Legislation to revise school lunch program passes House committee

By News Desk | May 20, 2016

Controversial federal legislation to limit funding for subsidized school lunches and change some of the program’s nutritional standards passed a House committee on a 20-14 vote May 18, and the proposal is being hammered by critics who believe it would endanger the health of American school children.

kids-school-lunch-iphoneThe bill’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN), said that his “Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016” (H.R. 5003) will save money and give schools more flexibility to meet nutritional standards.

According to a statement from the House Committee on Education and the Work Force, the bill “reauthorizes and reforms federal child nutrition programs to ensure states and schools have the flexibility they need to provide children with access to healthy meals without additional or prohibitive costs.”

H.R. 5003, if passed by both houses of Congress, would allow the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct block grant pilot projects on the state level to test alternative certification and food delivery procedures under the bill and then evaluate these projects after three years.

Under Rokita’s bill, the current requirement that free meals may be offered when at least 40 percent of the students at a given school already get some types of government help would be raised to at least 60 percent.

Democratic members of the committee and others are criticizing Rokita’s bill for what they see as a plan to cut back on the availability of free and reduced-price healthy meals for needy children.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) called H.R. 5003 “more representative of child nutrition policy out of ‘The Hunger Games’” as he tried to have the legislation renamed for that popular film. However, his proposal was voted down by the GOP-led committee.

Among the groups which have issued statements opposing the legislation are the School Nutrition Association (SNA), American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and the Food Research & Action Center.

SNA President Jean Ronnei stated Wednesday that while changes are needed in the school lunch program, H.R. 5003 is not the appropriate vehicle to get those done.

“Although the House bill provides a much appreciated and necessary increase to federal reimbursements for school breakfast, portions of the bill will cause irreparable harm to federal school meal programs,” she stated.

CSPI indicated support for a bipartisan Senate legislative approach instead and asserted that H.R. 5003 would return junk food to U.S. schools.

“The bill would weaken the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, allowing schools to substitute chips, sugary fruit snacks and trail mix for the fresh fruit and vegetables they now get as snacks through the program, and make it more difficult for low-income students to receive free meals,” CSPI stated.

Supporters say the bill’s estimated $1-billion savings over 10 years would be applied to other nutritional programs for children and that changing the program’s nutritional standards would result in children being offered food they actually like and will eat instead of food the government thinks they should eat.

Source:  http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/05/126489/#.Vz7GcCEppUY




Food and Nutrition

Working with educators, parents, business people, students, policy-makers and other concerned people throughout the United States

Food and Nutrition

The Minnesota charter statute does not specifically address food service. Charter schools have the same responsibilities in this area as school districts. While nothing in state law mandates that public schools must provide meals to students, in most cases it will be necessary.

This section includes information on:

  • Funding
  • Food Service Options
  • Resources

The Food and Nutrition Service at the Minnesota Department of Education administers the School Meal Programs. The programs include: the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, After School Snack Program, Food Distribution Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Minnesota Kindergarten Milk Program.

Participation in the food programs requires a substantial amount of paperwork, in terms of record keeping and regular reporting. Many of the software packages that schools use to report information include lunch programs, which can make the process much easier. MDE provides periodic training on the implementation of the School Meal Programs. Schools are strongly encouraged to attend one of these trainings well before school begins, so that a system can be set up to ensure prompt, full reimbursement. Once operating, schools should contact MDE if they have questions about operating the programs. Schools that do not implement the program properly might not receive the full amount of reimbursement to which they are entitled.

For more information about the School Meal Programs, please visit the Food and Nutrition Service website at fns.state.mn.us or the U.S. Department of Agriculture website at fns.usda.gov. The Food and Nutrition Service also provides periodic training on the School Meal Programs.

Funding 
Charter schools that choose to participate in the School Meal Programs may receive cash subsidies (reimbursements) for each meal served. For some programs, schools receive state subsidies and USDA commodities in addition to the federal awards. In order to participate in the programs, schools must serve meals that meet federal nutritional guidelines, keep accurate records of meals served and submit monthly reimbursement claim forms during the required timeframe.

