Farm to School Continues to Thrive in Goochland

Goochland’s Farm to School program continues to thrive! Here, a partnership between Chef Stephanie Charnes’ culinary arts students at Goochland Tech and nutrition staff at the secondary complex brings gourmet fall treats using locally-grown foods to students!

Begun in 2009 when nutrition supervisor, Lisa Landrum, had a vision for bringing more locally-grown produce and foods into school cafeterias, Farm to School has expanded. Once each week locally-grown foods comprise the entire menu in every school cafeteria. Local farmers come to teach students about the processes they use to develop healthier, organic foods as they’re served in the school cafeterias.

 

Information About the School Nutrition Program

Healthy meals are an important part of how we create an educational environment in which every learner’s potential can be maximized. Please take a look at the information below and contact your child’s principal if you have any questions or concerns about how lunch or breakfast will be served, how to pay your child’s meal fees, or how to apply for free or reduced meals.

Meal Payment 

We really encourage you to prepay meals. This will speed up service and provide your child more time to enjoy lunch.  Pre-payment may be made for the week, month or year. Students may pre-pay in the cafeteria by cash or check.

You always have the option to pay or check balances online at www.MyPaymentsPlus.com or use our telephone system @ 1-866-572-6091.

Balances left on your child’s account at the end of the school year will carry over to the next school year. Refunds are only issued if a child will be leaving Goochland County Public Schools.

 Menus 

Our menus are designed to average fewer than 30% calories from fat and 10% calories from saturated fat each week. Lunch menus will always provide one-third of the daily-recommended levels for protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and calories. Breakfast will contain one-fourth of these daily recommendations. The daily menus will consist of a minimum of two main entrees, cold plates and salads, choice of two fruits and two vegetables and three selections of milk. All bread items served are whole grain.

Monthly menus will be posted on our county web site at www.glnd.k12.va.us.

 A La Carte Items

The purpose of a la carte sales is to enhance, not replace a balanced meal.  We encourage you to talk with your child about how many and which of these items you prefer him or her to choose. All a la carte items contain no more than 35% calories from total fat as served, and no more than 35% by weight sugar content per serving. In addition, these products are prohibited from having caffeine or being carbonated. 

Lost or Forgotten Lunch Money

Sometimes our students lose or forget their lunch money. We strongly recommend prepayment to help avoid this, but we understand it’s going to happen. Students who lose or forget their breakfast or lunch money will always be served a meal. The principal will send you a notice requesting that the students’ account be reconciled. Once a student’s account has reached a deficit of $10.00, the student will be provided an alternative meal of a ham or turkey sandwich, fruit, vegetable and milk. 

Parents, you are invited and encouraged to eat lunch with your children any time during the school year.   We simply ask that you schedule these opportunities with your child’s principal. Adult lunches are $3.75.

Applications for Free and Reduced Meals

These applications are provided to every student at the beginning of each school year. Applications are also available at all school sites or from the Food Service Office (804-556-5604).  Only one application is needed for all students in a household, but you will need to complete a new application each year. If you receive a Letter of Direct Certification, you do not need to fill out a free and reduced application. 

Applications may be returned to your school’s cafeteria manager. This information is kept in strict confidence within the division. If you have any questions about who has access to your application, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Food Allergies

We cannot stress enough the importance of your communicating with us about your child’s food allergies. Please be sure to notify your school office as well as the cafeteria manager at your school site of any FOOD ALLERGIES your child has.  Any allergies or special needs requiring substitutions to the regular school meal will require a physician’s statement.

Student Conduct in the Cafeteria

We intend for your child’s breakfast or lunch time to be enjoyable. It’s time that can be spent socializing with peers and interacting with adults, both integral to the education process. In order to provide the very best experience for all students during meals, we ask that students practice good table manners and converse in a normal speaking voice. Your child’s school may have other, more specific cafeteria rules in place (such as where to sit, how to return trays and discard trash). Generally speaking, we just ask that everyone be respectful and enjoy the food and the time!

Supporting Students through School Nutrition

Dear GCPS families,

It is important to us that we build a strong partnership with you. Your support and involvement in our pursuit of the mission of maximizing the potential of every learner is vital to our success.

School nutrition and wellness has a critical impact on student learning. We are committed to providing affordable, healthy meals that will support our teachers and students as they develop strong, engaging instructional experiences together.

One of the ways we make this accessible to parents and students is through our pre-payment plan, which can be used at your child’s school by visiting the school cafeteria with a check or cash or by using www.MyPaymentsPlus.com or our telephone system @ 1-866-572-6091. Payment for meals can be paid in advance so that students can quickly and easily obtain their food without having to charge the meal, giving them more time to enjoy the social time with friends.

When students do not have pre-paid accounts and they forget their meal money, we will feed them without question. The meal will be charged and we will ask that you quickly remit a payment to bring the student’s account back to whole. Several students have already charged meals during the first two weeks and those accounts are already in deficit. If that is the case with your student, please address those charges immediately.

Thank you for your partnership in this important aspect of our students’ school experience. If you have questions or concerns related to our nutrition and wellness program, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Mrs. Landrum.

Cafeteria Payment System Problem Resolved

Families,

Due to a glitch in the GCPS student information system file, some of our student accounts became inactive in the MyPaymentsPlus online payment system and parents were unable to utilize their children’s meal accounts.

This problem has been fixed.   We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused to our students and parents. We do encourage parents to take advantage of the online payment system and are confident there will be no further difficulties with that process.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Gretz or Mrs. Landrum if you have any questions.

School Nutrition and Cafeteria Information

CAFETERIA INFORMATION

We are proud of our award-winning School Nutrition Program. Each week our school cafeterias feature locally grown produce through the Farm to School Program. Student meals can be prepaid at your child’s school or using www.MyPaymentsPlus.com. Students use their student ID numbers to access the online payment system. These numbers are given out during business night at each school on August 14. For information related to cafeteria services, included the Free and Reduced Meal Program, please contact 556-5604.

FREE AND REDUCED MEALS

If your child received free or reduced priced meals for the 13-14 school year, the benefit will continue for the first 30 days of school.   Benefits will end on September 29.  Please submit a free and reduced meal application (available in your school office or the school nutrition office 804-556-5604) before the deadline.

Households that are receiving SNAP or TANF for their children as of July 1 may not have to fill out an application. School officials will notify you in writing of your child(ren)’s eligibility for free meal benefits. Once notified, your child(ren) will receive free meals unless you tell the school that you do not want benefits.

If you are not notified by August 15, 2014, you must submit an application. The application must contain the names of all students in the household, the SNAP or TANF case number, and the signature of an adult household member.

 If you do not receive SNAP or TANF benefits for your child(ren), complete the application and return it to the school division. If you do not list a SNAP or TANF case number for the child(ren) you are applying for, then the application must have the names of all students, the names of all other household members, the amount of income each person received last month, and how often the income was received. An adult household member must sign the application and include the last four digits of their social security number. If the person does not have a social security number, check the box provided indicating none. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals.