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School Meals

About Us

Child Nutrition Services contributes to all Wake County Public School students' academic success by providing nutritious meals with quality service at an affordable price. For more information, contact us at (919) 856-2918.

Food safety and sanitation

School dining rooms are inspected more often than other places that serve food because they serve children. Middle and high schools are inspected three times a year. Elementary schools are inspected four times a year. Check out the sanitation score of your child's school lunchroom.

Nutritional quality

Nutrition standards for school meals are aligned with the latest nutrition science. Age-appropriate meals are designed for grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 based on the meal pattern established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and dietary specifications including limits on fats, sodium and calories. We perform a nutrient analysis using specially developed software for school meal programs and we adapt our menus to reflect the recent nutritional guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
 
Our school meals initiatives focus on the improvement of student health and enhanced ability to learn through better nutrition. Meals are made fresh daily and we offer a variety of appetizing choices that include quality proteins such as 100% beef and whole muscle chicken, low-fat dairy, an assortment of fruits and vegetables and more whole grains. 
 

Support of local farms

Strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, apples, grapes, peaches, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and blueberries that are grown on North Carolina farms are served in our dining rooms throughout the year. Our participation in the North Carolina Farm to School Program gives students the opportunity to enjoy locally grown produce. The N.C. Department of Agriculture program supports local agriculture opening an additional market for North Carolina farmers.

Offer vs. serve

Students are encouraged to take what they want and to eat what they take. Offer vs Serve is a meal option that allows students to make food choices and minimize waste. Students are offered a "meal" consisting of a certain number of components; however, students may choose to decline certain components and still be served a complete meal that qualifies them to pay the combination meal price.
 
At lunch, students must take at least three of the five components - meat or meat alternative, fruit, vegetable, grain and milk - and one must be a fruit or a vegetable serving in order to be charged the combination meal price. At breakfast, students must take at least three of the four items offered, and only one must be a fruit or vegetable serving. Some food items may contain more than one component. For example, lasagna is meat, bread/grain and vegetable.
 
Students that take less than the required components must pay the a la carte price for those items because the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not subsidize the cost of the incomplete meal.

Other general rules:
  • Students must take at least ½ cup serving of the fruit or vegetable component or a combination of ¼ cup fruit and ¼ cup vegetables.
  • Students may take two ¼ cup servings of the same item - fruit or vegetable - to meet the requirement.
  • Cashiers will remind students that they have an incomplete meal before charging a la carte prices for the meal. 
  • WCPSS offers more fruits and vegetables daily than is required. Students may take all side choices as part of the meal except that a maximum of 2 fruits is permitted when an assortment of fresh fruits are offered. Students still need to receive the required meal components to qualify for the combination meal price.

Non-discrimination statement

This explains what to do if you believe you have been treated unfairly. In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policy, the USDA, its agencies, offices and employees and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the federal relay service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office,, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information required in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
 
  1. mail:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email: program.intake@usad.gov
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 
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