Free meals during the 2021-22 school year
Thanks to an extension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school district reimbursement program, PSD will once again offer free meals to any enrolled PSD student during the 2021-22 school year. Ala carte items will once again be sold at secondary schools.
Families are encouraged to apply for Free and Reduced meals for the coming school year. Those who qualify for benefits are eligible for school fee/charge waivers, possible P-EBT payments, and their school will also receive additional student funding. Many community programs and businesses (City of Fort Collins Parks and Rec, Comcast, Fort Collins Soccer Club) also waive or reduce fees with proof of free or reduced meal eligibility.
Families can also apply for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (FCC BB information | FF BB Information – Spanish) that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying households. A qualification is a household that is approved under the free and reduced school lunch or breakfast program.
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Nationwide food shortages impact on PSD meals
The PSD Child Nutrition team works with local and regional vendors to ensure PSD's 25,000 students are served healthy and nutritious meals every day. Currently, unprecedented food shortages are affecting PSD and school districts nationwide. The Child Nutrition team is working closely with suppliers and the US Department of Agriculture to ensure every student who wants a meal, gets one.
Because of these challenges, Child Nutrition can no longer post specific ingredients on the online NutriSlice menu page. All ingredients and food substitutions are, however, available daily through every school’s kitchen. Updated information will be posted online as food suppliers are able to guarantee product availability.
Families with dietary considerations have been contacted directly with this information. If you have further questions, contact the Child Nutrition Department at 970-490-3557.
Nutritious meals help students learn
A leader in K-12 food service, PSD Child Nutrition partners with customers, manufacturers and other school districts to provide students with fresh and delicious breakfasts and lunches in the cafeterias, as well as in the classrooms and grab-and-go selections.
Menu items meet or exceed USDA guideline to ensure healthy and nutritious meals for students. Recipes include more vegetables, Colorado-grown produce, whole grains and less preservatives. New menu items and products are taste-tested by students to determine what items to offer in school cafeterias.
How are school meals prepared?
PSD school kitchens prepare meals daily mostly by scratch - a safer, higher quality option than other districts who use centralized kitchens.
- MyPlate reflection of a balanced meal with the required food components: whole grains, meat/meat alternate, fruits, vegetables, milk (juice), salad bars
- 6-8 fruits and vegetables available at lunch ($1 million of budget spent on produce)
- High quality ingredients (ie 100% beef patties)
- Less processed items, preservatives, additives, sodium and no trans fat
- Increase the amount of vegetables in current recipes
- Scratch recipes include: lasagna, chili, pasta carbonara, chicken alfredo, philly cheesesteak, burrito bar, yogurt parfaits and a variety of daily salads and wraps.
- New seasonal recipes
PSD Child Nutrition facts:
- Provides students with healthy, low cost meals to enhance student learning and achievement.
- Prepares healthy meals on-site that meet or exceed USDA nutritional criteria and food safety standards.
- 45 Kitchens prepare 2.2 million high-quality meals across the district.
- PSD Child Nutrition is a founding member of the Northern Colorado Local Food Cluster to identify major gaps in availability of local ingredient options. Each month, an evaluation of local options that can be purchased in food service scale quantities is done.
- A department assessment by Prismatic, an independent company, stated: "Prismatic found a highly functioning, financially self-supporting CN program in PSD. The CN department excels at providing a variety of menu choices and fresh fruit and vegetable offerings at all grade levels...The survey results among all four stakeholder groups include positive responses in many areas."
PSD Child Nutrition job opportunities are available
Find opening on the PSD EPSD Employment website.
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