Nutrition Services FAQ

Why should my child buy breakfast and/or lunch at school instead of bringing it from home?

The school breakfast and lunch programs assure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal. More variety (as established by dietary guidelines) is easy to achieve through school menus. Also, the federally subsidized meal is often less expensive than a meal of equal nutritional value prepared and packed at home.

What is the goal of the school breakfast/lunch program?

The main goal of the program is to provide high quality, nutritious meals to all students in the Garfield Re 2 School District. Eligible students receive meals free or at a reduced price. A nutritional goal is to provide ¼ of the daily nutrient requirements at breakfast and 1/3 of the requirements at lunch.

We are committed to buy only whole-grain bread and grains, use fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible, and require all meals to meet the federal guidelines for a reimbursable meal.

Can schools serve any food they want?

No. Menus must meet school lunch program meal pattern requirements issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

How do you minimize wasted food?

We utilize the "offer vs. serve" system. We offer 5 food components (protein, grain, fruit, vegetable, and dairy) and the students must choose at least 3 out of the 5 components. Students are allowed to self-serve many side dishes, giving them control over portion size. We also track what is served each menu day and make adjustments to reduce waste in the future.

What if a student is still hungry after the meal?

Portion sizes are determined by the quantities needed to meet age level requirements for calories, protein, fat, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron and Fiber. Quality of food, not large quantities, is what builds healthy bodies. While not all students fall into the category of still being hungry, there are those who may have eating habits that are based on bulk rather than nutritional needs. We do offer items that students may choose to take additional servings. These are typically vegetables and fruits.

What if a student does not like vegetables?

School age children often do not "like" and thus eat very few vegetables and fruits. This can lead to a deficiency in many nutrients, especially vitamins A and C. For this reason, schools are required to offer fruits and vegetables rich in these two vitamins 2-3 times per week. Schools offer a variety of such food items so children will be more likely to find one they will eat.

Who writes the menu? What is the process?

Our Director of Nutrition, along with other members of the District's Nutrition Service Management staff develops a 5 week menu cycle. Student preferences, nutritional value and kitchen requirements are all considerations when writing the menus. We offer Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables as well as Seasonal Favorites. We value your opinion, and look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Why is the school lunch price set at its present level?

The price of a school lunch is based on the cost of the food, labor, and paper products used to produce the meal. A portion of the price of school lunch is used to cover maintenance, utilities, equipment depreciation, administrative and other related costs. The school lunch program is self-supporting (not supported by the District's General Fund) and is a non-profit entity. The Garfield Re 2 District Board sets meal prices each year as a part of the budget process.

What training do Nutrition Service employees receive?

In 2019, the Food Code was changed to require that every Kitchen Manager be Certified in Food Safety.

Department leadership continuously offers staff training sessions at all levels of the Garfield Re 2 food service team. Everything from understanding food and labor costs to the correct way to prepare food is available. Every staff member fulfills the training hours required by the state of Colorado annually.

Why is there a price difference between the Student Meal and the Adult Meal?

The USDA provides monetary support only for student meals, allowing us to charge less for those meals. Adult meal prices must provide enough monetary support to cover the costs of food, labor, and paper goods of each adult meal served. Although the entrée and milk are a standard serving, items from the salad bar may be chosen at a slightly larger portion. The adult meal is still considered a bargain when compared to the nutrition value, caloric content, variety and price of many restaurants or boxed lunches.

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