School Nutrition and Wellness
The Columbus School District Food Service Department will provide meals for breakfast and lunch at the Elementary, Middle and High school. Daily meal options are cold breakfast with fresh fruit choices with an additional option for 4 & 5th grade and hot or cold lunch. At CHS optional Ala carte items will be offered. The traditional menu will be posted on the district website under the nutrition and wellness link.
The Food Service Staff is looking forward to another great year of serving nutritionally balanced meals that taste great for breakfast and lunch. The district will be following the guidelines included in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act meal pattern and USDA “offer vs. serve”. This includes offering a variety of fruit and vegetable choices. Students may choose 3 out of 5 servings offered or choose all five components at lunch. As part of the reimbursable meal, each student must choose a fruit or vegetable serving as one of the components.
The wellness initiative includes having healthy options all day during the school day. We are asking families to send food items that meet the new standards of no trans fats, low fat, fat-free and whole grain items along with lower sodium food items if sending cold lunch or snack items. Candy and soda are strongly discouraged during the school day and up to 30 minutes after school is released. Classroom treats that are brought in should also follow these guidelines unless approved by their teacher. Food Service can offer healthier snack options and these can be purchased through the food service program.
Meal Benefits Application Process
The Free and Reduced price meal applications can be filled out on-line or picked up at the district office, the food pantry, or the Columbus Public Library. If you received a letter from the District Office stating that you are eligible for free or reduced meals through the direct certification process, you do not need to fill out an application form. We will process applications in a timely manner. It is important to fill out the application completely and return as soon as possible. Meals will be charged at full price until application has been approved. It is important to note if you are not on food share or Badgercare you need to renew your application every year and be approved in order to stay on the program. Click here for more information on the Meal Benefits Application Process.
Special Dietary Needs
If your student(s) has special dietary needs and you choose to have them eat at school, please pick up the Medical Statement for Special Dietary Needs form from the District Office or you can have it emailed to you. A medical practitioner (any physician, dentist, optomist, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse prescriber, or podiatrist, licensed in any state) should fill out the form and sign it. This form should be turned in to the Food Service Director for food allergies and special meal plans. The Director will meet with the parent to go over meal options and food labels before the child can eat at school. Special dietary needs (if not severe) can be taken care of with your medical practitioner's signed approval. Severe dietary needs students will eat in their own designated area. If you have other medical needs, please contact the School Nurse.
Meals must be Pre-paid
In order for your children to receive meals, your family account MUST have a positive balance throughout the school year. Always send or place payments in a sealed envelope with the student(s) full name, meal ID#, amount enclosed and label what you are paying for (breakfast, morning milk grades k-5, milk with cold lunch from home, or lunch). CHS students can put money in their student account before lunch on a daily basis for purchases at lunch times. You may also pay online through the parent portal with a credit card. There is no additional charge for using your credit card.
Payments received are processed and updated within 24 hours with exception to holidays and vacations. Payments are processed as soon as possible. Please make payments at registration time and before meal balances run out. The best way to keep your account in good standing is to call and make arrangements when you need help or if you are falling behind. Also student accounts can be blocked at parent request
It is the parent or guardian responsiblity to keep your family account current. Please remember to keep a positive balance in your meal account. Student account balances can be checked via the Infinate Campus Portal or stop in or call the school district. The students with a negative balance are to bring a cold lunch from home until payment is made. Accounts will be blocked if a payment arrangement is not made within 10 days of being negative. The family name on the food service account will be held responsible for payments. Statements will no longer be mailed to your family. Please provide an e-mail address for updates on your account balance. You may also check your balances on the Infinite Campus site.
The parent portal has a notification box that can be updated with the amount for a low balances email to be sent to you. The Food Service program recommends that you set that amount at $15.
Online Payment Option
The Internet payment option will be available again this year. Infinate Campus is the student information system. The program will allow you to check your student’s meal participation and to pay your food service account on –line. No credit card fee will be charged for payments online this year.
E-mailed statements will be sent out when your balances are low. Make sure you provide an up to date e-mail address through Infintie Campus.
Contact Laura Austin, Food Services Director.