Schools will be reimbursed at some level for all reimbursable meals served, although the amount is greater for meals served to students who qualify for free and reduced meals than for those who don’t. The amount of federal subsidy depends on each student’s eligibility category. Eligibility for free or reduced meals is based on the family’s income level. Children with family incomes at or below 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free meals, and those with incomes between 130% and 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced price meals.

Most charter schools will have a number of students eligible for free or reduced price meals. To determine whether a student qualifies, his or her family must complete an “Application for Educational Benefits” form. This is the same form used by schools to determine eligibility for certain state and federally funded programs aimed at high risk, low income students (e.g., Title I). Families must complete this form each year their child is enrolled at the school. It is important to have completed forms on file, especially for those schools with a substantial low-income population. You may lose significant financial benefits if these forms are not on file.

Any child may purchase meals served by schools participating in the School Meal Programs. Schools may not charge students eligible for reduced price meals more than $0.40 for lunch. In the 2003-2004 school year, state breakfast reimbursements were increased to allow schools to serve breakfast at no charge to reduced eligible students and at a low price to paid eligible students.

In general, schools charge and are reimbursed for after school snacks on the same basis as other meals, although special rules apply for schools that operate in an area where at least 50% of the students are eligible for free meals.

Beginning in the second year of operation, the school will qualify for USDA commodity foods from the Food Distribution Program. In addition to school year food programs, there is also a Summer Food Service Program.

Reimbursement Rates
Although these rates change annually, as a point of reference, the combined federal and state reimbursement rates for the 2003-2004 school year are:

Breakfast Lunch Snack
Free $1.20 $2.27 $0.60
Reduced $1.20 $1.87 $0.30
Paid $0.77 $0.29 $0.05

Food Service Options 
When providing food service, a charter school has three basic options:

  1. Prepare meals on site. This gives the school complete control over the program, in exchange for greater responsibility. Unless the school has access to an institutional kitchen, however, equipment needs are likely to pose a significant barrier. Schools that prepare their own meals must have equipment certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, which is quite expensive. Schools that choose to prepare their own meals will have additional health and safety requirements and should also expect more frequent health inspections.
  2. Ask the local school district to provide food service for the school. A district that agrees to provide food service may have a minimum number of meals that they are willing to serve, or a minimum number in order to serve hot, rather than cold, meals. You will also likely be tied to the district’s schedule. Some smaller districts, particularly in rural areas where each school has a small kitchen, may be unable to provide food services.
  3. Contract with a private caterer for school meals. A private caterer might be more flexible in terms of types of meals, special preparations, special meals for field trips, schedules, etc. Most charter schools that provide meals choose this option.

IMPORTANT: Regardless of the food service option the school chooses, the school is ultimately responsible for making sure that federal and state requirements are met. For example, the school must comply with requirements regarding food storage, handling and safety. The school will also be responsible for submitting the paperwork for meal subsidies and for billing students who don’t qualify for free meals. All employees and volunteers working with the School Meal Programs should have an understanding of the following:

  • Sanitation and food safety
  • Required meal components and serving sizes
  • Counting meals by eligibility category at the point of service

When exploring food service options, consider speaking with staff at nearby charter schools and visiting other schools to watch their meal service.

Other Considerations 
During the first year, it is very difficult to break even on food service, given equipment needs. Even if someone else is preparing the food, schools will need serving areas, coolers for storage and, often, warming ovens. Schools should budget for these expenses. Free or inexpensive equipment may be available to schools through the federal surplus property program. To learn more about this program, contact the State of Minnesota Surplus Services at
(651) 639-4024.

When providing meals, schools must comply with federal nutritional guidelines for schools. These include, for example, portion sizes for different age groups and sample meal patterns. These guidelines are available on the Food and Nutrition Service website.

In addition to nutritional requirements, schools must also comply with the state health department’s requirements for sanitation and food handling. Regardless of whether the school actually prepares its own food, the staff is required to ensure proper food storage and handling. For example, a school must have a way to keep food at temperature-warm or cold. The state or local health department will inspect your facility yearly. In addition, any school that serves food must have one certified food manager on staff. To become certified, this person must take a course and an exam and register with the Department of Health. The Department of Health charges approximately $150 for the certification process. For more information about the requirements for food handling, safety and inspections, contact the Environmental Health Services Section of the MN Department of Health at (651) 215-0870. If you plan to prepare meals on site, you should contact the Plan Review Specialists at the MN Department of Health at (651) 215-0862.

