Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question other than those below, e-mail the
Is there a way to check my
child's cafeteria balance on-line?
You can access your student balance through your student's Infinite Campus Portal. There is a tab for meals that should be updated daily.
Please contact your individual school for more information.
We have yet to get approval from the school board to invest in opening up an online payment system. If you wish to have this service, please contact your board representative to make your desire known.
If we have a “No School” day because of a storm what will the next
day’s menu be?
In Elementary Schools, we will serve the meal that was to be
served on the storm day the next day. We try to get back onto the printed
menu as soon as possible.
Are there peanuts or any other nuts in any of the food?
In the K-8 schools, no nut products are on the menu.
Some schools are nut-safe and all can have nut-safe tables in the café.
High Schools do offer pbj sandwiches as a menu choice. While the school
can be nut-safe, there cannot be a nut free facilty. Many more items are
now being identified as "Processed in a facility that contains nut or nut
products." These items are so common, they cannot be excluded from
the menus. We will identify these items as possible. Check with
your school nurse for more information.
Why does the menu say “Subject to change without notice”?
Sometimes foods we have ordered for that day’s menu do not arrive
in time or are the wrong item. In these cases we must substitute menu
Have you ever thought of a
system so that students can vote for breakfast and lunch?
Great question! First off, we do conduct periodic taste tests
in the cafeteria. These taste tests serve as a direct way for students to try
potential new menu items and give immediate feedback. We do pay attention to the results from these
tests, so please encourage your children to try the foods at the taste tests
As far as additional avenues for
feedback, we are creating an online survey that will be open to both students
and parents. This survey will allow you
to give us feedback on existing menus as well as things you would like to see
added or removed from the menu.
Your friendly foodservice staff in
the cafeteria is also the first line of contact for thoughts and ideas you have
about school food. They work really hard
to feed your children every day and take a lot of pride in what they do, so do
not forget to give them a great big thank you to show your appreciation for all
their hard work!
How healthy is the food you
serve? Are there guidelines you have to follow?
The food we serve meets the new USDA guidelines as determined by the
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed into law in 2010. This was the first major change to school food
standards in over 15 years! These standards are designed to address obesity and
encourage optimum nutrition for your children.
Yes, the food we serve is healthy! Here are some reasons why:
We provide multiple fresh fruit and vegetable options daily on the salad
bar, to empower our kids to make healthy choices when selecting foods.
All of the grains we serve are whole grains, (pizza crust, rolls, buns,
pasta, rice, etc.).
We always offer at least one vegetarian option.
The meat we do serve is lean meat.
We do not use trans fats, and limit the use of saturated fat.
We limit the use of sodium.
We only offer low and non-fat dairy products.
We strive to offer as much fresh, Maine grown products
as possible. As of April 2015 we served over 139,000
pounds of local foods during the 2015-2016 school year alone!
Every Friday is Farm Fresh Friday, when
multiple items are sourced from local farmers and fishermen
does your food come from?
purchase food from a number of local and national distributors. We also source
some foods directly from local farmers and fishermen as well as bakeries, and
dairies. Approximately 36% of the foods served last school year were grown,
caught, processed, or produced in Maine and neighboring New England states. We
are hoping to increase that to 50% by next year.
Can I pay for my meals by the week?
With the new Point of Sale System, it is preferred that you pay
for the week or even longer. The account is only charged if the student
takes a meal or milk. Any leftover funds at the end of school carry over
to the next school year – even if the student changes buildings.
Why can’t I have A La Carte items for my lunch?
Students may buy an extra item with the new POS system. It
will be deducted from their account. Free and reduced students will need
to have money in their account in order to do this. No student may charge
an a la carte item.
What if there’s pork on the menu and I can’t eat it?
Pork is not on a menu unless there are other choices that do not
have pork as an ingredient.
What if I have lactose intolerance and can’t drink milk?
You must to bring in a doctor’s note attesting to the fact and
give it to the school nurse. The doctor must specify what the
substitution should be: soy milk, rice milk, etc. There is only one
soy milk approved as a substitution or Lactaid Milk. All other
substitutions must be supplied by the parent or charged as an a la carte
The nurse will contact the Food Service Department and make
arrangements for a substitution.
Who writes the menus?
The Food Service Director designs the menus, using a computer
program called “Nutrkids”which insures that the meals meet the U.S. Dietary
Guidelines for Americans. Under the Communities Putting Prevention to
Work Grant through Healthy Portland, our Local Foods Manager is redesigning the
menus for even more local foods and still meet our US Healthier Meals Challenge
Silver or even Gold Award.
What schools are offering free meals for every student?
As of September 2012, the following schools are offering free
breakfast for every student (and staff if they are eating with students in the
East End, Riverton, Presumpscot, Lincoln Middle.
As of September 2012, Reiche School is offering free breakfast AND
free lunch for every student.
We also offer free breakfast each Monday at Portland and Deering
What schools are offering free meals for every student?
Universal Meals: Universal meal
programs continue to expand to eliminate the stigma of free or reduced price
meals and ensure all students get a chance to eat meals offered at school.
and Presumpscot Schools will serve breakfast free of charge
and Riverton will serve breakfast free of charge
middle schools will serve breakfast free of charge.
Deering High and Portland High will serve breakfast free of charge
All students who qualify for free or reduced price meals receive
breakfats for free. Breakfast is served in the classroom to all students at
Reiche, East End, Riverton and Presumpscot elementary schools. We are running a
pilot program at Lincoln Middle this year as well.
Students must take at least two items and can take all three.
The impact of breakfast on academic performance is one of the most
highly studied relationships in all of food service. The bottom line is that
students cannot learn if they are hungry. Often students don’t eat for a
variety of reasons but the Breakfast for Learning program in our elementary
schools simply offers the meal for all students in the class room. Students may
decline the meal if they have eaten at home, don’t want it, etc. No longer do
students in these schools have to choose between breakfast or recess in the
All juices served, even the frozen fruit slushy at lunch, are 100%