2020-21 Food Service Changes

2020-21 Food Service Changes
Posted on 08/26/2020

Please take a moment to read over this important communication to prepare your child for the changes that will take place in meal service during the 2020-21 school year. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and partnership in our efforts! Any questions regarding this communication can be directed to the District’s Food Service Program Coordinator, Tony Colemire, at 717-948-3300 x1012, or by e-mail at tcolemire@raiderweb.org.

With the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic last school year, a nationwide waiver was issued to allow all districts to serve emergency meals free of charge to all school age students. MASD elected to participate in this waiver and was able to provide meals to students through this past Friday, August 21, 2020. The normal school meal programs will resume with the start of the 2020-21 school year, requiring students to pay for their meals based on their household eligibility.

MASD is continuing its partnership with The Nutrition Group as our contracted Food Service Management Company. Their expertise allows us to provide your child with a variety of healthy and appetizing menu choices and nutrition education to encourage healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime! Healthy eating plays a significant part in school performance by allowing students to have more energy and be more focused in the classroom.

MASD is pleased to participate in the National School Breakfast & Lunch Programs in all District schools. Your child will have the opportunity to purchase breakfast and/or lunch on each day of the week during scheduled student days. By participating in these USDA programs, we are able to offer affordable meals to students.

The District will discontinue use of the Offer vs. Serve (OVS) program during the pandemic to limit food handling. OVS allows students to decline some of the food offered in a reimbursable breakfast or lunch as long as they take the required fruit or vegetable components of a complete meal. Students will still be able to choose the entrée and milk they want but the fruits and vegetable will be prepacked and included with all meals.

We are required to provide access to water during meal service. Since water fountains will be closed as a safety precaution due to the pandemic, we encourage your child to bring a water bottle filled with water to school each day. If your child consumes this water or does not have a water bottle with them, we will have gallons of water and disposable cups available in each classroom for students. Bottled water will also be available for purchase in each of the cafeterias.

Due to recommended health guidelines, the District will change serving procedures in order to promote safety for students and workers. High quality meals will still be available to students. The revised procedures are school specific. Students who choose to pack their lunch will still be permitted to do that at all buildings and may also purchase milk.

Fink, Kunkel and Reid Elementary Schools:
• Breakfast and lunch will be served and consumed in the classroom each day.
• Students can opt to eat breakfast each day upon arrival at school. The meals will be waiting in the classroom upon arrival and teachers will be able to charge the student’s account at the time of receiving the breakfast.
• So that appropriate preparations can be made for lunches, students will be asked their lunch plans two times. A preliminary count will occur the previous school day after lunch. A final count will occur each morning and a charge will be made to the student’s account at that time.
• Students that elect the Scaffolded Instructional Model will have the option of signing up for “To Go” meals for consumption on remote learning days. These meals will be delivered to the classroom prior to student dismissal each day. See “To Go” meals section at the end.

Middle School & High School:
• Breakfast and lunch will be served in the cafeterias.
• Students will be distanced as they go through the cafeteria line. They will select their meal choices as usual. Shields will protect the serving lines. There will be no self-service options available.
• Cafeteria staff will wear appropriate protective items (masks, shields, and gloves).
• Limits will be in place to reduce the number of students at a table. Tables will also be distanced.
• Students will be able to eat outside in the courtyard areas to encourage social distancing when weather permits.
• Students will have to option to sign up for “To Go” meals that can be picked up in the cafeteria during student dismissal for consumption on remote learning days. See “To Go” meals section at the end.

Students and parents can go to Nutrislice to find daily menu options as well as the nutritional value and ingredients of all of our meals. Nutrislice is posted on raiderweb.org on the Quick Link "Menus." It is also available as an app for smart devices.

If your child has any food allergies/restrictions or if you have any questions/concerns regarding the Food Service program, please contact Tony Colemire by phone (717) 948-3300 ext. 1012 or by e-mail at tcolemire@raiderweb.org.

Certification is only effective for a school year. The prior year certification only carries over into the new school year temporarily. All families must REAPPLY for free or reduced meals again this year on or before October 13, 2020 IF they do NOT receive an eligibility notification from the District for the current year. If no application is submitted prior to October 13, 2020, prior year certifications will expire and all meals will be charged at the full price.

There are two ways to qualify for Free/Reduced Meals:
• Direct Certification - If your household is currently receiving SNAP (Food Stamps), TANF (Cash Assistance), or Medical Assistance (with qualifying household income) through the Department of Human Services (DHS), your student will automatically qualify for free meals for the entire school year. Once we receive notification from DHS of this qualification for a particular household, we send out Direct Certification letters to notify the household of your student’s free meal status. If your certification letter did not include all eligible children in your household, please contact Tony Colemire by phone, 717-948-3300 ext. 1012, or by email at tcolemire@raiderweb.org so that we can update our records.
• Free/Reduced Meals Application - If you do not receive a Direct Certification letter from the District stating that your child is approved for free meals, you must fill out a Free/Reduced Meals Application with your household information in order to be considered. Once the application is processed, you will be notified of the certification which will either be Free, Reduced, or Denied due to exceeding the income eligibility guidelines based on your household size. Only one application is necessary per household even if your children are in different school buildings.

