In York City schools, there is a free lunch

March 27–All students of the York City School District will eat breakfast and lunch free next year if the federal government accepts York into a new program.

In April, Pennsylvania will release a list of schools that qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

“Unless there’s some surprise we don’t know about,” each of York’s seven schools will be on that list, said Cathy Ash, the district’s federal program coordinator.

Then, it’s up to the district to opt in, which administrators are already planning to do, Ash said.

Assuming all goes as planned, starting this fall, all of the district’s students will get two meals each day free over the next four years, Ash said.

“Everybody’s going to eat the same regardless of their economic status,” Ash said. “It’s no longer the haves and have-nots. It’s everybody’s got the same options every day.”

The change: Through the National School Lunch Program, most York City students already eat free or pay reduced prices for lunch. The federal government then reimburses the district the cost of those meals.

But, to qualify, parents must now first fill out a form each year so the district can determine students’ eligibility.

The Community Eligibility Provision eliminates that paperwork burden on both parents and district staff. It also should produce a modest cost-savings by relieving the district of labor costs associated with implementing the free- and reduced-lunch program each year, Ash said.

“That’s huge in our district,” she said.

Ash said she expects the district will be obligated to cover a small percentage of meal costs, but she’s not yet sure how much.

When the program goes into effect, it will also eliminate the need for a policy approved by the school board in November designed to discourage parents from mooching off the district.

Currently, students who fail to pay for their meals more than three times get a cheese sandwich for lunch until their full balance is paid.

“It takes all that away,” Ash said of the provision.

The new program will also mean no students will be denied the ability to graduate with their class because they owe the district lunch money, Ash said.

Staff will still need to pay for their meals, so cashiers in the cafeteria are still needed, Ash said.

And, it’s possible students will have the option to buy a la carte items, she said.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Industry News & Opinion
polystyrene takeout

New York City will immediately start phasing out foodservice operations’ use of polystyrene takeout containers after a judge ruled on Friday against an operator coalition that had sued to overturn such a regulation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said over the weekend.

Unless the measure is blocked again on appeal, the city will commence a public education campaign to smooth the way for the change to other sorts of containers. Operators will be given a six-month grace period to find alternatives before they’ll be subject to sanctions.

The measure was scheduled to take effect last...

Managing Your Business
uber driver

The freelance, independent-contractor labor market known as the gig economy is distinguished by working short-term contracts, or gigs, such as driving for Uber, Lyft or Instacart.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, according to a study called “Freelancing in America: 2017,” conducted by Edelman Intelligence. The annual study, commissioned in partnership by the Freelancers Union and Upwork Global, estimates that 36% of the U.S. workforce consists of freelancers who contribute approximately $1.4 trillion annually—an increase of almost 30% over the...

Industry News & Opinion

Sturgeon Bay Schools in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has partnered with a local farm to construct a school greenhouse , Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Construction will begin soon, and the district says that the project is already 75% funded. Once the building is finished, students will be able to grow their own food at the greenhouse and then learn how to preserve it through canning and other methods.

“The greenhouse will provide students with the opportunity to grow food, sample food they have cultivated, design planting plans, tend seedlings, integrate real-life technology in...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code