Welcome back students and parents to another new school year at Shaker! My name is Mark Jacobs and I am the Food Service Director for Shaker Schools. I am looking forward to getting back to some normalcy in our cafeterias. I have put together this handout to help our new parents to the district as well as our veterans in understanding and hopefully answering some questions about our food service program here at Shaker. Our responsibility is to provide the healthiest meal possible for all of our students while ensuring all State and Federal Guidelines are being met. I know this doesn’t meet the needs of every student everyday and that is why I am available anytime to help any parents that may have questions about the menu so that they can make the decision if they would like their child to purchase their lunch from school or bring it from home.
Shaker schools are part of the National School Lunch Program which is a federally assisted meal program. It was put in place to ensure students are getting a healthy well balanced meal at school. The federal requirement is that each meal is made up of the five components; meat/meat alternative, dairy, grain, fruit, and vegetables and is portioned to specific amounts based on the child’s grade level. Other requirements that have to be met when creating the menus’ are specific calories and sodium counts. Please see the chart below:
When creating our menu’s for each school, we try to design to the likes of the students. We hand out surveys twice a year, and we talk to the students daily to see what they enjoy or would like to see added to the menu. When creating the menu, we try to have components that the kids won’t be afraid to try and are familiar with. We will use as much fresh fruit and vegetables as we can everyday and even incorporating them into other items for an extra veggie bonus, as well as, making as much food daily from scratch. Once we have created the menus, we then work with our AVI K-12 dietician to ensure our menu meets the requirements of the NSLP. At Woodbury, Middle School and High School there are A La Carte items that are available for an extra purchase. All of these items and the items in our vending machine are all approved by the USDA Smart Snacks Guidelines and each item has at least one of the mandatory food components as a main ingredient. So whether your child gets a meal or goes for something extra, they are still eating smart!
Many parents have asked about monitoring their children’s accounts. Parents want to know what their child is purchasing as extras and a time frame for adding money to their accounts. You are able to view your child’s account daily through your PayForIt.net account for up to 30 days. Though we cannot put a “block” on your child accounts, we do our best communicating to all our cashiers by putting a note on your child’s account as they go through the lines of specific purchases that can or cannot be made. When making a payment to your child’s account on PayForIt.net, if it is done before 10:00 am it will show up for that day’s lunch. Anything after 10:00 am will be available the next business day. Weekly low balance letters are printed out every Thursday as a reminder of what your child’s current balance is and are sent to the office to be distributed for the students to take home.
I am sure there are many more questions you might have, but these have been some of the consistent questions and concerns throughout the years past. Myself and the Office Manager, Felecia McElroy, are always available if you have any questions or concerns. We can be reached at 216-295-4289 or 216-295-4342.
Food Service Director