Food and Nutrition
Why do NWCS students eat for free: Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)
What is the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a program through the USDA that allows schools in low income areas to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.
How does a district qualify for the Community Eligibility Program?
Eligibility is determined by the Identified Student Percentage (ISP) per school building. ISP is calculated by the number of students who qualify for free meals without an application (Foster, homeless, Medicaid, SNAP etc.) divided by the total school enrollment. A school must have a minimum ISP of 40% to qualify. Districts may participate in CEP in a variety of ways: by individual school building, groups of schools or the entire district.
Which Schools in the Northwest Community Schools will be participating in CEP?
All Northwest Community Schools participate in CEP. All students will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch without submitting a free and reduced lunch application. Families at these buildings will be asked to complete a Title I Household Information Report.
What is A Community Eligibility Household Information Report?
Title I is a federal program that provides financial assistance to schools to improve academic achievement. Title I funds are allocated to schools based on household income. For CEP schools the Household Information Report is needed to meet Michigan Title I allocation rules
All students enrolled at any of the approved schools are eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at school at NO CHARGE to your child each day of the 2022-2023 school year.
Instead of the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application, we still need your household to fill out and sign the Education Benefit Form .This report is critical in determining the amount of money that our school receives from a variety of State and Federal supplemental programs like Title I A, At-risk (31a), Title II A, E- Rate, etc.
These supplemental programs have the potential to offer supports and services for our students including, but not limited to:
- Instructional supports (staff, supplies and materials, etc.)
- Non-instructional services (counseling, social work, health services, etc.)
- Professional learning for staff
- Parent and community engagement supplies and activities
We are asking that you please complete and submit the Education Benefit Form as soon as possible to ensure additional funding for our school is available to meet the needs of our students. All information on the report submitted is confidential. Without your assistance in completing and returning the attached report, our school cannot maximize the use of available State and Federal funds.
Dear Northwest Community Schools Families,
Your child(ren) will experience the new USDA requirements when they dine in their school cafeteria. One vital change is the requirement for a child to select at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable to make up a complete meal. There are five food groups to select foods from: fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, and milk. Student meals must contain at least a selection of three of the five food groups with one being the fruit and/or vegetable selection. Here is an overview of what your child(ren) can expect to see in their school dining center at NWCS.
Increase In Fruits and Vegetables
- Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals important for growth and development during childhood.
- We offer a large variety of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, including dark greens, orange starchy vegetables, and legumes.
- Students are required to select at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable for their meal to be considered a complete meal or will be charged individual item prices.
- We continue to work with food manufacturers to reformulate food products including lower sodium sauces and spreads.
- Chartwells’ chefs and registered dietitians continually create tasty new recipes that use non-salt seasonings and herbs to replace and reduce salt.
- We only serve food products and ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fats per serving, and we encourage the use of healthy fats and oils.
- It is important to limit unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fat because eating too many can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as other chronic diseases.
Menus by Age Groups
- Grade groups for menu planning will be aimed at ensuring students receive age-appropriate portions and nutrients.
- Changes in specific serving sizes might mean some smaller portion sizes on some items like burritos, wraps, sub sandwiches, hot meat sandwiches, calzones/strombolis, and pasta dishes.
Both SFE and NWCS are dedicated to providing quality nutritious meals that students will enjoy and choose to eat. We hope you will encourage your child(ren) to try new fruits and vegetables. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us
- What is Type A Lunch?
- Snow Day Meal Procedures
- Special Dietary Needs
- MDHHS P-EBT information
- Smart Snacks in School
What is a Type A Lunch?
REMINDER; All Type A Meals MUST include a serving of fruit or vegetable.
YOUR LUNCH INCLUDES:
- Meat Item: (Often included in your main dish)
- Bread Item: (Often included in your main dish)
- Fruit: Fresh Fruit or Canned (or 4 oz Juice)
- Vegetable: Hot or Fresh Vegetable or Side Salad
- Milk: 8oz carton of Skim White or Chocolate Milk (or 4oz. Juice)
You must select at least 3 of the 5 items, including a fruit or vegetable serving. BUT You may take ALL of the items if you wish.
At the Elementary Schools, the entrée usually contains the meat and bread.
Cheeseburger on a Bun contains meat and bread items
Crinkle Cut Oven Fries (vegetable)
Pineapple Tidbits (fruit)
Choice of Milk (milk)
Oven Fried Chicken Drumstick (meat item)
Fluffy Biscuit (bread item)
Green Beans (vegetable)
Diced Pears (fruit)
Choice of Milk (milk)
Middle School & High School
At Middle Schools and High Schools, the entrees are at each station. All qualified reimbursable meals MUST include a fruit or a vegetable.
When school is cancelled due to inclement weather, the meal that was scheduled to be served on the snow day will be served on the return day of school.
Middle School & High School
Please consult the printed menus and signs in your school cafeteria. The snow day meal may be served on the return day.
If you have any other questions, please contact the Food Service Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817-4691.
The school foodservice department may be required to accommodate students with special dietary needs. SFE must follow USDA regulations and school district policies related to these accommodations. This guide will explain these regulations, how we accommodate special dietary needs, and the SFE resources available to properly accommodate.
The P-EBT program is a MDHHS program, not a district program. The criteria for benefits is explained on the MDHHS informational site in the link above.
The district reports for each month whether the majority of students in each building were fully in person, hybrid, or fully online. MDHHS has a formula that they apply to the information that the district supplies to determine the amount of benefits that each student will receive.
If you feel that your student should receive more benefits, you can fill out a parent reconsideration form found in the link above. The form will need to be filled out and taken to your students building office, where they can verify and provide proof.
There is also a great Parent Q&A that should answer most questions provided in the link below.
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act signed into law in 2010 regulates the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs. The goal of the law is to increase children's access to healthy food and address the issue of obesity. The Smart Snack provision of law goes into effect July 1, 2014.
Smart Snacks Regulation Summary
The Act applies nutrition standards to all food & beverages sold to students on the school campus anytime during the school day. It includes food sold in school stores, vending machines, and fund raisers including bake sales, ice cream sales etc. A school day is defined as midnight until 30 minutes after end of school day.
Must be "whole grain" rich or have as first ingredient fruit, vegetable, dairy product or protein, contain ¼ c. fruit or vegetable, contain 10% Dietary Value of specific nutrients, and meet calorie, sodium, fat, and sugar limits. Elementary schools are limited to selling 8 oz. caffeine free beverages while high schools may sell up to 12 oz. with no more than 5 calorie per oz. (caffeine allowed).
- Examples of foods that do not meet standards are chips, cookies, cake, candy, bagels, ice cream, Gatorade, Snapple, etc.
- Examples of foods that meet requirements include baked chips, popcorn, zero calorie flavored water, dried fruit, fig cookies etc.
An online calculator is available to determine if a food meets the nutrition standard:
Director of Foodservice: Patrick McKee