HOT LUNCH Information
Hall PTA manages our hot lunch program District-wide and we contract with Good Earth to provide healthy and organic meals. Each meal costs $6.00. We depend on more than 250 parent volunteers to staff lunch service. We follow the guidelines and rules set forth by the California Department of Education School Nutrition and these rules can change periodically.
When are Sign Ups?
There are three hot lunch sessions that align with the schools’ trimester schedule. Before the start of each session, there will be a 2-week period during which we accept student registrations. Winter Hot Lunch signups have closed. Signups for the Spring Session will begin on February 14th, with lunch service starting March 5.
SIGN UP HERE UNTIL MARCH 1st!
- Fall Session: Start of school – end of Nov/early Dec
- Winter Session: Dec – Feb
- Spring Session: Mar – end of school
Why did the Monday and Friday Menus change for Spring Session?
From time to time we need to make changes to the menu mid-year due to cost or sourcing issues. The Monday meal with Chicken Teriyaki meal was costly and labor intensive to our vendor so we had to swap it out for a meal that is less costly and has less labor. For Fridays, we have removed the ham sandwich option and added tuna salad and hummus since the organic and locally-sourced ham vendor is no longer in business. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
How do I sign-up?
When sign-ups open, an email will be sent out with a link to an online form. When you sign-up, you are making a commitment to the lunch days of your choosing for the entire trimester session. Committing to a day ensures enough food is ordered and sent to the school so no child is left without a complete lunch. Each new trimester, you may change your selections. There are no changes permitted once the sessions begin. Again, this is imperative so that we don’t run out of food.
How much does lunch cost?
Lunches cost $6.00 per day.
How do I pay?
Each family will set up an account with MySchoolBucks which will debit the meals that are served to your child. You have the option to pre-pay for everything up front, or pay monthly, or weekly. There is a $2 fee each time you credit your MySchoolBucks account. You can add up to $120 per transaction. You are also welcome to pay at the District Office with a personal check (no transaction fee), payable to LCMSD. Questions, please email Linda Tarantino.
Can I get a refund when my child misses school due to illness or travel?
With MySchoolBucks, you will only be charged for the meals your child receives.
What happens to leftover food?
Due to rules around mandatory food safety regulations and maintaining proper temperature controls, leftovers cannot be taken home. All unused food will go back to Good Earth. Good Earth may choose to participate in a food donation program or compost unused food.
What if my student forgets his/her lunch?
We will never turn away a child who needs lunch. Your MySchoolBucks account will be debited for any lunches served to your child.
Does Good Earth make the pizza?
Stefano’s provides a whole-grain cheese pizza on Wednesdays.
Do meals served follow certain nutritional regulations?
Our District participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and receives funding for compliant meals served to students. In order to receive funding, our District must follow strict requirements on portion sizes including specifications for Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, Calories and Sodium. In addition, lunches served each day must include required amounts of protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk. A variety of vegetables from certain subgroups including dark green leafy, red/orange, and legumes (dried peas and beans) are also required each week.
If my child is still still hungry, are seconds available?
No. The District operates under the Offer versus Serve model. Students will be served once and should request enough food while receiving their allowable portions of meat/meat alternative, grains, vegetables and/or fruits, and milk. Students may request larger portions of fruits and vegetables if quantities are available. Servers adhere to Portion Guidelines.
My child complains about the whole wheat pasta. Can you switch back to the former type?
No. Our meals are specially formulated to be lower in fat, sodium and sugar and higher in fiber to be in compliance with federal regulations for school meals. One of the requirements by the USDA is to serve whole grain or whole wheat pasta, breads and tortillas. It will take some time for students to get used to the taste of these delicious meals. Encouragement from home and school will help students learn to make healthier choices.
Why have you made so many changes to the menu this year?
Our priority is to serve healthy, organic meals that comply with the USDA guidelines. Healthy food provides our children with the energy, focus and attitude to succeed during their time at school. From time to time, we may need to adjust the menu or certain ingredients to comply with any new standards. Failure to comply with guidelines may result in financial penalties from the State. Thank you for your understanding!
How can I sign up to volunteer to serve hot lunch?We are always looking for parent volunteers to help. Contact Sarah Youngs for Neil Cummins, Belinda O’Neil or Melissa Scheeline for Cove or Nadine Aarsheim for Hall.
What's going to happen to the school lunch program for next year?
The District is currently going through the bidding process. Annually, the District is required to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Food Service Management Company to solicit companies interested in managing our food service program for the next school year. The District has sent out two RFP's this school year, but has not received any bids. During the week of March 26th, the third RFP will be sent out.
Will we still have Good Earth?
Good Earth is not a Food Service Management Company (FSMC) they are a Food Service Provider. Currently Hall PTA is the FSMC and Good Earth is their provider.
Why doesn't the District just hire servers and people to run the school lunch program?
While this would change the model of the program, it is an option. However, there are significant monetary implications when hiring additional staff.
What happened to the Conscious Kitchen idea?
Conscious Kitchen has been considered, but currently the District kitchen facilities make it difficult to implement this model without kitchen upgrades to meet State compliance mandates. If this becomes a District budget priority, the District will have to seek resources to fund such projects.
Why do we have to follow all of these state/federal mandates?
The District lunch program receives funding (approximately $125,000 annually) under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); therefore, it is mandatory that the District follow the NSLP regulations. This includes using a District managed payment portal (MySchoolBucks).
What were the results of the survey I took last fall?
- 510 parents responded to the survey
- Top five factors contributing to hot lunch participation: convenience, quality of food, my children like the lunch, organic, and nutritional value.
- The price of hot lunch. . .
- Is a good value: 18%
- Is about right: 59%
- Is too much: 20%
- No response: 3%
- 94% of parents are interested in an in-house program, like the Conscious Kitchen, if it stays within $1 of the current pricing
Board Policy 5030, Student Wellness recognizes the link between student health and learning and desires to provide a comprehensive program promoting healthy eating and physical activity for district students. We coordinate and align district efforts to support wellness through health education, physical education and activity, health services, nutrition services, psychological and counseling services, and a safe and healthy school environment. We are committed to providing nutritious, healthy lunches that include fresh, locally sourced, organic, non-GMO foods to the extent possible. We work closely with Good Earth Natural Foods to provide our school lunches.