WPS Offering FREE Breakfast & Lunch to ALL Students

girl giving pear

Your Child Can Eat Breakfast and Lunch for FREE at school!

As part of the 2010 Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, Worcester, along with other districts, will begin offering free meals to all students this school year.  For parents, that means no more forms to fill out, no online meal account to remember, no last minute scramble for change before the bus, and no more lunchboxes to pack.  All students can eat for free! 

What do we need to do to get a breakfast or lunch at school?

For those schools that are providing breakfast directly in the classroom, your child can simply take the breakfast items that are offered.  For other schools, the child can simply go to the cafeteria in the morning and eat breakfast.  For lunch at the elementary level, classroom teachers will ask students if they wish to have a school lunch that day, and they’ll send the counts to the cafeteria so enough meals can be prepared.  At secondary schools, the student can simply enter the lunch line and take a meal.   All students will still need to have their meals recorded at the register. 

What is served at breakfast and lunch?  What are my child’s choices? 

During breakfast we offer two grains (or one grain and one protein), two fruits, and a milk.  All your child needs to do is take at least 3 menu items (with one being a fruit) to be considered a free meal.   During lunch we serve a grain, protein, vegetable, fruit, and milk.  All your child needs to do is take at least 3 different items offered (one being a fruit or a vegetable) to be considered a free meal.  Check the newspaper or our website for daily meal choices. 

What if my child only wants a milk or a single item?

We are only reimbursed by the USDA for complete meals.  If you child only wants a milk or a single menu items then those items are available for cash purchase on an individual basis; for example, milk costs 50 cents.  In order to be free, your child must take a complete meal consisting of three different items (one being a fruit or vegetable).

What does a school meal look like today?

We provide fresh fruits and vegetables every day at every meal; we serve only whole-grain breads,  low fat and fat free milk, minimally processed foods; and we use locally sourced food whenever available.  We never serve fried foods.  We provide salad and vegetarian offerings at the middle and high schools.  We have been state and nationally recognized for our farm-to-school program and menu offerings.  We recently hired a professional chef to continuously improve and expand the menu options for students. 

What if I still have money on account?

All students with money remaining in their account will be sent a form for a full refund; you may however keep the funds on account for the purchase of individual items.

Questions?

Your building principal or your school’s Nutrition Manager are a great start.  You can also contact the Worcester Public Schools Child Nutrition Office at 508-799-3132 or email us at WPSNutrition@worc.k12.ma.us.  You feedback is always welcomed!  For more information please visit http://worcesterschools.org/school-nutrition.