Resources
Minnesota Department of Education Food and Nutrition Service 
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
(651) 582-8526 or (800) 366-8922

USDA Food and Nutrition Service

American School Food Service Association

MN School Food Service Association

Minnesota Department of Health Division of Environmental Health

For easy to understand Food Safety Fact sheets, see: health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/food/fs/index.htm

For information regarding food service construction requirements and licensure, see:health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/food/license/summary.htm.
(651) 215-0870

As public schools, charters are eligible to obtain surplus federal property from the state for free or a nominal charge. Food service equipment may be available. To learn more about this program, contact:

State of Minnesota Surplus Services
5420 Highway 8
New Brighton, MN 55112
(651) 639-4024

 

Totino-Grace High School install New Computerized Lunch Ticket System

For Parents and Students – Totino-Grace High School install New Computerized Lunch Ticket System / School Lunch Software / Nutrition Software

www.wordwareinc.com

Wordware, Inc. School Lunch Software is No.1 Lunch Cashier System for School Lunch Computer Program and cafeteria payment system.

We are pleased to announce the implementation of our new computerized meal ticket system. Our provider, Taher, Inc., has selected Wordware, a Minnesota-based company, specializing in school lunch point of sale software. Recently you should have received a letter from the food service department indicating your child’s lunch ID number as well as your lunch account balance as of September 8, 2015. Additionally, a second letter contained information on how you can create a family registration to activate a family account to review lunch account balances online as well as view daily lunch account purchases. If you experience any difficulty creating your family access, simply contact us at taherclerk@totinograce.org or call the school at 763-571-9116 x757 and we will be happy to assist you.

A NEW FEATURE Scheduled for October 1, 2015!

ONLINE PAYMENTS

An exciting feature of our new software will allow families to make payments online using a credit card. We will use the services of FEEZEES as our secure online payment system, which is fully integrated into Wordware. The online icon button will be located on the family site on the Wordware webpage. Once this button is activated, you can begin to make online payments. Simply follow the instructions as directed and you are on your way! There is a service fee charge and it is explained prior to using the services.

Other Forms of Payments

You can use other forms of payments for lunch accounts. We accept cash payments and checks. Please make checks out to: Taher, Inc.

Exciting Changes & Enhancements in the Lunch Program This Year
Menus: A rotating variety of freshly prepared entrees including some of the “old favorites” while including some new ones! Most of the main entrées are made from scratch and include 2 appropriate sides to complete the meal. Watch the school website for updates on the menus.
Pizza: Our very own homemade pizza will debut on September 10th. This student favorite is offered with cheese or pepperoni and occasionally a specialty topping on a rotating basis.
Open Air Cold Merchandiser Grab-n-Go: Selections of freshly prepared gourmet premade salads. We also offer fresh fruit, vegetables, hummus & pita chips, yogurt, pasta salads and a variety of bottled beverages including water, juice and milk.
Sandwich Station: We offer made-to-order cold and hot sandwiches, including the student favorite Buffalo Chicken and the ever steady Cubano and the Meat Lovers Sub.
On-Display Station:
Coming in November, a rotating chef-prepared meal featuring International cuisine and culinary flare. Watch for more details!

SELLING PRICES

Below is a general comparison of selling prices. Some prices have gone up, some remain the same, and some have even gone down from last year! It is possible for a student to spend under $5 for a well-balanced meal. An example is choosing the main entrée or sandwich plus a milk. See the complete price list on the school webpage.
This Year Last Year
Main Entrée: $4.75 $4.95
MTO Sandwich: $4.25 $4.20
Salad Bar: $4.75 $4.75
Cookie: $0.50 $0.40
Specialty Salads: $2.50 $2.25
Milk: $0.15 $0.15
Fries: $1.50 $2.15
Diner Station: $3.50 $3.85

We look forward to serving you! Your Food Service Team at Totino-Grace

Pat Hinnenkamp, Chef Manager  (763) 571-9116 x757 pat.hinnenkamp@totinograce.org

The Healthy Eating Index: How Is America Doing?

March is National Nutrition Month. Throughout the month, USDA will be highlighting results of our efforts to improve access to safe, healthy food for all Americans and supporting the health of our next generation.

