A component of the educational mission of Imagine Hope Community PCS is teaching students to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating habits. This mission shall be accomplished, in part, through serving healthful foods in schools. Imagine Hope Community PCS will ensure that:
Free and Reduced-Price Meals
- All qualified students will become eligible for free lunch, through frequent checking and coordination with the Department of Human Service Income Maintenance Administration and agencies serving homeless and run-a-way youth;
- Maximum participation in the school meal program will be achieved by developing a coordinated, comprehensive outreach and promotion plan, and by putting systems in place that ensure the elimination of the stigma of accepting “free” lunch;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will provide students with at least 30 to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 30 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS utilizes the Meal-time program which ensures that no child is “singled out” that receives free and or reduced meals.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will operate a Universal “Free for All” School Breakfast Program;
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will operate a Breakfast in the Classroom program with the assistance from Food Service Workers as well as 4th and 5th grade students
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will market the Universal “Free For All” School Breakfast program through take home flyers, school newsletters, home mailings, etc.
Nutritional Quality of School Meals
- The nutritional value of the food served will improve upon USDA standards through provision of nutritious, fresh, tasty, locally grown food that reflects community and cultural diversity;
- All milk sold and served through school meals will be either low-fat (1%) or fat-free milk or nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA);
- All meals will included one or more servings of whole grains; Imagine Hope Community PCS is a recipient of the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program. Students will be offered a healthy snack during the instructional part of the day.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will operate a daily salad bar.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS shall not permit third-party vendors on the school property 90 minutes before the school day begins and 90 minutes after.
After School Snacks
Snacks served during the school day or in enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Imagine Hope Community PCS will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. The school will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will provide snacks through after-school programs and will apply for reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program operated by the State Education Office.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually in Vending Machines, A la Carte Lines, Fundraisers and School Stores
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will not have vending machines accessible to students:
- Vending machines, a la carte, fundraisers, and school stores shall only offer approved items, as cited by the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge program at the Gold Award Level outlines below:
(1) Competitive Foods
- Total fat: Calories from total fat must be at or below 35% per serving. Excludes nuts, seeds, nut butters, and reduced-fat cheese.
- Trans fat: Less than 0.5 grams (trans fat free) per serving.
- Saturated fat: Calories from saturated fat must be below 10% per serving. Excludes reduced-fat cheese.
- Sugar: Total sugar must be under or equal to 35% sugar by weight (includes naturally occurring and added sugars). Excludes fruits, vegetables, and milk.
- Sodium: ≤ 480 mg per non-entrée and ≤ 600 mg per entrée.
- Portion size/Calories: Not to exceed the serving size of the food served in the NSLP; for other items, the package or container is not to exceed 200 calories.
(2) Competitive Beverages
- Milk: Only low-fat (1% or less) and fat-free (skim), flavored or unflavored fluid milk, and/or USDA approved alternative dairy beverages.
- 100% full strength fruit & vegetable juices with no sweeteners (nutritive or non-nutritive).
Water: Unflavored, no sweeteners (nutritive or non-nutritive), noncarbonated, caffeine-free.
- Draft food and vending contracts shall be made available to the public for inspection and comments before being signed by Imagine Hope Community PCS and Imagine Hope Community PCS may not sign exclusive contracts or contracts with confidential clauses, with soft drink, fast food or snack food companies.
Food in other areas of the School Environment
- Imagine Hope Community PCS will develop a “Healthy Snacks: policy, and provide parents and teachers with a list of healthy, affordable food choices for snacks and parties;
- Foods and beverages that do not meet the nutritional requirements will not be advertised or marketed in schools;
- Fast food “branded” food items shall not be offered for sale as part of any school meal program or as a la carte items;
Food Marketing in Schools
School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, Imagine Hope Community PCS will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (above). School-based marketing of brands promotion predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. Healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products will be encouraged by Imagine Hope Community PCS.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will market healthy foods through the use of; books or curricula and school supplies; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools with supplies when families buy high-nutrition food products; free samples or coupons; and food sales through fundraiser.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will not use foods or beverages that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards incentives, prizes, or awards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
Imagine Hope Community PCS will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above). At the beginning of the school year, Imagine Hope Community PCS will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas and healthy snack ideas to parents and teachers.