Food Allergen - Important Notification - April 2023
Please review this Food Allergen Notification Letter for important information on the notification process for allergens in meals served here in the Newton Public Schools. Clear communication is critical to us as we know the seriousness of food allergies for some of our students.
All ingredients for every meal served can be found on the FDMealPlanner website. If your student has a food allergy, we strongly encourage you to check the top nine allergen list and the full ingredient list as close to the day of the meal as possible. It is important to note that food vendors may change ingredients throughout the year.
National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
For the 2022-2023 school year, Newton will return to operating under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Through a Massachusetts budget initiative, universally-free meals are extended for the 2022-23 school year - for first meals only. However, all students will need to have their meal counted and meals will need to be served and eaten in the cafeteria.
Check Your Balance
Please check your child/ren's MySchoolBucks lunch account to confirm if they have a negative balance. If yes, please add funds to their account to address any unpaid items and add additional funds if you are comfortable with your student purchasing either second lunches and/or a la carte items.
Please remember that although the first breakfast and lunch each day is free for all students in Massachusetts this school year, second meals and a la carte items - including purchasing milk if not part of a meal - is fee-based, regardless of free or reduced-price eligibility.
As of 11/23, there are 775 students who have small negative balances that need to be addressed.
2022-23 Meal Pricing
On 7/28, Massachusetts confirmed additional funding at the state level to extend universally-free meals for students for the 22-23 school year. However, regardless of this additional state-specific funding, Newton is required to charge for any second meals or a la carte items purchased by students.
The School Committee voted pricing for paid meals at their 6/21 meeting. Second meals at the elementary schools will be $5.25 and $5.50 at the middle and high schools.
You can view the recommendation here: Paid Lunch Pricing Recommendation Presentation.
Meal Counting Is Required
Although first meals will be universally free again this year, the reimbursement process under the NSLP requires that all meals be counted at the individual student level to be able to process both the federal and state reimbursements. Each student will be coded as free, reduced, or paid, which will determine the reimbursement funding the district receives based upon their eligibility status.
As such, it is critical that families who need financial support but would not receive free or reduced-price meals based upon categorical eligibility through Direct Certification - receiving SNAP, TAFDC, or FDPIR or specific categories of Medicaid, foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, children participating in their school’s Head Start program, or children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant - apply for free or reduced-price eligibility based upon federal eligibility income levels.