The Meals, They Are A Changin’
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is instituting major changes for the 12/13 school year. All Districts will be forced to change to the Food Based Menu Planning option versus the Nutrient Standard Menu Planning.
A few of the areas that are changing are:
• Caloric Intake: The new NSLP will be broken down into three age categories – K – 5; 6 – 8; 9 – 12. If there are mixed grade levels in one building you use the highest number from the youngest age group and the lowest number from the oldest age group. For example, K-5 – 550 650 calories and 6-8 600-700 calories. For a 3-6 building, you would use 600 – 650 calories as the baseline.
• Whole grains must constitute 50% of the grains served in the NSLP. Over the course of the week, the following grain quantities must be served:
K – 5: 8 – 9 ounces
6 – 8: 8 – 10 ounces
9 – 12: 10-12 ounces
• Daily meat and meat alternative requirement is 1 ounce for K-8 and 2 ounces 9-12. However, there is a cumulative weekly requirement for K-5 of 8-10 oz, 6-8 of 9-10 oz and 9-12 of 10-12 oz.
• Flavored milk served will be fat free. Regular milk can be fat free or 1%.
• Sodium levels will decrease over the next two years.
• Reimbursable Meal: Students must take a fruit or vegetable with their lunch to be considered a reimbursable meal.
What does this mean for the Salamanca Food Services? Many changes are coming. Currently 70% of Districts utilize the food based menu option, however Salamanca is among the 30% that do not. Therefore, we will be required to change our way of planning and preparing lunches. Due to this major change, we are now required to go back out to bid for our cafeteria services. We originally had one more year of contract extension, but because this menu planning revision is considered a material change to the contract it now requires a re-bid.
The cost of a school lunch will more than likely increase as a result of these new mandates. This is still up in the air until the bids come in and the State sets new parameters for meal costs.
What does this mean to me as a student?
• It means you will be receiving more fruits and vegetables as a part of your daily lunch. Students in K-8 are required to have ½ cup of fruit daily while students 9– 12 are required to have 1 cup of fruit daily. The fruit option must be fresh, canned in juice, water or light syrup; frozen without sugar or dried. Some of your favorites might not be available any longer due to the regulation change.
• Your menu options will also change.
• Because of other parts of the law, you will no longer be permitted to bring in food from outside – other than from HOME – to eat in the cafeteria. You will not be able to have McDonalds, Subway, or Burger King or any other competitive foods in the cafeterias.
One of the things you may have seen recently on the national news is about “pink slime” or Lean Fine Textured Beef (LFTB). The USDA did purchase this substance and is using it at the present time. However, upon using up the amounts they have on hand, this substance will no longer be used in the National School Lunch Program. According to the USDA, the LFTB is a safe material that has been utilized in the production of USDA beef products for the past two decades. It will not be an option for vendors supplying beef for the 2012-2013 school year.