About half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. These include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and poor bone health. More than two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and youth are overweight or obese.  Trends in food intake show that Americans are not consuming healthy eating patterns.

Earlier this year, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the US Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Written for use by health professionals and policy makers, the Dietary Guidelines is released every 5 years to provide nutrition guidance for Americans age 2 and older to prevent diet-related chronic disease and maintain health.

The Healthy Eating Index (HEI) measures how the nation’s food choices align with the Dietary Guidelines. The nation’s current HEI score is 59 out of 100. The HEI score in previous years was even lower. At the same time, diet-related chronic disease rates over the last 25 years have risen and remain high. Given the robust science behind the Dietary Guidelines, it is not an understatement to suggest that if we were to eat closer to the Dietary Guidelines – and saw our nation’s HEI scores get closer to 100 – we would see reductions in the prevalence of diet-related chronic disease.

HEI-2010 scores for the U.S. population, 1999-2012

HEI-2010 scores for the U.S. population, 1999-2012

With each edition of the Dietary Guidelines, the HEI is updated to align with the most recent nutrition recommendations. The current version is HEI-2010 and scores the average American diet based on intakes of total fruit, whole fruit, total vegetables, greens and beans, whole and refined grains, total protein foods, seafood and plant-based protein foods, sodium, and calories from solid fats, added sugar, and alcohol beyond a moderate level. The tool is being updated to reflect the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines released in January.

Monitoring scores in the U.S. population is one of many applications of the HEI. An HEI score can be calculated for any defined set of foods including dietary intake data, menus at restaurants, and a market basket of foods. Use of the HEI can apply to surveillance, policy, epidemiologic, clinical and behavioral research.

More than 200 scientific publications have featured the use of the HEI. The number and scope of publications continue to grow each year, with nearly 90 papers published in 2015 alone. A majority of studies published over the years have examined the association between overall diet quality and health outcomes. Examples of health outcomes studied have included cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dental health, and ocular health. Researchers are also interested in comparing HEI scores for specific subgroups of the population such as children and adolescents, older adults, and specific race-ethnic populations. Scores for children and older adults were recently made available on the CNPP website. HEI has also been used to score the U.S. Food Supply and to evaluate how USDA food distribution programs such as National School Lunch Program and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations provide foods that align with the Dietary Guidelines.

Learn more about the HEI here.

Posted by TusaRebecca E. Schap, PhD, MPH, RD, Lead Nutritionist, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, on March 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Wordware Family Website Instructions : Lunch Cashier System (LCS1000) www.wordwareinc.com

Wordware Family Website Instructions

Registering on the Family Website

Important: You must fully complete registration in one session in order to guarantee that there are no problems with activating your account. If you think you may not be able to complete registration in a given time, please wait until you know you will not be interrupted. The majority of problems with access to the family site are caused by incomplete registrations.


With a web browser, go to www.wordwareinc.com

http://family.wordwareinc.com/

Enter username and password and click on the SIGN IN button

This will bring you to the New Account Registration screen Click on I HAVE A FAMILY KEY

o Click in the FAMILY KEY box

o Enter key numbers

o Click on the FINISH CONNECTING NEW FAMILY button

OR

  • Click on I HAVE A FAMILY ID AND PIN
  • Enter your Family ID and PIN
  • This will bring you to the New Account Registration page

Please note: Family IDs, PINs and Family Keys are provided by your school district. If you do not have this information, please contact your school.

  • Click on the drop arrow next to the STATE options box and select the appropriate state
  • Click on the SCHOOL NAME box and enter the appropriate school name
  • Click in the FAMILY ID box and enter the family ID number
  • Click in the FAMILY PIN box and enter the family Pin number
  • Click on the FINISH CONNECTING NEW FAMILY button

At this point, your registration is almost complete; however your account must be activated.

To activate your account, simply open your email account inbox and select the Wordware Inc email titled Wordware District Account Activation Required, then click on the contained link. It is very important that you complete activation before leaving this page.

