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Building a Balanced Diet

VCS embraces its responsibility to teach students how to develop healthy, balanced diets. We realize that our food service department can serve as a catalyst in performing this important service.

In an effort to help students to gain healthy dietary habits, our cafeterias build meals based on guidelines established in accordance with the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Whether students choose to purchase the standard meal of the day or to build their own combination utilizing our a la carte selections, we encourage students to consume complete meals based on the following criteria that have been established to constitute a complete, balanced meal.

As many of you may already know, new regulations by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) were put in effect on July 1, 2012 based on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Schools across the United States are obliged to take part in this new regulation if they are part of the NSLP in order to receive federal and state reimbursements which offset costs and keep school meals at a reasonable price.

Some of the new requirements include:

  • Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables
  • Reducing the sodium in meals over the next 10 years
  • Setting calorie limits
  • Increasing whole grains by 50% until next school year and at that time 100% whole grains will be required.

As a result of all these new requirements, one of the most significant changes for the students this year is the limited amounts of condiments (ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, etc.) being offered. In prior years, condiments were free range to all students (which unfortunately, resulted in much waste due to non-usage), however, this year, due to the fact that condiments have to be calculated within the calorie limits for each meal, we are no longer able to offer them free. The USDA requires that the condiments be part of the meal calorie calculation, therefore, if a student desires to have extra condiments outside the requirement of the meal, middle and high school students will have an added fee charged for each condiment taken. The elementary students will not have the option of extra condiments.

All our cafeterias provide items from the 5 food groups on a daily basis. These food groups are:

  • You can choose 1 item from each of the 5 color groups for the school lunch price.
  • If less food is preferred, you choose 1 fruit and/or vegetable and 2 of the other 3 color groups (i.e. Meat or Meat Alternate; Fluid, Milk and Grain) to keep the school lunch price the same.
  • If you choose not to select from the fruit and/or vegetable group, each item will be charged as an a la-carte item as the tray is not considered a full meal.

We strongly encourage your children to select 1 item from each of the 5 color groups as this not only represents the best deal but also the healthiest meal for your child.

LUNCH PRICES FOR 2013-14:

Grade Level Lunch Meal Large Lunch Side Small Lunch Side Large Dessert Small Dessert Extra Fruit or Vegetable Extra Milk or Juice Bottled Beverage
K-3 $2.25 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $0.40 $0.40 (8 oz.)
4-12 $2.50 $2.00 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00 $0.65 $0.40 $1.00 (20 oz.)
Adult $3.25 $2.00 $1.50 $1.50 $1.00 $0.65 $0.40 $1.00 (20 oz.)

 

BREAKFAST PRICES FOR 2013-14

Grade Level Breakfast Meal Large Breakfast Side Small Breakfast Side Extra Fruit Extra Milk or Juice Bottled Beverage
K-3 $1.25 $1.00 $0.65 $0.65 $0.40 $0.40 (8 oz.)
4-12 $1.50 $1.00 $0.65 $0.65 $0.40 $1.00 (20 oz.)
Adult $2.25 $1.00 $0.65 $0.65 $0.40 $1.00 (20 oz.)

BREAKFAST NOTE: A student may choose one of the following combinations below for it to be considered a full breakfast meal:

  1. 2 grains with either a fruit or milk or both.
  2. 2 meat/meat alternates with either a fruit or milk or both.
  3. 1 grain along with 1 meat/meat alternate with either a fruit or milk or both.

If only 1 food item is selected, the a la-carte price will be charged for the item.

Variety:
Our buildings operate on a two week breakfast menu cycle and a four week lunch menu cycle and offer a variety of a la carte food
items as well. We work hard to exceed guidelines for minimal offerings in cafeterias in an effort to offer appetizing and healthy
selections for all our students.

If we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact one of the following: 

Jason Poplaski, Executive Chef at 352-259-3777 Ext. 1690 or at jason.poplaski@tvcs.org
Sylvia Pelchat, Food Service Accounts Manager at 352-259-0044 Ext. 2252 or sylvia.pelchat@tvcs.org

PLEASE NOTE: We highly encourage you to monitor your child’s lunch account free of charge on PAYPAMS.COM.
You may also make payments on this website with a credit or debit card for a fee of $1.95 per transaction.

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