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  • Contact: 
    • Suzanne Wixom
      School Lunch Director, Childhood Nutrition Office
      377-4666 ext. 50730 / swixom@niskayunaschools.org

District opts out
of National School Lunch program

January 23, 2013

In the 2012-13 school year, new, national school lunch standards took effect in schools across the country. Niskayuna school officials worked hard to implement the changes, as they continued to pay attention to student and parent feedback and the district's need to run a cost effective program. As a result of student and parent feedback, and a significant decrease in students buying lunch, the district decided to opt-out of the National School Lunch Program in January 2013.

Despite this change, school meals continue to be nutritious and well-rounded.

In particular, here are the changes that students will notice:

  • Portion sizes will increase.
  • Popular meals, menu items, and daily alternatives will return.
  • Students will have the option to take a fruit and a vegetable every day. Yet, they will not be required to have one on their tray - an element of the new standards that resulted in significant waste in our cafeterias.

Some elements of our school lunch program will remain the same. These include:

  • Students who qualify for free and reduced price meals will continue to receive them. The qualification guidelines will remain the same.
  • Each lunch will contain five components: milk, grain, protein, vegetable, and fruit. (Students will choose between three and all five components.)

The price of a school lunch in 2013-14 will remain the same.

We hope to see increased participation in the school lunch program as a result of this decision. Despite the loss of federal meal reimbursements, we have calculated that the surest way to ensure a cost-effective program is to have sufficient numbers of students buying lunch.

To do this, we have to make sure that they are finding more satisfying and appealing choices in the cafeteria, and that they are full for their afternoon classes and activities.

If you have any questions about the changes outlined above or the school lunch program overall, please contact the Childhood Nutrition Office.