Students need a nutritious breakfast and lunch every day to keep them healthy and to help them stay focused on learning. Children who develop healthy eating habits and are physically active have a greater chance of being healthy for life and are more likely to do better in school.
Watervliet’s Food Service Department offers healthy food choices in compliance with the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The legislation was developed to improve nutrition and focus on reducing childhood obesity, in part by asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to set national standards for school lunch meals, which include:
- Increased servings of fruits and vegetables
- Set maximum calorie targets
- Use of whole grains in breads/grains served (pasta, tortillas, etc.)
- Reduced sodium, saturated fat and trans fat
- Offer only 1 percent or fat-free milk and fat-free flavored milk
The Watervliet City School District offers free school breakfast and lunch to all students (kindergarten to grade 12), regardless of family income, through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). This national program, overseen locally by the New York State Education Department, allows eligible high-needs schools to serve breakfast and lunch free of charge to all students, regardless of economic eligibility.
The CEP program was implemented at the elementary school level in 2016-17, and was expanded to Watervliet Junior/Senior High students in September 2017.
The provision, authorized under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, permits eligible schools to provide meal service and after-school snacks to all students at no charge, regardless of family income. Watervliet qualified for the program based on the number of students who are eligible to be directly certified for free school meals.
District officials encourage students to participate in the free school meal programs. “When children are hungry, they struggle to learn,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lori Caplan. “Offering healthy, well-balanced meals at no charge to students will help us alleviate the distraction of hunger and allow students to focus on learning.”
Under the provision’s requirements, students must take a complete entrée, including fruit, vegetable and milk. Students will continue to have the option to pay for items if they want additional meals, à la carte items, snacks or just milk. Parents can still upload money to their child’s SchoolBucks account to cover the cost of the additional items.
Families are asked to submit a brief CEP Household Income Eligibility Form. Collection of this information is necessary for the district to qualify for federal and state funding for other educational and student programs. Please submit one form per household. Copies of this form also are available by contacting Susan Frank, Shared Food Service Program Specialist at Capital Region BOCES. Call (518) 464-5133, or email: email@example.com
School breakfast and lunch meals follow United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for healthy school meals.
District’s online meal payment system is MySchoolBucks.com
Students may purchase additional lunch or a la carte food items from the cafeteria. Parents may upload money to their child’s MySchoolBucks.com account to cover the costs of additional items.
Healthy snack options offered by food service department for in-school celebrations
During the school year, parents of elementary school students can order healthy snack options from the district’s food service department for their child’s classroom celebrations. Orders can be placed in the elementary school cafeteria, and should be made two weeks in advance. Payment is in cash or by check only; order form must accompany payment [Download Celebration Order Form]. Questions? Contact Cook Manager Darryl Whited by phone at 518-629-3261, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.
To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: email@example.com.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.