Lunch Program

For questions, contact Mrs. DiRocco at 797-7073, or email jenn.dirocco@portlanddiocese.org.

Our goal is to offer a healthy, well-balanced lunch for your child every full school day.

The federally approved but optional hot lunch program and milk is available for all students. Forms and menus will be sent home every two weeks and must be returned by the specified date. If you choose to send lunch with your child, please avoid glass containers and foods that need to be heated.

MEALS
Food Provider: Portland School System

All entree items will come as a meal.  There are three options to choose from every day, and all are served as a complete meal. The meals consist of an entree, fruits/vegetables and low-fat milk. A second entree may be added as long as it is the same as the first. All meals meet the nutritional guidelines set forth by the Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Services.

We also have a snack bar stocked with healthy low-fat choices, such as Smart Food popcorn, baked Doritos, granola bars, yogurt, fruit and occasionally sweets such as Rice Krispie bars.

We sell milk every day, offering a choice of low-fat plain milk and chocolate flavored milk. We also sell bottled water.

MENUS/ORDERING

A monthly menu will be sent home; it will have the entire month on it for you to keep at home and be able to use for planning purposes.  We will continue to send menus for ordering/payment purposes.  The menus will be sent home approximately every 3 weeks in the Friday Folder and must be returned on Monday.  The Monday deadline is very important; when orders are not received on time they run the risk of not being processed.  Orders will be confirmed in the classrooms every morning, but it is important for planning purposes to pre-order when the menus are sent out.  Daily purchasing should be the exception, not the rule!  Pre-ordering helps cut costs by reducing waste.

The price of each meal will be $3.75.  Second entrees with a meal will be $1.50.  Snack items will range from 50 cents to $1.00.

CHARGING/BILLING

We have a state-of-the-art computer system that tracks purchases and payments. Each student is assigned a key code that accesses their account. They also receive a school ID card following fall school pictures, which has a bar code that can access their lunch account.

Excessive charging and accumulation of large balances has been a big issue. Unpaid balances cost the school money. In order to address this, we are instituting policies to address the issues, and there will be no charging.  We suggest that anyone who wants to use the lunch program, even in an emergency, carry a $10 credit at all times.  This credit would be above and beyond the charges due on the current week’s menu choices.  If a child does not have a credit and needs a lunch on an emergency basis, they will be sent to the office for parent permission to get a lunch that day, and the balance due is to be paid the following school day.  Anyone with a balance due from last year will not be allowed to use the lunch program until the balance due is paid off.  Billing will be done either weekly or bi-weekly, as needed if credits go below $10.  Everyone is encouraged to set up a Paypams account. There is no charge to have an account and you can keep tabs on your child’s lunch account this way.

LUNCH ACCOUNT LIMITATIONS

In an effort to control student accounts, we are asking parents to fill out a form to indicate if they want any limitations placed on their child’s account.  While this will not be foolproof, it will help limit your child’s access to what they are allowed to purchase.  Some examples are: May only purchase milk, May purchase an extra milk, May purchase one snack item in addition to lunch, May not make any additional purchases, No snack items, Only fruit, etc.  A notation will be placed on your child’s account to alert the cashier that there is a limitation.  Any food allergies will also be noted on the child’s account.

 FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH

We do offer applications for Free and Reduced lunch at the beginning of every school year. This is an income-based government program. If you think you might be eligible, please withhold payment and send a note with your order.

NEEDED – HOT LUNCH VOLUNTEERS!

Our lunch program is a unique one in that we rely on parent volunteers to help out every day. This helps keep our families’ tuition costs down. We would need to have at least 3 paid employees to do the work that our parent volunteers provide by serving lunch on a daily basis. By volunteering, you are supporting our mission statement in helping us to our school community. It’s also an excellent way to meet new parents and connect with your child and his/her friends in the school setting.

We prepare the lunch trays for handing out, cook hamburgers and hot dogs and then serve the students their lunches. There is then time to get ready for the next set of students and also visit with your child if it is their lunch period. When all the students have been served, we clean up and we are finished! Please note that if you are only available for part of the time frame, you are more than welcome to still volunteer, depending on a volunteer staff also means that flexibility is a key component!

There are a variety of volunteer schedules to choose from; it really depends on what you are able to commit to. There are parents who come every week, on the same day. Others come in every 2 weeks, or others, once a month. Every commitment helps the program and is welcome!

Volunteers typically come from 11:15 until 1:15.  Your help is needed to maintain the lunch program!!  If you have small children we can still use you!!  If you can’t be in the kitchen serving food, you can be in the cafe handing out milk!  We can provide entertainment for your small child.  If you can only come for part of the lunch time (we serve all the grades from 11:45 to 1:15) that would still be a big help!  So if you can only come from 11:45 to 12:45, or 12:00 to 1:00 – any part will be a help!! Interested parties please contact Mrs. Dirocco, Hot Lunch Coordinator at 797-7073, or email: jenn.dirocco@portlanddiocese.org. 

FOR THOSE WHO VOLUNTEER – THANKS SO MUCH!!

If you have signed up to volunteer – THANKS SO MUCH!!  If you are a new volunteer, on your assigned day, please come to the kitchen in the Father Hayes Center around 11:15.  For more details on volunteering to help with lunch, please see this letter.  If you are going to be late or cannot come in at all, PLEASE call!  You can call the school 797-7073.  If you can come on a day when we have an opening – feel free to just show up without calling to confirm!  If you signed up and are not on the schedule, please let me know!

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