to get to multiple applications.  Our easy to use product suite of products, makes going from application to application as easy as click of a button. If parents want to pay for lunch, tuition or any school fee they can do all of that in our new checkout application.

Convenient for parents and for schools. The ability to run administrative reports, and for parents to have an easy to use application are essential to a school district. Schools are going away from having to have multiple vendors, to finding one solution that will manage all their needs.

Our product suite includes Wordware Lunch Point of sale and Cafeteria accounting management, Edutrak Tuition Management, along with a multitude of other add on platforms. Each of these can be a stand-alone product or you can have all products with one easy access point for parents.

School district are stretched thin and work on a tight budget. Having a product that allows the necessary people to have direct access to reporting all in one location can be a time saver. Time is valuable. Every dollar saved can help with your overall budget and cashflow.

What does the future hold…Schools around the country struggling to meet their budgets, government funding is being cut, schools are consolidating.  Some states are requiring students be allowed to eat no matter their negative balance. There is flexibility in our solutions. fundraise for lunch accounts, our software options allow you to run a capitol campaign. Raise money for programs or help a hungry student. Flexible, affordable easy to learn software to make your job easier.

Do you have a Foreign exchange program? We can assist with our Tuition Management System. It doesn’t only cover tuition, but any other program you need to bill for on a schedule. Summer School, Foreign exchange, Band Camp and even Senior Trips. You can set up a contract and have families pay those contracts over a scheduled period of time.

Our lunch cafeteria solution will also make your life easier, free and reduced processing has never been so accurate or so simple to use. Our included Free and Reduced Online Application allows you to process applications in a timely manner by not having to enter parent information. Parents can go online and apply for benefits, making it easier for the free and reduced processor. Everything in our free and reduced module has your compliance in mind. Whenever a process happens, our program will log it. Need reporting? We have reports to cover all aspects of free and reduced; Accu-claim (edit checks), free and reduced student list’s, we can also create reports in our student export tool. This tool will allow you not only to generate a csv report with one of our many available labels, which allows that report to be totally custom based off your need.

Maybe you need to import your statues back into your student information system, our system can set up a file to run on a schedule to do just that.

If you are a PowerSchool customer, our plugin offers you the ability to assign fees to students and then give parents the ability to pay those fees in our checkout module. Again, allowing parents their one stop shop environment.

The Parent Portal is designed with the end user in mind. Parents once registered have access to all applications such as our food service portal which gives parents the ability to customize settings, set spending limits (if enabled), restrict a la Carte and set-up auto-refill, and pay for lunch.  Parents can also view their transaction history. All of this can be done in a single application.

Our new Checkout application provides you the ability to pay for items across applications. Parents can login in, go the checkout module and pay for tuition, lunch and any other preset fee. Convenience is our number one priority.

We have created a best in class suite of products that attracts our customers and future customers, with each module having a high-level offering. 

For example, our Athletics module allows schools to load custom forms, apply specific grade level sports to students, so parents can only register for those sports that are assigned. It will also assist coaches track real time eligibility, concussion protocol and much more.

The eCommerce Solution, ePayTrak allows schools the retail space to give parents a place to purchase items such as parking passes, Chromebook insurance, field trips, sell spirit wear. All of these items can be tracked to a separate account code for reporting purposes.

Community Education and Child Care round out the suite with their own tailored services.

Finally, our goal in creating these products was to highlight our suite all in one easy to access module, which can be customized to fit your needs. If your school only has lunch and ecommerce, only lunch and ecommerce will show in their app bar. If you school decides at a later date to enable Athletics, that module can be added at any time. The same with Tuition, Child Care, Community Education and Ecommerce.

Our team of support personnel will help train and guide you throughout the set-up process and beyond. We stand out in our hands-on support and work hard at making our customers comfortable with our fast response times and our knowledgeable staff. It is as easy as creating a ticket or calling our toll-free number.  Need assistance with your Wordware Cafeteria Solution? Call us and we can use Team viewer to screen share with you. Need assistance with the ePayTak, we have a designated specialist.

