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September 30, 2021 | Orono Child Nutrition is experiencing the impacts of nationwide supply chain and product availability shortages due to COVID-19. Disruptions are due to a lack of availability of raw ingredients and labor to produce, unload, and transfer food products. Some food and/or beverage products normally provided to students may not be available or arrive as scheduled. Due to unforeseen circumstances, last-minute menu changes and product substitutions may occur. Be assured meals will remain balanced, healthy, and plentiful. We ask for patience and understanding as we do our best to meet the needs of your children. We will update our Nutrislice online menus accordingly.
Our goal at Orono Schools Child Nutrition is to provide fresh, nutritious, well-balanced meals that meet the dietary guidelines for required levels of nutrients and calories for each age group. Our staff receive annual education to keep current with nutrition standards and ensure they are able to serve our students at the highest level. This year, USDA has created a waiver to help schools provide free breakfast and lunch to all students through June 2022. We encourage all families to take advantage of this opportunity to eat healthy meals and save over $600 a year on breakfast and lunch per child!
Students must select 3 out of the 5 food items offered at breakfast to be considered a complete meal. Students must select at least 3 out of the 5 meal components offered (one of those must be a fruit or vegetable) to be considered a complete lunch. Meals and a la carte items are priced competitively to encourage the consumption of a well-balanced meal. We encourage students to use ala carte items to complement their meals instead of meal replacements for the best nutrition.
All full meals consist of 5 components:
Visit Nutrislice to see our breakfast and lunch menus. The interactive menus provide pictures, nutritional information, allergens and brief descriptions of all menu options. For on-the-go convenience, download the Nutrislice app to your iPhone or Android device. For hands-free convenience, ask Alexa or Echo, “What is the lunch menu for [Name of School]?”
We ask for your flexibility as we work with our vendors and staff as we adapt to new menus and serving changes. Many of our vendors and distributors are experiencing product or staffing shortages that result in last-minute changes to our menus.
Orono’s program uses a computerized system that allows students to electronically purchase a meal. A personal account is established with four-digit PIN number for each student in the district. When a student makes a purchase, the purchase is directly deducted from their account balance. Account balance, purchase history, low balance reminders and autopay features are available on MyPaymentsPlus.
We encourage all families to establish a MyPaymentsPlus account and use this method for meal payments. Payments are deposited into meal accounts within hours and tracking meal purchases is easy. Online meal payments do include a 3.95% transaction fee. If you would rather not pay this fee, you have the option to pay by cash or check.
If you prefer to pay by cash or check, please drop off payments in the designated mailboxes located near the main entrances. (The mailbox at Orono Middle School is located in the cafeteria.) Cash or check deposits will be done twice a week. Please write the four-digit PIN number and student name in the check memo section to ensure accuracy.
Students eligible for benefits follow the same procedures as full-pay students. Orono Schools maintains complete confidentiality regarding a student’s eligibility status. Our meal program will provide students eligible for benefits with one full breakfast and one full lunch per day at no charge. To be considered a full meal, a student must select a minimum of three out of the five meal components offered (one of those must be a fruit or vegetable).
Students eligible for the reduced program will follow the same procedure as those with free eligibility.
All a la carte purchases or incomplete meals are NOT covered by free/reduced benefits; those purchases are charged to a student’s meal account. Students must have money in their meal account to make additional purchases. Please read our negative balance procedure for more information.
We encourage ALL families that could qualify for educational benefits to apply this year even though meals are free. Educational benefits include other benefits outside of child nutrition including discounted activity fees, sports fees, internet services, and college preparation. Please let us know if you have any questions related to the educational benefits.
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a temporary food benefit available to Minnesota families with children who would have received free or reduced-priced meals if schools were open. Please learn more here to see if your family qualifies. Applications must be processed by September 3, 2021 to receive remaining P-EBT benefits.
All students with a positive balance may purchase additional cartons of milk, extra lunches or a la carte items during their lunch period. Note: A la carte purchases are not part of the free and reduced lunch program.
Please note that a la Carte purchases are not included in the free meals. Students must have money in their account for a la carte purchases. Students with negative balances will not be able to make a la carte purchases.
A special dietary need is when a student has a disability to food due to a diagnosed allergy, intolerance, disease or medical condition. A signed doctor’s note is required before any menu accommodations can be made. Lactose intolerance is the only exception in which a signed note from a parent is accepted. Orono Child Nutrition personnel work with our district nurse to obtain proper documentation before meeting dietary requests to ensure the safety of students.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). Orono Schools is an equal opportunity provider.