Logging into Wordware Family Account

  • With a web browser, go to www.wordwareinc.com
  • Enter username and password and click on the SIGN IN button
  • This will bring you to the Account Dashboard home screen

Adding Funds to the Account

  • Click on ADD FUNDS button or click on the quick link I NEED TO ADD FUNDS TO MY FAMILY’S ACCOUNT
  • Complete the transaction using your district’s epay provider

Changing User Password

  • Click on USER MANAGEMENT
  • Click on the CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD link
  • Enter your current password
  • Create and confirm your new password
  • Click on CHANGE PASSWORD button


Changing User Security Question

  • Click on USER MANAGEMENT
  • Click on CHANGE YOUR SECURITY QUESTION
  • Click on drop the arrow next the SECURITY QUESTION options box
  • Select desired security question
  • Click in the SECURITY ANSWER box and enter answer
  • Click on the SAVE SECURITY QUESTION button

Changing Contact Preferences

  • Click on USER MANAGEMENT
  • Click in the box(es) of desired contact preferences
  • Click on the SAVE CONTACT PREFERENCES button

Connecting to Other Family Accounts

*Please be aware that at this time, you are able to connect to other family accounts. To remove other family accounts, you will need to contact your school lunch administrator.

  • Click on FAMILY ACCOUNTS
  • Click on CONNECT YOUR FAMILY ACCOUNT
  • Click on I HAVE A FAMILY KEY

o Click in the FAMILY KEY box

o Enter key numbers

o Click on the FINISH CONNECTING NEW FAMILY button

OR

  • Click on I HAVE A FAMILY ID AND PIN

o Click on the drop arrow next to the STATE options box and select the appropriate state

o Click in the SCHOOL NAME box and enter the appropriate school name

o Click in the FAMILY ID box and enter the family ID number

o Click in the FAMILY PIN box and enter the family Pin number

o Click on the FINISH CONNECTING NEW FAMILY button

Add Family User

  • Click on FAMILY ACCOUNTS
  • Go to the family account where the user will be added
  • Click on the ADD A FAMILY USER link
  • Click in the box behind EMAIL and enter the users email

*The new user will receive an email invitation from WordWareInc. With instructions on completing the process of being added to the account as a user

MADISON CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT LUNCH ACCOUNT POLICY

The Madison Central School Board’s policy regarding meal accounts effective for the2011-2012 school year is as follows:
1. The cafeteria computer will give the cashier a “low balance” warning whenever an account is below $15.00.
For example, all students in a family of three (3) would begin receiving warnings from the cashier when the family balance is below $15.00. When the cashier issues the warning, the balance before purchases is displayed on the computer screen.

2. Account statements are mailed or emailed to all families with students who have a balance of $15.00 or below in their lunch account. Account statements for all students with a $0 balance or below are mailed daily. Parents and/or students can also check their account balance by calling the Food Service Office at (605) 256-7730 or on-line at www.wordwareinc.com.

3. The policy will be enforced in theHigh School and Middle Schoolas follows when the cashier receives the “low balance” message:
Day 1
Students are told the account balance is low and they need to bring money.
Day 2
Students are told the account balance is low and they need to bring money.
Day 3
If the student does not bring money and the cashier still gets the “low balance” message; averbal reminder will be given to the student. They will not be able to purchase a meal or a la carte items on their account if the balance is too low. Balances cannot go below $0. Students with an account balance that is too low to make a purchase will be offered an “alternative meal”
(see below).4. The policy will be enforced in the Elementary Schools as follows when the cashier receives the ”low balance” message:
Day 1
Students are told the account balance is low and they need to bring money. The student’s classroom teacher is given a written reminder to be sent home to the parents.
Day 2
If the student does not bring money and the cashier still gets the “low balance” message; students are told the account balance is low and they need to bring money. The student’s classroom teacher is given a written reminder to be sent home to the parents.
Day 3
If the student does not bring money and the cashier still gets the “low balance” message; students are told the account balance is low and they need to bring money. The student’s classroom teacher is given a written reminder to be sent home to the parents. The student will not be able to purchase a meal on the account if the balance is too low. Balances cannot gobelow $0. Students with an account balance that is too low to make a purchase will be offered an “alternative meal” (see below). Elementary School parents should check their student’s back pack for lunch account written reminders.
When the account is closed, students will be offered
a complimentary alternative meal of a peanut butter
sandwich and milk. Students with a $0 balance or below
cannot eat a regular meal until their parents put money
into their meal account. Students may receive the alternative meal a maximum of five (5) times during the school year.
After two insufficient fund checks have been written from the same checking account, only cash, a cashier’scheck, or money order will be accepted for future meal account deposits.
After thirty (30) days of a negative balance, collection
on procedures may be initiated on all negative balance accounts, starting with a letter to the responsible party. After it is judged that the usual methods to collect the money owed the district have failed, then action may be taken to collect in small claims court. Families not eligible for free meals will have their account closed until an adequate deposit is made.
All communication regarding low balances in the family ac
count will come from the food service office at (605) 256-7730.
We look forward to the coming school year at the Madison Central School District as Lunchtime Solutions continues to provide the food service program in our schools. The purpose of this communication is to provide you with some idea of what to expect from our food service  program. If you have any questions or comments about our program, please feel free to contact
Gary Smithers,
Food Service Director
at605 256 7730,
gary@lunchtimesolutions.com
or the
Business Manager,
Mitchell Brooks at 605 256 7710,
mitchell.o.brooks@K12.sd.us.
Fornyour convenience,