In conclusion, single sign on is the future. SIS integrations such as our PowerSchool plugin takes the burden off parents to remember multiple passwords, for many different sites. Schools as well will experience less phone calls of parents who forgot passwords for any given site. Parents logging in directly to their SIS such as PowerSchool only need to remember the PowerSchool login credentials.

Happy Parents=Happy Customers

Configuring the PowerSchool SIS integration (powerschool plugin tuition)

Wordword Powerschool Tuition works with industry leaders to integrate our school lunch point of sale software with e-payment gateways trusted for their security, reliability and convenience. We also integrate the most powerful POWERSCHOOL School Management software application to ease your school process.

You will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Log into PowerSchool SIS as an Admin.
  2. Click on Setup : System, followed by System Settings, and Plugin Management Configuration
  3. Click Install
  4. Choose the appropriate plugin from the attachments below–pluginv1.1.zip or pluginv1.3.zip (bottom of article) and Click Install
  5. Click the “Enable” box and then Yes
  6. Click Haiku Learning in the list of Installed Plug-Ins
  7. Click the OAuth/Data Configuration link – might say Data Provider Configuration depending on your version
  8. Send us the Client ID and Client Secret from the configuration page.
  • To set up the PowerSchool SIS integration for your domain, our Integrations Team will need the following details:
    • Client ID
    • Client Secret
    • Admin URL
  • As a fail safe for this integration type, once a user is set to use Google Apps SSO authentication in PowerSchool Learning, their authentication type can only be adjusted manually. If a user is not automatically set to this authentication type via the import, the user can be set manually from within your domain, and following imports will not change their authentication type.

PowerSchool Tuition Plugin Installation


PowerSchool Tuition Integration with wordware Cafeteria management software  LCS Mayflower .

Wordware Cafeteria management software that works for you.TM Wordware works with industry leaders to integrate our school lunch point of sale software with e-payment gateways trusted for their security, reliability and convenience. These partners can integrate seamlessly with the LCS Mayflower.
PowerSchool is the number one leading education technology platform for K-12 schools, serving more than 32 million students, 66 million parents, and 100 million users in over 70 countries around the world. Our API with PowerSchool Tuition makes it so school districts have less work due to our tightly integrated data exchange.

With our plugin, we give parents the ability to login into their PowerSchool site and have a one-stop shop experience. They can check transaction history, set line permissions and make a payment all with one username and password.

PowerSchool  is a Student Information System (SIS) that integrates with School Data Sync (SDS). Using the PowerSchool sync method, you can connect directly to your SIS using the REST-based APIs provided by PowerSchool, and synchronize data directly instead of using CSV files. To set up SDS using the PowerSchool Sync method, follow the instructions detailed in this article.

Wordware team works to bring award-winning biometric ID management to PowerSchool. With the touch of a finger, your attendance management improves by leaps and bounds. So will your day!
Your tardy students are processed directly into PowerSchool in the front office. Then proceed directly to class. You can do lot of activities with power school tuition plugin even print your late slips. Imagine the time you and your staff will save!
With real-time Meeting & Daily Attendance, students scan, teachers teach and your office staff have accurate and hassle-free attendance. A win-win for everyone!

Wordware Cafeteria management software has developed a Student Information System (SIS) integration platform that enables LCS Mayflower to integrate with any SIS that provides a web services API. The integration provides a seamless method for keeping LCS Mayflower populated with users, courses, school, and enrolment data. It also provides the ability for Schoology to transfer grade and assignment data into PowerSchool.

We can addresses the following questions for you –

  • What information is transferred from PowerSchool to LCS Mayflower?
  • What information is transferred from LCS Mayflower to PowerSchool?
  • How often is information updated between the systems?
  • What is required to implement the PowerSchool App in LCS Mayflower?
  • What are the limitations to PowerSchool integration?

Call us: Phone: 800.955.2649 or Email: Email Sales: sales@wordwareinc.com

PowerSchool plugin Tuition

WordWare brings your school best in class solutions including fee payment, food service, tuition, activity registration, school age day care and more. All of our apps are embedded inside of the PowerSchool parent portal to give your parents a seamless, intuitive and user-friendly experience.
PowerSchool is the number one leading education technology platform for K-12 schools, serving more than 32 million students, 66 million parents, and 100 million users in over 70 countries around the world.


