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.
The Watervliet 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
Access to Digital Menus through LINQ Connect
Families now have the option to access the menu digitally through LINQ Connect and view the main option, alternate options and all ingredients and allergen information. Visit https://linqconnect.com/public/menu/VMDFYV
Information about P-EBT Benefits for 2021-22 School Year, Summer 2022, and Summer 2023
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is issuing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for the 2021-22 school year and the summer 2022 and 2023 periods.
If your eligible child was absent or remote learning for any number of days in a month due to COVID-19 in the 2021-22 year, you can apply to see if they are eligible for additional benefits. Visit the P-EBT Food Benefit Application at https://pebtbenefits.ny.gov, log in, and check the list of schools to see if your child’s school is listed. If it is, you can apply for additional benefits by reporting the number of days your child was absent or remote by month and confirm that it was due to COVID-19.
The deadline to apply is September 30, 2023. More information about completing and submitting an application is available at https://otda.ny.gov/PEBT-FAQs
For more information or questions, OTDA provides updates on benefit issuances at https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/. If you have questions, you may call the P-EBT food benefits Helpline: 1-833-452-0096 or fill out the P-EBT Information Form at https://otda.ny.gov/PEBT-Info to submit a question in writing.
TITAN is LINQ Connect, as of May 2023
In May 2023, TITAN Family Portal, the system our food service department had used, was upgraded to LINQ Connect. There is no need to change your username and password. All your information will be transferred to the new platform. View FAQS about change to LINQ Connect
Download the app up today!
The “LINQ Connect” app is available in the Google Play Store now and the Apple App Store available soon to download. Just log in with your existing username and password. If you use a web browser, visit LINQConnect.com to log in.
LINQ Connect allows you to set up one-time or recurring payments for your student’s meal. You can also view previous transactions, set spending limits, transfer funds between students, set low-balance notifications, and more. It’s an easy way to manage meal payments without the hassle of sending cash.
If you have any difficulties accessing your LINQ account, please contact LINQ support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please call Jennifer Radigan, Shared Food Service Specialist at 518-464-5106 or email email@example.com, if you have any questions.
Complete a Household Income Eligibility Form online This form is also available at each school if you don’t have access to it online. Please return completed forms to school with your student to the attention: Ross Tuskey, Shared Food Service Program Director.
The Watervliet City School District has implemented a meal certification option to our schools – Watervliet Elementary School and Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School – participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
What does this mean for me and for my children who attend the school(s) identified above?
All students enrolled at Watervliet City School District are eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at no charge to your household each day of the 2023-24 school year. Your child(ren) will be able to participate in these meal programs without having to pay a fee or submit a meal application.
Do I still need to complete a Household Income Eligibility Form?
Yes, you still need to complete a form. Our school is eligible to receive additional state and federal funds based on the number and/or percentage of students enrolled who reside in households that meet established federal income guidelines. We use the Household Income Eligibility Form to collect household information. The form also helps our school district qualify for education funds and discounts. Complete a Household Income Eligibility Form online
Please call Jennifer Radigan, Shared Food Service Program Specialist at 518-464-5106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions.
Watervliet City School District Food Service Team
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Watervliet schools eliminate peanut butter from menu
As of September 2021, Watervliet City Schools no longer serves peanut butter as part of our school meals program.
This move is in the interest of the health and safety of all students, as food allergies continue to be a growing concern in schools throughout the country. The Food Service program currently offers sun butter as an alternative. Sun butter is made from sunflower seeds and is free of major food allergens, including gluten.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one in 13 children has a food allergy. The CDC reports that nearly 40% of these children have experienced a severe allergic reaction, with many of these incidents occurring at school.
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 email@example.com.
Affordable Connectivity Program
As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the President and Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible households up to $30/month (or $75/month for households living on Tribal lands) toward their internet bills, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
All households with a child who was approved to receive free or reduced price school meals under the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, within the last 12 months, including children who attend schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, are eligible for ACP benefits.
Households are also independently eligible if:
- their income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level ($55,500 for a family of four); or
- a member of the household participates in certain other Federal benefit programs—including, among others, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and Federal Public Housing Assistance.
To further lower costs, the Biden-Harris Administration secured commitments from internet service providers across the country to offer high-speed plans that are fully covered by the ACP. As a result, millions of working families can now get high-speed internet without paying a dime.
Families can check their eligibility, sign up, and find fully covered plans at GetInternet.gov (mobile-accessible and available in Spanish) or by calling 877-384-2575.
Find Meals For Kids When School Is Closed
Hunger Free America operates the National Hunger Hotline on behalf of USDA. The hotline is a resource for individuals and families seeking information on how to obtain food. The National Hunger Hotline staff connects callers with emergency food providers in their community, government assistance programs, and various social services.
Find free food near you by calling the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 866-3-HUNGRY (866-348-6479) or 877-8-HAMBRE from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, or by visiting our online database of food pantries and soup kitchens.
You may also text “97779” to the automated service with a question that may contain a keyword such as “food”, “summer”, “meals”, etc. to receive an automated response to resources located near an address and/or zip code.
To receive updates about the status of Pandemic-EBT benefits in your state, text “PEBT” to 97779.