Software to replace school lunch tickets in Onalaska

ONALASKA, Wis. – Here’s a scenario: You’re an Onalaska parent, and you give your high school student, Junior, $2 per day to buy lunch in the a la carte line.

You hope he chooses a balance of nutritious foods, but you have no way of knowing whether he’s blowing the whole $2 to buy cookies every day.

Next year, if you doubt Junior’s dining decisions, you need only phone somebody at the school district’s food service program to get a report of his a la carte purchases, thanks to a new software program approved Monday night by the Onalaska School Board.

The ability to generate such reports is only one advantage for the district, said Sue Black, who runs the food service program.

The Wordware software program, which already is being used in Holmen and West Salem, also will make it easier for the district to collect money and parents to pay money.

With the software, each family will have one account to cover any number of students. Parents deposit money into the account, and the students are each assigned a four-digit code they punch in when they get food at school.

Black said parents can pay for two weeks worth of lunches at a time or a whole semester, depending on their preference.

Parents will be notified, probably by mail at first, when it’s time to put more money into the account. Sometime next year, Black said, she hopes to have an automatic telephone notification system.

The software will mean less work for school personnel collecting the money and passing out lunch tickets, Black said.

Black said problems with students using another student’s code have been rare in other districts, and to make sure it doesn’t happen, Black plans to have a picture appear on the terminal that should match the face of the student who punches in the code.

The software will cost about $18,000, which will be paid for out of a $69,000 surplus in the food service fund. Superintendent John Burnett told the board that money could not be used to help with the district’s budget woes in the general fund.

In all, the food service budget will use $43,000 of that surplus next year, including money for new lunch-related equipment at the high school and Irving Pertzsch Elementary.

The board also approved a nickel per meal increase for next year, except for adult lunch prices.

In other business,

n The board approved a $429,550 capital improvements budget for next year, including $263,000 in spending given immediate approval. The other roughly $166,000 in spending must wait until at least October, at which time enrollment figures will be in and the district will have a better handle on its final budget.

The board approved establishment of an American Sign Language club at the high school next year.

Randy can be reached at (608) 782-9710, Ext. 446, or rerickson@lacrossetribune.com.

School lunch debt can be staggering for a school district

School lunch debt can be staggering for a school district, and it is more common than you think. Being curious about school district lunchroom debt, I googled related topics and found schools all across the USA that are dealing with lunchroom debt, in states such as Utah, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and more. There was an article in the Minneapolis Tribune about the problems facing Anoka-Hennepin Schools with debt reaching $160,000. More interesting reading were the comments from readers, a total of 387 of them up until that particular day.

The vast majority of comments showed no mercy for people who don’t pay for lunches, suggesting water and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or less) for those who do not pay.   Surprisingly few wondered about why the school allowed that much debt to build or how the district would improve it. Most were thinking that it was caused by the ‘free or reduced lunch crowd’, which is clearly not the case. There was also little tolerance for public money going to underwrite lunches for families that don’t pay their bills.