Wordware with more than 25 years of experience in cafeteria software, schools, hospitals and businesses across the country, We are trusted for our technology solutions because they provide what all you need and even more. Why settle for adaptations that don’t really fit when you can have solutions that set the standard for dependable performance? Our Solutions are perfect and adjustable to your need.

Our API with PowerSchool makes it so school districts have less work due to our tightly integrated data exchange.

PowerSchool plugin Tuition

With our plugin, we give parents the ability to login into their PowerSchool site and have a one-stop shop experience. They can check transaction history, set line permissions and make a payment all with one username and password.

PowerSchool student information system delivers an open platform for schools to streamline data management. PowerSchool integrates seamlessly with Wordware Inc. Our ability to connect to PowerSchool’s API, and development of the PowerSchool Plugin, gives parents the ability to Single Sign on into their parent portal in PowerSchool, with a user-friendly experience and a one-stop shop.

Celebrating Food and Culinary Connections: Schools Serve up California-grown Food on “California Thursdays”

The “California Wrap”

The “California Wrap” was served at many districts across Contra Costa County, a strategy that allows them to purchase collectively on California Thursdays.

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! To celebrate this, we’re showcasing the important work of California Thursdays, a collaboration between the Center for Ecoliteracy and a network of public school districts to serve healthy, freshly prepared school meals made from California-grown food. The following guest blog also highlights the inspiring work of the Center for Ecoliteracy, a partner with USDA’s national sodium reduction in schools-initiative, What’s Shaking? Creative Ways to Boost Flavor with Less Sodium.

By Jennifer Gerard, R.D., Center for Ecoliteracy, California Food for California Kids Program Director

What’s your favorite day of the week? For many students in California — it’s Thursday.

On Thursdays, over 1.7 million students in schools that participate in the California Thursdays program know they’ll be offered a lunch freshly prepared from California ingredients. California Thursdays is a celebration of local food, the people who produce and prepare it, and the significant connections that exist between children, food, and their environment.

California Thursdays is also a powerful tool to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, stimulate local economies, and decrease the transportation required for distribution — decreasing emissions and increasing freshness.

California Thursdays is led by the Center for Ecoliteracy, a not-for-profit which provides support, inspiration, and resources for the program. Participating school districts adopt the California Thursdays program in their own brilliant and unique ways — as you’ll see in two stories below.

Encinitas Union School District’s Farm Lab

Encinitas Union School District’s Farm Lab is a ten-acre farm and interactive learning center providing educational retreats for students and locally grown produce for school cafeterias.

Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) has taken the farm to school movement literally — by building a farm on district property. The Farm Lab serves as both an outdoor education site and a production farm — providing the district’s cafeterias with locally grown lettuces, herbs, zucchini, snap peas, celery, melons, and up to 300 pounds of tomatoes per week during peak season. While much of the harvest occurs in summer when school is out, the Child Nutrition Services team doesn’t miss a beat. They roast tomatoes, shred zucchini (with their industrial cheese grater), and freeze both for a marinara sauce to serve when students return. Herbs such as oregano, basil, and rosemary are dried over the course of several weeks, utilizing repurposed wire food-transport racks lined with parchment paper. Once dried, the herbs are coarsely ground and stored in airtight containers for use in pizza and marinara sauce. Through processes like these, EUSD is able to prepare a delicious, meaningful meal that exceeds USDA nutrition requirements for school meals and inspires change in the conventional school food system.

A tomato harvest from Farm Lab

A bountiful tomato harvest from Farm Lab, soon to become marinara sauce and devoured by students.

Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) and six neighboring school districts in Contra Costa County saw their California Thursdays kick-off in April of 2015, as the perfect opportunity to combine their purchasing power. They agreed to carry similar salad bar options and many served identical entrées, including a “California Wrap” made with California lavash (which is lower in sodium than traditional tortillas), deli turkey, and cheese. For just one day, their efforts translated in purchases of over 4,000 pounds of local produce, including 1,800 pounds of asparagus bought directly from a grower cooperative. “The coolest part,” reflects Sarah Hanson of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) “was seeing how the directors worked together and exchanged recipes…and convinced each other that it was okay to serve things like asparagus!” CDFA assisted the group with organizational support and sourcing. The group plans on continuing to collectively purchase seasonal produce in the 2016–17 school year for use in their California Thursdays meals. The effort of these harmonious school districts, guided by a statewide movement, has the potential to invest $1.2 million in Contra Costa and nearby counties and shift the landscape towards a more fruitful future for farmers and students.

A salad bar at Antioch Unified School District

A salad bar at Antioch Unified School District, in Contra Costa County, showcases the abundance of California and the celebration of California Thursdays.

For now, California Thursdays is a stepping stone to exemplary school meal programs that connect classrooms, cafeterias, and farms statewide. Maybe someday, every day will be a California Thursday.

For more information on California Thursdays, recipes featuring California foods for schools and families, and garden-based curriculum materials, visit www.californiathursdays.org.

Jennifer McNeil, Encinitas Union School District’s Director of Nutrition Services

Jennifer McNeil, Encinitas Union School District’s Director of Nutrition Services, displays the delicious lettuce varieties grown by Farm Lab and served on the district’s salad bars.

Summer Meals: Fueling Children and Teens to Reach Their Highest Potential

Under Secretary Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon with children

For more than 40 years, USDA has been committed to closing the food security gap that occurs in the summer months when children no longer have access to the nutritious meals they’re offered in school.

As I travel across the country visiting our nation’s summer meals sites, I am proud of the commitment we’ve collectively made to nourish both the bodies and minds of our country’s children and teens. Schools, recreation centers, places of worship, libraries and other community sites have generously opened their doors to ensure kids receive healthy, balanced meals during the summer months – a time when many low-income families struggle to provide their children nutritious meals and snacks each and every day.

At USDA we’ve long recognized summer as a vulnerable time for kids and have been focused on closing the food security gap that occurs during the months when school is out of session.  Since 2009, more than 1.2 billion meals have been served through the Summer Meal Programs, fueling kids and teens throughout the summer and helping to ensure they are healthy and ready to learn when the school year begins.

In support of these same goals, the White House announced earlier this year the Summer Opportunity Project, a multi-agency initiative to expand opportunities for young people through the summer.  The initiative aims to increase the participation of youth in evidence-based summer opportunity programs and make sure young Americans have the support they need to get their first job.

USDA’s Summer Meal Programs play an important role in achieving this mission. By ensuring the most basic need of good nutrition is met, kids and teens in eligible communities can more easily pursue and leverage summer opportunities.  Many sites offer not only healthy meals and snacks, but also host physical and enrichment activities to keep kids engaged and coming back day after day.  By including free and low-cost activities into Summer Meal Programs, sites boost attendance and make the meal service more fun for children, their families, and volunteers.  To support these efforts, this spring USDA published Summer Food, Summer Moves to help sites and sponsors offer ideas on engaging kids, teens, and their families.

Increasing the number of meals served through the Summer Meal Programs has been a rewarding achievement during my time at FNS, as each meal served elevates the life of a child or teen in our country.   With the help of our creative and hardworking volunteers, sponsors and partners, we were able to serve more than 190 million meals last summer.  Groups like Fuel Up to Play 60, Feeding America, Catholic Charities, United Way, and First Book have all played a key part in providing access to summer meals for children living in areas with high food insecurity.  Engaging the community in summer meals is also integral to the success of the program.  These programs allow communities to take a lead role in preventing hunger and focus their efforts where there is increased need.

To locate a summer meal site near you, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

India’s school lunch program may be imperfect, but it deserves credit for feeding millions

Schoolchildren in Haryana, India eat rice and kadhi, a curry made with onions, garlic, yogurt and fritters made with chick pea flour.
Credit:Rhitu Chatterjee

One day earlier this summer, I visited a government school in a village called Dujana, in the state of Haryana.

Listen to the Story.

