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Litchfield School District

“Imagine Greatness…Expect Success!”




Definitions and FAQ's

Some common terms and definitions that are used in regards to school meas:

Value Meal - These meals are the best bang for the buck!  To qualify as a Value Meal, students must select a fruit or vegetable omponent at each meal service along with their entree.  All students are entitled to a Value Meal regardless of meal account balance or status at both breakfast and lunch in all Litchfield Schools.

Non-Value Meal - Only when a student chooses not to select a fruit/vegetable component with their meal will they be charged for a non-value meal.  Staff are trained to encourage selection of fruit/vegetable with their meals. 

Components -  Also known as "Meal Components".  There are five components that are offered every day for student meals.  They are Meat/Meat Alternate, Milk, Whole Grain, Fruit and Vegetable.  Students can select a minimum of 3 components - one being a fruit or vegetbale to complete the meal, or they can select all five.

Offer vs. Serve - Dining Services participates in Offer Vs Serve (OVS) which means the students can select items they are more likely to eat, and decline those items they will not eat.  

A La Carte This encompasses all items sold at meals that are purchased outside of a complete meal.  This could be milk, fruit, or any meal component on its own, second meal, extra pizza slices, snacks, drinks, etc.  A La Carte purchases are only available for students with positive balances to purchase.

Q:  I received an email stating my child has a "low" balance.  What does that mean?

A:  When notices go out regarding account balances, Dining Services enters a range of $5.00 and under for students with a low balance.  This balance is still positive, but could potentially be negative soon, and serves as a reminder to parents/guardians to replenish the account if needed.

Q: Why do my kids sometimes say that they are not being served the foods that are listed on the monthly menu?

A:  All Menus State "MENU SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO PRODUCT AVAILALBILITY AND SCHOOL CLOSURES".  Sometimes due to unforseen circumstances, changes to the menu must be made last minute in order to feed our students.  We do our best to avoid these situations, but it is not always possible.

Q: Will my child be offered an alternate meal if s/he does not have money or enough money on his/her account to buy a meal?

A:   Dining Servies makes every effort to inform parents of their child's meal account balance.  A child will always receive a meal regardless of the child's balance.  If a child hits a negative balance of -$15.00 they are offered a choice of alternative meal until the balance is paid in full.  The meal will be charged to your child's meal account.  A la carte items and snacks are not allowed to be charged on meal accounts with a negative balance. (See Policy EFAA, Food Services Meal Charging)
Q:  If my child's meal account has a negative balance and s/he is provided a meal, why do I need to pay for it?
A: It must be charged in order to receive subsidies from the National School Lunch Program through the USDA. The USDA reimburses the school for one lunch per day for each student that takes a lunch.

Q: Can my child take more than one meal?

A: The elementary students are allowed to purchase one breakfast and one lunch per day. Middle school and high school students may purchase more than one breakfast and lunch if quantities permit and they have a positive account balance. Second lunches are charged at the full paid rate to all students including free and reduced price meal students, and students with a negative account balance cannot charge a second meal.

Q: Why do I have to pay the full price of just milk if my child is approved for free meals?

A: The National School Lunch program offers lunch at no cost or reduced cost to those that qualify. Milk alone does not constitute a lunch and, therefore, must be purchased at the regular a la carte price. Ice cream and snack items that are not part of the lunch menu are also a la carte items and must be purchased.

Q: What happens to my child's balance at the end of the school year?

A: In the event a negative balance remains on the student's meal account, the designated school administrator will assist in collection of those balances.   Positive balances are carried over to the next school year regardless of which school your child attends in the district.  

Food Service Policies