This problem of debt has two sides–dealing with the debt itself and taking measures to make sure it does not happen again.   Hiring a professional debt collector is the districts answer for the first half of the problem. But prevention was not adequately addressed in the article. One has to wonder what software is being used for lunch programs that end up with massive debt. Certainly we have great school lunch software that can avoid a build up of debt and efficiently and effectively handle money management. Maybe the money collected to pay the debt should be earmarked for a new software program called Wordware Lunch Cashier System LCS1000 Mayflower (Nutrition Software). Our phones are open call us for demo or reach us-

Wordware, Inc.
2526 Northland Dr
Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Sales Information: sales@wordwareinc.com

Website Corporate : www.wordwareinc.com

Phone:  (800) 955-2649

 

 

 

School District of Menomonee Falls School Nutrition Department School Lunch Software

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The lunch and breakfast prices for the 2015 – 2016 school year are as follows:

Lunch Prices Breakfast Prices

Grades K – 5 Hot Lunch $2.10 Grades K – 5 Cold Breakfast $1.35

Grades 6 – 12 Hot Lunch $2.45 Grades 6 – 12 Cold Breakfast $1.40

Grades 9 – 12 Specialty Meal $2.75 Grades 9 – 12 Hot Breakfast $1.60 Reduced $0.40 Reduced $0.00

Adult Lunch $3.50 Adult Breakfast $2.25

Milk $0.40 Milk $0.40

Meeting the Healthy Guidelines

Every day at every school we offer a Garden Bar with fresh fruit and fresh vegetables to all hot lunch students! At North and MFHS daily salads are available with a variety of toppings on each lunch line. There is also a separate salad bar lunch line at the high school. We follow the National School Lunch Program regulations. We have all grains at 51% whole wheat. Weekly saturated fat is less than 10% of the total calories and zero trans-fat (this excludes naturally occurring fats). We offer a variety of milks including 1% white and fat free white, chocolate and strawberry. We also serve dark green, red/orange vegetables and beans weekly.

Family ID and Student Lunch Numbers

Your family ID number will remain the same year after year. Student and staff lunch ID numbers will also remain the same year after year.

SEE WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE EATING! Access your Family Lunch Account Online

Go to your school’s website. On the left hand side of the page, click “Meal Menus/Online Payments”. This is the link to the School Nutrition’s web page. Scroll down to click “Family Lunch Account Information”. The first time you log in, you will need your Family Key to register with Wordware, the Lunch Cashier System. Call 262-250-6462 to request your Family Key. Once you have registered with Wordware, you will then use your email address and a password you create to log in. We will never know your password, so write it down! This site shows your balance, deposits, detailed statement of what your child/ren are eating and lets you set your own low balance email notification level. You can also find the lunch and breakfast menus and nutritional information on the School Nutrition’s web page.

www.wordwareinc.com

https://family.wordwareinc.com/

https://district.wordwareinc.com

Lunch Payments- Please DO NOT include lunch money with any other school fees or dues!

Parents can still make on-line lunch account payments. Directions are found on your school’s website under “Meal Menus/Online Payments” then “General Meal Information and Forms”. There is a $2.75 convenience fee for online payments. Parents can also pay by check. Checks should be made payable to Menomonee Falls School Nutrition. Payments can also be mailed to the attention of the School Nutrition Department, Menomonee Falls High School, W142 N8101 Merrimac Drive, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051. Please do not send cash payments. Sending cash can cause problems. If the cash gets lost, it is very difficult to track down. Payments can be sent to school with your student as well. Your student can give the payment to the school secretary in the front office. He/she can also give it to a school nutrition employee in the cafeteria. Only at the High School do we accept cash for purchases for both hot lunch and ala-carte items. We do not accept cash in the hot lunch lines at any of the other schools. If a student brings cash, we have to take time out to put it in an envelope and then mark the student’s name, family ID and the amount on it for a payment. This slows down the lunch lines! Always remember to put your Family ID number on the check! If the family

name is different than the student’s name, please also write the student’s full name on the check. We would again recommend depositing $25.00 or more per student at a time. Our office requires a minimum of two business days to record payments.

Low or Negative balances.

We send out automated E-mail notifications. We start notifying the family when the account hits $5.00. Depending on the number of students in your account and if your student purchases ala-carte, it is possible your lunch account could go from a positive balance to a negative balance in one day. If we have your e-mail address in your account, you will get an automated e-mail, when your account is low. If you want a higher low balance level than $5.00, change your setting at Wordware under “Family Account” then “Change Settings – Notifications”. If you are not getting e-mails, contact us in the School Nutrition Department and we will try to help you. It is the responsibility of the family to keep their lunch account in the positive.