During the lunch break, little, skinny girls dressed in blue and white checkered kurtas (tunics) and navy blue shalwars (loose cotton pants) stepped out of their classrooms and headed straight toward a line of empty, dilapidated looking rooms at the far end of the school compound. There, in front of the rooms sat two women with a giant vat of steaming hot khichdi, a dish made of rice mixed, lentils and vegetables.

The girls lined up in front of the women with empty lunch boxes in hand. One by one, the two women doled out a ladle full of the freshly cooked khichdi to each girl. The girls returned to their classes to eat their free lunch.

This was my first time witnessing India’s mid-day meal program in action. I was touched by the sight. There’s something about the sight of emaciated children eating hot, freshly cooked food that they wouldn’t otherwise get that doesn’t allow you to be the detached, distant observer that we journalists often are.

But it wasn’t until I ventured deeper into the state of Haryana, into one of its hunger-stricken areas, that I really understood the program’s impact on children. As I describe in this story, in a village in the district of Bhiwani, most children go to school having eaten just a left over piece of bread and tea, or baasi roti aur chai, as mothers in the village would put it. Most families can’t afford vegetables or lentils or eggs.

As a journalist writing about health and development, I knew how widespread hunger and malnutrition still are in my country. But I’d never witnessed what that looks like for real people until I started reporting this series. And it was this project that helped me understand how a relatively simple idea of one freshly cooked meal a day benefits India’s millions of poor children.

Food rights activists and economists I spoke to while reporting this series, told me of places elsewhere in the country where children go to school on an empty stomach. The mid-day meal is their first meal of the day and their only regular source of vegetables and lentils, and in some states with better lunch menus, eggs.

“There are about seven-eight states that now give eggs in the school meal,” says Dipa Sinha, an economist and researcher at the Center for Equity Studies, a New Delhi based non-profit. She is also an activist for India’s Right to Food Campaign.

Sinha told me about one of her own visits to audit a government school in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to see how well the school lunch program was working. The state had recently started offering eggs in their school lunches.

“There’s a box in the school where you can put in any complaints you have regarding the meal,” she says. “We opened it and one of the letters in that box was from a girl in class four and it was a Dalit girl, who said ‘thank you very much, I got to eat an egg in my life for the first time.’”

Now, remember India has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world. According to The World Bank, rates of child malnutrition are five times higher than in China and two times higher than rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. And the undernourishment usually sets in pretty early, within the first three years of a child’s life. Whether the lunch program can alleviate the effects of early childhood malnutrition with just one free meal a day is poorly understood — although one recent study suggests it does.

But what is no longer debated today is that the mid-day meal program rescues children from dire hunger and improves their diets.

This isn’t to say that the school lunch program has no shortcomings. In fact, the program is riddled with problems, and how well the program works varies from state to state.

Every now and then one reads about incidents of food poisoning through the school meal. The worst of those cases occurred last year, in the state of Bihar, when 23 children died and more were hospitalized, after eating a lunch that was contaminated with pesticides. Another incident occurred just earlier this week in New Delhi, but thankfully the children are safe. The case is still under investigation.

What these incidents illustrate is a glaring lack of monitoring and accountability.

In the state of Tamil Nadu, which has the longest standing school lunch program, the state employs a “noon meal organizer,” for every three schools in a district. The organizer’s job is to make sure everything runs smoothly.

In other states, the job falls in the laps of already overburdened teachers who aren’t compensated for the extra work required to implement this program. As a result, there’s very little supervision and monitoring and no way to hold someone accountable when problems occur.

But as I wrap up my work on this series, I am left feeling an immense sense of awe. I’m in awe that in a country as vast and diverse as India, where everything is slowed down by red tape and corruption, the mid-day meal program has more or less succeeded in what it set out to do: improve child nutrition and increase school enrollment and attendance. After all, it is the world’s largest school lunch program and feeds 120 million of the country’s poorest children.

As economist Jean Dreze put it to me, “India gets too little credit for what it’s accomplished with this program.”

Rhitu Chatterjee’s Mid-Day Meal reports were produced with help from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

What is the national school lunch program?

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.

The Minnesota Department of Education’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers school and community nutrition programs for Minnesota children and adults through local schools, child and adult care facilities and summer food program sites. Participants receive nutritious meals and education to help them learn and practice healthy habits for a lifetime of wellness.

