Parents


SchoolFoodBostonCollage

Welcome back from February Break!

As our last post mentioned, we’ve rolled out some new recipes this year, and we’d love to hear your thoughts!

What do you LIKE on the menu?
What do you DISLIKE on the menu?
What would you like to see on the menu in the future?

Email us your thoughts at SchoolFoodBoston@bostonpublicschools.org or complete the survey below:

LTAF_2014Sep27

Come to Copley Square on September 27th for the 3rd Annual Let’s Talk About Food Festival!

Looking for fresh ideas for family meals? Join Sally Sampson of Chop Chop magazine and former White House Chef Bill Yossesfor a cooking demonstration aimed at turning kids on to healthy foods and cooking.

Stop by the Chop Chop cooking tent for some hands-on fun! Kids assemble healthy after-school snacks.

Check out Project Bread’s School Food Fair, featuring cooking demonstrations and taste testing every hour on the hour with fresh, healthy, innovative school food dishes straight out of Project Bread’s school food cookbook.

If that’s not enough, free screenings of Fed Up! and Cafeteria Man, two of the year’s most important food-focused documentaries, both shining a light on children and food in Trinity Church.

Activities for kids and families throughout the day!
The Festival is FREE and open to all!

Check the festival website for full schedule details: http://www.boston.com/sponsored/extra/letstalkaboutfood/festival

News stories in the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe during the first few days of school echo the excitement of Food and Nutrition Service about free breakfast for all Boston school students.

Starting on the first day of school, September 6, all students at all Boston schools were offered the opportunity to start the day with a healthy, free meal.  The program is applauded by nutritionists, principals, and students.

The Boston Globe article refers to a study that measured the impact of school breakfast in 16 Boston public schools.  The study showed that increasing student participation in school breakfast also improved nutrition, school attendance, emotional functioning, and math grades.

To read the full articles check out the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe websites.

The Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness (BCFF) hosted the second School Food Subcommittee meeting December 19th at the Tobin Community Center in Roxbury.  The Subcommittee is intended as a forum for youth and community partners to both learn about and influence school food in Boston.

The first meeting, held on November 21st, 2011, focused on the Salad Bars to Schools Initiative.  Students from Boston Latin School and East Boston High School spoke on a panel about the process of applying for and acquiring salad bars at their schools.  Instrumental to the process at East Boston High (EBH) was the Healthy Hood Club, which was founded by Cait Van Damm and Alison Smizer of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in 2010.  Read about the EBH salad bar story here.

The most recent BCFF School Food Subcommittee meeting focused on the source of school food – everything from USDA commodities, to local produce, to bread and milk.  The BCFF team participated in a farm to table exercise, lead by Kim Szeto (BPS Farm to School Coordinator), in which they were asked to map the progression of a variety of BPS lunch menu items from origin to consumption.

The next BCFF School Food School Food Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for January 23rd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Tobin Community Center and will focus on campaign building and organizing in order to promote healthy school lunch options and local food.  The meeting is open to all Boston area students, teachers, parents, Food and Nutrition Services staff, and community partners.  We encourage you to join the conversation! For more information about the BCFF School Food Subcommittee or to RSVP for the next meeting please email Kim at kszeto[at]boston.k12.ma.us.

Attention BPS Parents! 

Back to School means it is once again time to fill out the Boston Public Schools Meal Application.  Applications are used to determine eligibility for free and/or reduced price school meals. 

Applications, information, and instructions are available here in 8 different languages or from your school Cafeteria Manager or Attendant.  Applications are also available in 26 different languages from the USDA website.

School Meal Prices:

Breakfast: full price: $1.50 / reduced price $0.30 / free price: $0.00

Elementary Lunch: full price: $2.25 / reduced price $0.40 / free price: $0.00

Middle and High School Lunch: full price $2.50 / reduced price $0.40 / free price: $0.00

The Application Process:

  • All Parents, regardless of income, should complete a School Meal Application.
  • Meal Applications must be completed on an annual basis, which means even if you completed an application for your child last year, you must complete a new application this year.
  • By law, students may eat using their last year’s status for the first 30 operational days of school (October 20, 2011), or until a new application is submitted and processed.  After October 20th, if a new application has not been submitted, the student status will change to “Paid,” and she/he will have to pay for meals.   

Important Information about School Meal Applications:

  • Only ONE “Family Application for Meal Benefits” application for all children in your household is required.
  • Children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP or TAFDC are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of household  income.  Please indicate your SNAP or TAFDC status on the Meal Application form. 
  • Any Foster Child in a household is automatically eligible for free meals, regardless of household income.  Please indicate your child’s foster care status on the Meal Application form.    
  • You may fill out a Meal Application at any time during the school year.  If your income changes or you lose your job, please fill out another application – your child may become eligible for free meals!
  • School Meal Applications are completely confidential.
  • New federal guidelines require only the last 4 digits of your social security number for the School Meal Application.  If you do not have a social security number, or you and/or your children are not US citizens, you should still fill out a School Meal Application – your children can be eligible for free and reduced price school meals regardless.    

Why Complete a Meal Application?

Meal Applications, in addition to facilitating free meals for children from low-income families, provide a myriad of benefits to children, schools, and communities:

  • Students perform better academically when they have eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch.
  • Schools qualify for funding from Title I and eRate when students who qualify for free and reduced cost meals complete applications.
  • Schools receive state funding based on information in the School Meal Applications.  This includes money for books, classroom furniture, school supplies, educational resources, and grant programs such as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
  • Students can qualify for reduced price AP (Advanced Placement) and SAT testing.
  • Students can qualify for free after school programs.
  • Teachers may have their student loans waived if the work for a high free and reduced school. 

Questions?

Contact the Department of Food and Nutrition Services at 617-635-9144, 6371, or 6372.