School Board Policy 761

According to board policy, if your family lunch account falls to a negative $2.00, the school nutrition personnel may give your student an alternative lunch. This lunch will consist of one serving of fruit, vegetables and a milk. You will not be charged for the alternative lunch for the first two days. On the third day, and thereafter, you will be charged $1.00 for each alternative lunch.

Free and Reduced Lunches

Families who are having financial difficulties are encouraged to apply for the Free/Reduced Meal Program offered throughout our district. These benefits are completely confidential. Only one Free/Reduced form per family is needed. Send it to the School Nutrition Department at the High School where it will be processed. Forms are found online on our School Nutrition web page under “General Meal Information and Forms” or at your school, if needed. Free and reduced families will be charged $.40 for milk, if your student brings a cold lunch, or you can supply your own drink. Free and reduced students must take a complete hot lunch to receive the free or reduced benefit or ala carte pricing will be charged at your expense. If your family receives public assistance, you may already be directly certified for free lunch through the state. We will mail your notification to you, if you qualify for the Direct Certification and then no paper application will be needed from your family.

Ala Carte items are available at ALL schools

The most common elementary school ala carte items are the extra entrée and the juice box. North Middle School and the High School have many more ala-carte choices available with options like healthy snacks. If your account has a negative balance, ala-carte purchases will not be permitted to be charged to your account. If your student is not blocked from ala carte purchases, your account will be charged, if these items are taken. Fill out the “Extras and Ala Carte Restriction Form” to prevent these purchases found on our School Nutrition web page under “General Meal Information and Forms”.

Thank you for your support of the school lunch program. As always, we continue to strive to improve our program so that we can serve you more efficiently and effectively. If you have any questions or concerns about the program please call us. If at any time you would like a detailed statement of your family account feel free to call 262-250-6461 or 262-250-6462.

Sincerely,

Ruth Ann Kiley-Wiedmeyer

Food Service Director

School District of Menomonee Falls

School Nutrition Department

Peanut butter started out as a healthy food with all nutrition included in the School Lunch Software menu

A child in my rural neighborhood loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner during his entire elementary and junior high years.  It’s all he wanted to eat, even forgoing pizza for his beloved PBJ sandwich.    Pondering this love for tasty peanut butter and jelly, it seems like the perfect food to research in trying out the Food Timeline by Lynne Olver, a reference librarian with a passion for food history.  It’s available on the website, http://www.foodtimeline.org, starting by Ms. Olver in 1999.  The site notes that she passed in 2015.

It is amazing, fun, and interesting to find the detailed research that has gone into each of the hundreds of items listed on the site.  Peanut butter and jelly appeared on the scene in about 1901, along with the savory Eggs in a Basket.  That is about the first time peanuts were ground into ‘butter’, some 30 years after breakfast cereal and 30 years before refrigerator biscuits. The actual PBJ sandwich didn’t appear until sliced bread arrived during the 1920s.  It can now be said that the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is the best thing since sliced bread. (smile)

Peanut butter started out as a health food and became more popular as the price dropped.  In 1923 The Beech-Nut Packing Co of Canajoharie, NY put out a book of menus and recipes by Ida Bailey Allen that listed six variations of the BPJ sandwich.  They are all worth a look on the website…link here.  By 1928 there were incredible menu options for expanding the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, including honey, walnuts, celery, ginger, currants, prunes, ham, maple, strawberry, lettuce and so forth.  Some are actually mouthwatering!  This site is a gem for anyone involved in cooking, teaching, or food.  Enjoy!, howsoever there is a best school lunch software for your school’s  lunch program.  Using software you can provide healthy nutrition to the student .  Wordware’s school lunch software is the most unique and affordable nutrition software  for elementary, junior  high schools.  Most of the schools and colleges are satisfied with the wordware nutrition software  LCS1000 mayflower . From the launch of the new nutrition’s software, School Food Service Directors, was happy  that Wordware Lunch Cashier system would be an excellent fit for the children in their school.