Free and Reduced-Price Meals
Schools that participate in School Nutrition Programs accept applications for free and reduced-price school meal benefits at any time. Approval is based on comparison of the household’s income to current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) household income guidelines. Schools send an Application for Educational Benefits form to the households of all enrolled students at the beginning of each school year. A letter accompanies the form and explains school meal benefits and how to apply.

Summer Food Service
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps local organizations operate programs combining nutritious meals and healthy activities for children during the summer months when school-year nutrition and activity programs are unavailable. In Minnesota, more than 100 sponsors operate more than 475 SFSP sites, serving 1.7 million meals per year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and After School Care Program. USDA provides cash reimbursement to public schools, private nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions for nutritious meals and snacks served to children in preschool through grade 12 at a minimal cost.

Families may apply for meals served free or at a reduced-price based on the income level of the household. Residential child care institutions and juvenile correctional facilities may serve meals to children and youth 20 years of age or younger. Reimbursement for snacks served to children in afterschool programs is based on the income level of the households living in the local area or the enrolled children.
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Improving child nutrition is the focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The legislation authorizes funding and sets policy for the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. HHKFA upgrades the nutritional standards for school meals, increases the federal reimbursement rate for school lunches by six cents, increases access to school meals, provides more meals for at-risk children, and works toward improving the quality of foods supplied to schools. For resources on how schools can best meet the new regulations, see the related links at right.

Farm to School is a nationwide collaborative effort to connect school districts with local farmers for the purpose of serving healthy school meals while utilizing local fresh foods. Farm to School aims to meet the diverse needs of school nutrition programs in an efficient manner, to support regional and local farmers and thereby strengthen local food systems and to provide support for health and nutrition education. View more information and resources on Farm to School.

Meet the Challenge and Become a HealthierUS School. The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) recognizes schools that have taken a leadership role in helping students learn to make healthier eating and active lifestyle choices. HUSSC is a voluntary certification program for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Select the HealthierUS School Challenge link to learn more.

Nondiscrimination statement: In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1)   Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2)   Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3)   Email: program.intake@usda.gov.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Managing Agency Minnesota

Program Description

The National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program help schools provide nutritious meals to students each school day. These are U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs that are administered by the Minnesota Department of Education. Participating schools receive Federal and state funds for meals that meet established nutrition standards.

General Program Requirements

You may qualify for this benefit program if you have child(ren) who attend a Minnesota school (high school or under) that participates in the National School Lunch Program / School Breakfast Program. Almost all public schools and many private schools participate in these programs.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals at any time throughout the school year by submitting a household application directly to your school. Your school will provide you with an application upon request.

Contact your state’s agency to participate.

Program Contact Information

For additional information, visit the School Nutrition Programs page on the Minnesota Department of Education website: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/SchSup/FNS/SNP/index.html
If you have further questions contact the Minnesota Department of Education, Food and Nutrition Service at 651-582-8526, 1-800-366-8922 (Minnesota toll free), or email to: fns@state.mn.us

Background

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally funded meal program operating in learning institutions (public and nonprofit private schools), and other designated institutions (childcare, juvenile detention centers, board and lodging institutions, single family homes, etc).

Established and signed in 1946 by President Harry Truman, the NSLP’s purpose is to provide balanced low cost or free lunches to school children, each day. Institutions participating in NSLP are required by federal law, section (9) of US Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, to have two food inspections annually. As mandated by both state (Minnesota Food Code) and federal law, the Minnesota Department of Health and its Delegated Agencies (Local Public Health Authorities) conduct food inspections annually. They report and share inspection results with the Minnesota Department of Education. The annual report (number of food safety inspections) obtained by institutions and sites participating in the NSLP is then conveyed to the United States Department of Agriculture Secretary by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).

For more information about the National School Lunch Program:

Minnesota School Food Inspections

Minnesota Department of Health – Environmental Health Services (MDH-EHS) and Delegated Agencies information about inspections for schools and sites participating in the National School Lunch Program. This information is comprised of tables and reports for schools and sites where food safety inspections were performed in school years 2010-2011.

collage representing school lunches