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5.25.P.1 Food Services
District and school administrators will work together to provide a safe, accessible and compliant food service program and shall observe the following directives in operating the food services programs.

Meals in schools.  Each school shall:
Provide meals at a reasonable price and accordingly shall use state allocated food services funds to supplement federal funds as a means of keeping prices within reach of paying students.  
Encourage students to participate in each school's meal program while still allowing meals to be brought from home.  
Provide modified meals, upon a physician's written request, for students with food allergies or other special food needs.  (The allergies would be of a life threatening or severe reaction nature.)

Each school that includes grades kindergarten (K) through eight (8) shall:
  • Ensure that nutritious foods are available as an affordable option whenever food is sold or served and that Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV) as defined by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) are prohibited.  This includes all food and beverages sold and/or served to students at school during the normal school day exclusive of school parties.  

Each school in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) are:
  • Prohibited from the sale of FMNV in the dining, serving, and kitchens areas during breakfast and lunch periods. 

Each school, (kindergarten [K] through twelve [12]) shall inform families, upon request, about the ingredients and nutritional value of the foods served. 

Competitive foods.  Competitive foods mean any foods sold in competition with the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program to students during the meal periods.  The principal may approve the sale of competitive foods if:
  • All income from the sale of such foods accrue to the benefit of: 
    • The nonprofit school food service; or 
    • The school or student organizations approved by the District. 
    • They are sold in locations other than the dining, serving, and kitchen areas.  
    • The school promotes an overall school environment that encourages students to make healthy food choices.  
    • The competitive foods meet the state nutrition standards.

Pricing, posting, and expenses. The school meal program must be non-profit.  Pricing for student and adult meals shall be established to comply with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Education and shall be reviewed and adjusted periodically as necessary.  Revenue generation should not take precedence over the nutritional needs of students.   Prices for catering shall be reviewed periodically and shall reflect direct cost of operations.  Revenues received are to be used only for the operation or improvement of the program.

Schools shall ensure that:
  • The sale price of any food items sold including a reimbursable meal shall be posted in the dining area. 
  • School meal program facilities used by outside organizations or individuals must have approval from the school principal or food service supervisor. 
  • If outside organizations or individuals use the food service facilities, a qualified staff member must be on duty.
  • All food items and/or consumable supplies purchased through the food service program and all labor used for a special meal function must be reported.  The sponsoring agency must be billed for the food, labor and other costs of the special function.  All special meal functions must operate on a self-sustaining basis.  
  • Each person who eats a school meal must pay the regular price for the meal with two (2) exceptions:  
    • Students who have an approved free or reduced-price income application on file for the current school year.
    • Food service employees who are paid from school lunch funds.
  • No person is permitted to take food or garbage from the food service program for personal use.

Training.  The school meal program director/supervisor will develop ongoing in-service and staff development training opportunities for staff in the area of food safety, nutrition, and customer service. 

Eligibility.  Principals will ensure that families are aware of need-based programs for free or reduced price meals and encourage eligible families to apply.  The confidentiality of students and families applying for or receiving free or reduced priced meals shall be maintained.

Dining environment.  Principals shall ensure that students and staff have adequate space to eat meals in pleasant surroundings and shall have adequate time to eat, relax, and socialize.  Safe drinking water and convenient access to facilities for hand washing and oral hygiene shall be available.

Student workers.  Students shall be allowed to assist with meal preparation and service if mutually agreeable between the parent, teacher, and food service staff.  Student workers must receive documented food safety and sanitation training.

Denial of meals as disciplinary action.  School personnel shall not withhold food from students as punishment.  Disciplinary action, which indirectly results in the loss of meals, is allowable (such as suspension from school).  Any student attending school, who is not allowed to eat in the cafeteria for disciplinary reasons, shall have a reimbursable meal made available to them. 

Feeding Senior Citizens.  The District may enter into an agreement to provide meals for persons sixty (60) years of age or older and their spouses, or any group of such persons. 

Student, Parent, Teacher and Community Involvement.  The District shall promote activities to involve students and parents in the food/nutrition program.  Activities may include menu planning, enhancement of the eating environment, program promotion and related student-community support activities.  Schools are encouraged to use the school meal program to teach students about good nutrition practices.  School faculties and the general community should be involved in activities to improve the overall acceptability of the food service program.  Each school should welcome and encourage parents to eat with students. 

Recordkeeping.  The District must keep complete and accurate records of the school meal program to serve as a basis for claims for reimbursement and for audit and review purposes.  All records and tickets must be kept in accordance with the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program State Guidance Manual.
Safety inspections.  The District is required to obtain a minimum of two (2) food safety inspections each school year. 

Other food sales.  Food sales by student or adult entities or organizations during the school day shall be permitted provided these sales ensure optimum student participation in the school meals program and are in compliance with the local wellness policy and state and federal regulations.

When meals or snacks are offered to students in organized after-school education or enrichment programs, they should be provided by the food services program.