School has begun, and we are so excited to welcome back our students. The Child Nutrition Department is ready to rock and roar through the 2021-2022 school year.
There were some changes set forth by the entity that regulates our child nutrition programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This year, every grain served is now required to be whole grain. This change will require some recipe modifications, but our teams take pride in their culinary creations, and they will continue to create nutritionally strong, kid-friendly meals that meet the regulatory requirements.
USDA will continue to allow our district to feed all students free meals for the 2021-2022 school year. This is wonderful news for families, and we truly hope you will encourage your students to participate in our meal programs.
Every year, the USDA requires Child Nutrition to complete the Paid Lunch Equity Tool to determine the minimum we must charge for adults/visitors/second meals. This year we saw an increase from $4 to $4.15. Student meal accounts are accessible to view or manage on the MAS/Wengage Parent Portal.
Tahlequah Child Nutrition, through their partnership with Sodexo, has all menus and nutritional values along with other information available through the So Happy by Sodexo App available for Apple and Android users. Menus are also available online at tahlequahschools.org.
Although meals are provided free to all students this year, we are still required to collect Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications from our district families. This program helps not just the Child Nutrition Program, but it helps every student in the entire district.
The Free and Reduced Program plays a major role in Title funding and grant receipt for the district, which translates to more opportunities for all students. The program is imperative for the growth of our district. Applications are available at all school site offices, the Child Nutrition Office, online at tahlequahschools.org and at the Board of Education. Thank you for your cooperation.
For any questions, call 918-458-4193.
We greatly appreciate your support and look forward to serving your children every day. See you in the school cafeteria!
Leon Ashlock is superintendent of the Tahlequah I-35 School District.