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Offer vs. Serve Policy

Beginning July 1, 1996, regulations for USDA's Healthy Schools Meal Initiative went into effect. The Westside Community Schools has elected to use Food-Based Menu Planning to comply with the new regulations.

The new system requires elementary schools to serve 12 bread servings per week, one extra fruit or vegetable per week, and an extra 1/2 ounce of protein to children in kindergarten through third grade.

The additional bread servings add a considerable amount of food to each meal. This can result in large waste of both food and resources. In order to address this problem, all elementary schools will use the "offer vs. serve" method of serving school lunch.

The following rules apply for this method of service: - There are five (5) meal components: - meat or meat alternate (2 ounces per day) - two servings of vegetable/fruit (3/4c per day + 1/2c over a week) - breads/grains (12 servings per week-minimum of 1 per day) - milk (8 fluid ounces per day)

- Students are required to take any three (3) meal components. They may not take two of the same components. For example: Students may not take two main dishes or two milks as part of the three, four or five meal components. A duplicate item must be paid for at ala carte pricing.

- Students may take four (4) or all five (5) if they wish.

- Students may choose any 3 or 4 meal components they desire. Staff cannot require the student to take a main dish or milk. Any three or four of the five components is sufficient.

- Students pay the same for any 3, 4, or 5 components. This is considered a Type A meal and qualifies for reimbursement from the federal government.

- Once students have left the line and taken their seat, they may not come back for a meal component they passed up while in line.

- An adult must be at the end of the line to assure that every student has at least 3 meal components on their tray.

- Although this may slow the line initially, students will adjust to making their choices quickly. A student pondering whether to take an item will receive the item on his/her tray and may choose not to eat it at the table.

- Students should not be required to eat the food on their tray. This is their option.

The Westside Community School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin or disability.
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