NDS makes the School Breakfast program available to approximately 7,600 children each day. School Breakfast provides a student with ¼ of their daily calories and key growth nutrients. A typical breakfast consists of a whole grain entrée such as an apple-cinnamon muffin, mini maple pancakes, or an egg & cheese bagel, a half-pint of low-fat or fat-free milk, and two servings of fruit, such as fresh fruit, applesauce, raisins, or 100% fruit juice. The School Breakfast program can be served:
- in the cafeteria
- as a Grab ‘N Go program, and then eaten in the classroom
- served in the classroom during the homeroom period
NDS partners with 109 parochial, charter and small Christian schools throughout the southeastern region of Pennsylvania. On an average day 17,000 lunches are served. The School Lunch provides a student with 1/3 of their daily requirement for calories and key growth nutrients. In School Year 2012-13, the nutrient standards for the School lunch program were changed. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of whole grains served, and an increase in the quantity and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables served. NDS uses the “Reach for the Stars” theme to encourage students to select and eat their daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables. Based on family income, school lunch is available either at full price or at no cost. For the 2019-2020 school year, a full price lunch is $2.70 per day. NDS assists participating schools by fully equipping them with a convection oven, refrigerator and freezer. NDS also maintains the equipment. NDS provides compensation to participating schools to cover the cost of running the program.
Community Eligibility Provision
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is an opportunity for eligible schools to expand access to free lunch and breakfast to all students. 94% of the schools under NDS’ sponsorship are eligible and participating in CEP in the 2018-19 school year.
CEP is breaking down barriers to healthy meals by eliminating the need for an annual household application based on family income. Parents no longer need to worry about packing a lunch because they know balanced meals are offered at no cost every day. Instead of collecting order envelopes several weeks in advance, students have the flexibility to decide each morning whether they will eat school lunch.
Without money collection and accounting, breakfast and lunch managers are free to focus on preparing nutritious meals. CEP has shown increased participation in school meals. NDS is looking forward to seeing even more of these positive results in eligible schools this school year.
In the case of a school which does not offer a school meal, the school may participate in the Special Milk Program. Since it is subsidized, the cost of a half-pint of milk is just $0.15. NDS assists the participating schools with a refrigerator to store the milk.
À La Carte Snack
For schools in search of healthy snack choices for their students, NDS has a variety of À La Carte products available, all of which meet the Smart Snacks in School regulations. NDS charges the school by the full case of snacks, and schools can choose their own pricing for resale. À la carte snacks may be served anytime except when the school is serving breakfast or lunch. These snacks are available year-round, so you can make them a regular part of your school day or keep them in mind for special occasions.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program has grown from a pilot project of the US Department of Agriculture into a program that is now available in all fifty states. The goal is to introduce children to a variety of fruits and vegetables. Currently NDS partners with 19 schools that were chosen by the PA Department of Education through a competitive process.
For more information about the federal School Meals programs, visit the USDA website.