To provide quality, healthful school meals and nutritious snack choices while encouraging good nutrition practices as an integral part of the education of our students.
The Department of Food Services encourages a healthy lifestyle by providing meals and snacks that contribute to learning about wise food choices.
South Windsor Schools participate in the federally funded National School Meals Program and the Healthy Food Certification. Breakfast and Lunch are offered to all students, whether paid, at reduced price or no cost to students whose families qualify financially and have completed all required forms. Contact our office for an application or link to the application here. More Free and Reduced payment information below.
Meals may be purchased by students and staff and visitors to the school in one of the following ways:
PAYMENT PROCEDURES - POINT OF SALE (POS) ACCOUNT DEPOSITS
Students will be expected to pay for meals at the time of service. Students have each been assigned a Student Meal Account and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to allow only he/she access to the account, this information is included in the cover letter. To activate the account for your student, you must deposit money into the account. We encourage students to use their accounts as it allows for less chance of lost lunch money, quicker service at lunch time, and more parental control over a la carte purchases. Parents can make deposits to the account by making payments to the kitchen staff in one of three ways:
- Cash: accepted in any amount for deposit to the account. You may choose to send cash each day for purchases. However, this reduces our ability to assist you in controlling your child’s purchases, or in recognizing any special restrictions or allergies. Since your child does not need to use their PIN when paying with cash we would have no record of the detailed information.
Online payment: Our account management software offers a parent portal through PAYPAMS, a website for parents to manage their children’s accounts. Parents register at www.paypams.com and make payments directly to the child’s account using a credit card (there is a transaction fee for using a credit card which is explained on the website).
- must be written for a minimum of $25 or more
- must be written in blue or black ink
- payable to SOUTH WINDSOR SCHOOLS FOOD SERVICES or SWSFS
- include child’s first and last name on check as a reference
PAYPAMS also offers FREE to all parents the opportunity to view your students’ accounts to see what was purchased each day. Parents are encouraged to register at www.paypams.com to view their child’s account at no cost and see what is being purchased and how often. Based on how you sign up, this site can also provide an automatic reminder to your email to alert you when the account has fallen below a set amount, which would be pre-determined by you, the parent. Please note: if your child is only using cash for purchases, we will have no record of activity on their account in PAYPAMS.
Written notification will be sent home weekly for accounts that fall below $12 in our Elementary Schools. Please watch for these notices in your child’s backpack. Send your payment in an envelope with your child’s name, marked for Food Services on the outside, and have your child return it to the cashier or use Paypams online. See our policies for students with no lunch and no money on account at our website.
Payment of cash or check should be brought to the kitchen staff upon arrival at school. Cashiers will apply the deposit to the account on that day. However, if the cash or check is brought to kitchen staff at meal time, the deposit may not be available until the next day.
Breakfast is available in all schools. Students are allowed to come in up to 20 minutes prior to school starting time and join us in the cafeteria for a variety of choices including both hot and cold cereals and breakfast sandwiches, fruit, juice and milk. Please feel free to join your child for breakfast one morning! Students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches, also qualify for breakfast. Students who use their POS account for lunch, may also use it for breakfast! Parents may want to review the limits currently on their child’s account and make changes if necessary. For your convenience, healthy snacks are also sold at this time for students who need a snack for classroom snack time.
Free and Reduced Applications
You may be eligible for free or reduced price meals! Applications are sent as part of the summer mailing and can be completed and returned to the food service office prior to the opening of the school year or at any time during the year if circumstances warrant it. Simply obtain a Free and Reduced Price Meal Lunch Application from your child’s school. Each family need only complete one application, even if there are students at several schools within the district. Students going to the magnet school will get separate information from Two Rivers Middle School. Attached to the application is Addendum B which concerns HUSKY Insurance offered by the Department of Social Services, State of CT. Although we do not handle the application processing, we are providing the information for you.
Free and reduced application.
Family Friendly Multiple Language Application Link
NEW THIS YEAR: CHANGES IN FREE AND REDUCED INFORMATION
Applicants for Free and Reduced Price Meals should note
« Receiving SNAP benefits? You are automatically qualified! You do not need to apply. If you received a letter from the CSDSS, forward that to us. You will receive a confirmation letter from our office of your children’s status.
« Are you a foster parent to a state or court mandated foster child? By submitting a copy of the legal document your foster child will qualify for free meals automatically. Don’t have that document? Complete an application for your foster child. His or her status does not affect your family’s status.
« A foster child may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits.
Wellness Policy and School Meal Nutrition Guidelines
During the 2005-06 school year the district Board of Education adopted a Wellness Policy that encompasses both food and exercise in it's scope. The guidelines for food served and sold to students during the school day are provided in the Wellness Policy. In addition, the State of CT legislature passed a new law that restricts beverages provided in schools to milk and 100% juices in portions up to 12 oz and water in any portion. Further this legislation provides for guidelines for foods sold a la carte and in locations other than the meal program area of the school.
High School Parents
The offerings for students at the high school are greatly expanded which means that your student will have more freedom in making his/her meal choices. We suggest that you talk with your student(s) about spending limits and to allow the POS account to be open for both meals and snack to alow your student the flexibility to purchase both meals and items a la carte. The new regulations have changed our menu for the new year and changed the a la carte offerings to meet the new Department of Education Guidleines for Healthy Foods and Beverages.
Middle School Parents
Our cafeteria offers breakfast prior to the start of the school day. If your student is one of the many who come to school having skipped breakfast, this may be an opportunity for them to get something to eat before classes. If you wish your child to participate in breakfast and use their Point of Sale account, please check any limits you have on the student's account to be sure it includes the price of breakfast as well as lunch. The regulations and our new Wellness Policy have changed our snacks and a la carte offerings to reflect the guidelines set by the Department of Education.
We go on Field Trips Too!
With so many students using the Point of Sale (POS) system, we want to be sure all parents know that we do prepare bag lunches for any student going on a field trip. We simply ask that parents notify the teacher at least 2 days ahead so that we can have the bag ready before your child leaves on the day of the field trip. These bag lunches can be purchased with cash or account.
Elementary Form Middle School Form
Food Services Links: School Nutrition Association (SNA)
School Nutrition Association of Connecticut
United States Department of Agriculture – Child Nutrition (USDA)
FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center, National Agricultural Library
5 A Day
Produce for Better Health Foundation
Wheat Foods Council
Institute of Medicine School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children