To complete the free/reduced application electronically, go HERE.

To complete a paper application, download it HERE and return your completed application to Tony Colemire, 55 West Water Street, Middletown, PA 17057.

Individual cafeteria accounts are automatically created for each enrolled student through our point of sale system, Primero Edge. Each student is assigned an identifying pin number to gain access to their account. To promote safe serving practices in our cafeterias, we are eliminating the use of pin pads. Cashiers will enter pins by verbal communication with the student. Elementary students will not need to provide their pin numbers at the time of purchase since this step will be completed by their classroom teacher with the use of rosters. This will ensure that the appropriate meal cost is charged and so that the system can keep track of purchases made by each student on a daily basis.

You are able to fund your child’s cafeteria account in multiple ways. You can send in cash or checks with your child to give to the cafeteria staff (if you don’t want your child carrying cash/check you can give it to the office in the morning and tell them it’s for the cafeteria account). If writing a check, please make payable to MASD Café. You can also add funds using a credit/debit card online by setting up a parent account at schoolcafe.com. Please note there is a convenience fee charged each time you add funds with this option. Your parent account also allows you to view your child’s current account balance and see purchase history.

For the 2020-21 school year, in order to limit the handling of money, we strongly encourage online prepayment to fund your child’s account, if at all possible. We are also instituting a “no change” policy at all schools whether you choose to fund your child’s account throughout the year with cash payments or if your student pays with cash at the time of meal purchase. The total cash received will be applied in its entirety to the student’s account to be used through the year. Any money left over at the end of the year, will be carried over to the next school year for the child’s use or refunded to the parent by request.

There is no increase in the cost of meals this school year. Tiered meal prices are applicable to specialty meals where there is a higher cost for ingredients.

Breakfast Prices:
All Schools Regular Breakfast: $1.00
Reduced price of breakfast for students who meet eligibility requirements: $.30

Lunch Prices:
Elementary Regular: $2.40
Elementary Tier: $2.80
Middle School Regular $2.55
Middle School Tier $3.05
High School Regular: $2.65
High School Tier: $3.15
Reduced price of all lunches for students who meet eligibility requirements: $.40

Periodically throughout the year, the food service department will issue negative balance letters to all applicable households. The District does not want to pursue collection efforts for this debt and therefore requests that you pay these debts as quickly as possible and reach out to request payment arrangements if the full debt cannot be paid at one time. Please contact Tony Colemire to establish payment plans.

Please note that all communication sent out from the Food Service Department regarding student account balances, student eligibility, or general program information will be sent via e-mail if we have an email address on file for your household in order to continue our efforts to “Go Green”. Messages will come from “no-reply@primeroedge.com”. Please make sure to open and read these e-mails as they will have important information regarding your child’s cafeteria account. If no e-mail address is on file, then communication will be mailed directly to your home address.

Due to the pandemic, students electing one of the remote learning options: Hybrid (Blended Model), Raider Academy, Full Remote Learning, & the Scaffolded Model may obtain “To Go” meals.

Because the free meal waiver has expired, the cost of meals consumed remotely will incur a charge to a student’s account based on your household’s meal status eligibility (Free, Reduced, or Full Price). The meals will be bundled to include both breakfast and lunch. Meals offered with this program will be prepackaged with hot and cold meals. Hot meals will be safely cooled and have instructions included for reheating. Participation in this program is optional; however, signup is required in order to ensure the availability of the “To Go” meals in a simplified manner and will be in effect for the entire school year unless there is a change in the instructional model selected. If you have questions regarding these meals options or would like to discontinue participation in this program at any time during the school year, please contact Tony Colemire, the District’s Food Service Program Coordinator at (717) 948-3300 x1012 or by e-mail at tcolemire@raiderweb.org.

• Parents will sign up for meals for their student(s) on the days that they are virtually learning.
• The cafeteria will prepare the meals and deliver them to the student’s classroom.
• Teachers will distribute these meals at dismissal time.
• Parents would need to contact their child’s school office if he/she is absent on a designated distribution day to arrange for meal pickup at a different time.

• Parents will sign up for meals for their student(s) on the days that they are virtually learning.
• The cafeteria will prepare the meals for pickup.
• Students will pick up their meals at dismissal time.
• Parents would need to contact their child’s school office if your child is absent on a designated distribution day to arrange for meal pickup at a different time.

• Parents will sign up to receive meals for their student(s) for all instructional learning days listed on the approved school calendar.
• Parents will select a designated pickup location for these meals (Fink Elementary School or Middletown Area High School).
• Meals can be picked up by the student or parent. The students name, school ID or cafeteria pin number will be required to receive meals.

Pickup will occur on Wednesday each week between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. One week’s worth of meals will be provided at this time. (If there is a change in the distribution date or time, communication will be provided in advance.)

Parents would need to contact Tony Colemire at (717) 948-3300 x1012 if the pickup time is missed.

To sign up for the “To Go” meal program for the year, please CLICK HERE. A separate election must be made for each child. Please make your election by Thursday, August 27th so that meals will be available for this program for your child during the first week of school.

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