Food Service Department
Our Food Service Department has a dedicated staff of 31 in 11 buildings serving breakfast and lunch to 3,000 students each day! Food Service is responsible for planning, cooking, and serving all meals with a focus on safety and nutrition, and adheres to all USDA nutrition guidelines. We cater events throughout the school year. We have 14 staff that are Serv-Safe Certified, a minimum of one per building, to make sure that all of our food and facilities are safe to prepare and serve food.
Grand Haven Area Public Schools Wellness Policy
As required by law, the Board of Education establishes the following wellness policy for the Grand Haven Area Public School District. The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of the District's students.
Furthermore, research concludes that there is a positive correlation between a student's health and well-being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks through the schools' meal programs, by supporting the development of good eating habits, and by promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.
The Board, however, believes this effort to support the students' development of healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise cannot be accomplished by the schools alone. It will be necessary for not only the staff, but also parents and the public at large to be involved in a community-wide effort to promote, support, and model such healthy behaviors and habits.
The Board sets the following goals in an effort to enable students to establish good health and nutrition habits:
A. With regard to nutrition education, the District shall:
- Nutrition education shall be included in the Health curriculum so that instruction is sequential and standards-based and provides students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to lead healthy lives.
- Nutrition education shall be included in the sequential, comprehensive Health curriculum in accordance with the curriculum standards and benchmarks established by the State.
- Nutrition education may be integrated into other subject areas of the curriculum, when appropriate, to complement, but not replace, the standards and benchmarks for health education.
- Nutrition education standards and benchmarks shall be age- appropriate and culturally relevant.
- The standards and benchmarks for nutrition education may be behavior focused.
- Nutrition education shall include enjoyable, developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, and others.
- Nutrition education shall include opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition, involving, when possible, community agencies and organizations.
- Nutrition education may extend beyond the classroom by engaging and involving the school's food service staff.
- Nutrition education posters, such as the Food Pyramid Guide, may be displayed in the cafeteria.
- The school cafeteria is encouraged to be a learning lab by allowing students to apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills taught in the classroom when making choices at mealtime.
- Nutrition education is encouraged beyond the school by engaging and involving families and the community.
- Nutrition education encourages lifelong balance by emphasizing the link between caloric intake (eating) and exercise in ways that are age-appropriate.
- Nutrition education benchmarks and standards shall encourage a focus on media literacy as it relates to food marketing strategies.
- Nutrition education standards and benchmarks shall encourage the benefits of a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and low-fat and fat-free dairy products.
- Staff responsible for providing instruction in nutrition education are encouraged to regularly participate in professional development activities designed to better enable them to teach the benchmarks and standards.
- The District may provide information to parents that is designed to encourage them to reinforce at home the standards and benchmarks being taught in the classroom.
B. With regard to physical activity, the District shall:
1. Physical Education
- A sequential, comprehensive physical education program shall be provided for students in K-12 in accordance with the standards and benchmarks established by the State.
- The physical education curriculum shall provide sequential instruction related to the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to participate in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
- Physical education classes shall encourage students with opportunities to learn, practice, and be assessed on developmentally appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to engage in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
- The sequential, comprehensive physical education curriculum shall stress the importance of remaining physically active for life.
- The sequential, comprehensive physical education curriculum shall provide students with opportunities to learn, practice, and be assessed on developmentally appropriate knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to engage in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall be developed for students to achieve a proficient level with regard to the standards and benchmarks established by the State.
- The K-12 program shall promote instruction in physical education as well as opportunities to participate in competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage lifelong physical activity.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall be designed for students to be engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least fifty percent (50%) of scheduled class time.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall teach cooperation, fair play, and responsible participation.
- Planned instruction in physical education will be designed to meet the needs of all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall be presented in an environment free of embarrassment, humiliation, shaming, taunting, or harassment of any kind.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall promote cooperative as well as competitive games.
- Planned instruction in physical education should take into account gender and cultural differences.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall promote participation in physical activity outside the regular school day.
2. Physical Activity
- Physical activity and movement shall be integrated, when possible, across the curricula and throughout the school day.
- Schools should encourage families to provide physical activity outside the regular school day, such as outdoor play at home, participation in sports sponsored by community agencies or organizations, and in lifelong physical activities like bowling, swimming, or tennis.
- The school may provide information to families to encourage and assist them in their efforts to incorporate physical activity into their children's daily lives.
C. With regard to other school-based activities the District shall:
- The school shall make every effort to provide attractive, clean environments in which the students eat.
- Students, parents, and other community members may have access to, and be encouraged to use, the school's outdoor physical activity facilities outside the normal school day.
- An organized wellness program may be available to all staff.
- The schools may use environmentally friendly practices, such as the use of locally grown foods and non-disposable tableware and dishes.
- The schools may demonstrate support for the health of all students by hosting health clinics and screenings and encouraging parents to enroll their eligible children in Medicaid or in other children's health insurance programs for which they may qualify.
- Schools in our system utilize electronic identification and payment systems, therefore, eliminating any stigma or identification of students eligible to receive free and/or reduced meals.
- Students are discouraged from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some students' diets.
D. With regard to nutrition promotion, any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus, during the school day, will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
Additionally, the District shall:
- encourage students to increase their consumption of healthful foods during the school day;
- create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits, including offering the following healthy foods that comply with the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards:
- a variety of fresh produce to include those prepared without added fats, sugars, refined sugars, and sodium
- a variety of vegetables daily to include specific subgroups as defined by dark green, red/orange, legumes, and starchy
- whole grain products - half of all grains need to be whole grain-rich upon initial implementation and all grains must be whole grain-rich within two (2) years of implementation
- fluid milk that is fat-free (unflavored and flavored) and low- fat (unflavored)
- meals designed to meet specific calorie ranges for age/grade groups
- eliminate trans-fat from school meals
- require students to select a fruit or vegetable as part of a complete reimbursable meal
- provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills for consuming healthful foods
E. The District nutrition department will promote and encourage Farm to School efforts in order to provide the healthy foods identified above.
F. Rewarding children in the classroom should not involve candy and other foods that can undermine children’s diets and health and reinforce unhealthy eating habits. A wide variety of alternative rewards can be used to provide positive reinforcement for children’s behavior and academic performance.
Furthermore, with the objectives of enhancing student health and well being, and reducing childhood obesity, the following guidelines are established:
- In accordance with Policy 8500, entitled Food Service, the food service program shall comply with Federal and State regulations pertaining to the selection, preparation, consumption, and disposal of food and beverages, including but not limited to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, as well as to the fiscal management of the program.
- As set forth in Policy 8531, entitled Free and Reduced Price Meals, the guidelines for reimbursable school meals are not less restrictive than the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- The sale of foods of minimal nutritional value in the food service area during the lunch period is prohibited.
- The sale of foods and beverages to students that do not meet the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards to be consumed on the school campus during the school day is prohibited.
- All food items and beverages available for sale to students for consumption on the school campus (any area of property under the jurisdiction of the school that is accessible to students during the school day) between midnight and thirty (30) minutes after the close of the regular school day shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, including, but not limited to, competitive foods that are available to students a la carte or as entrees in the dining area (except entree items that were offered on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) menu on the day of and the day after they are offered on the NSLP or SBP menu), as well as food items and beverages from vending machines, from school stores, or as fund-raisers, including those operated by student clubs and organizations, parent groups, or boosters clubs.
- All foods offered on the school campus during the school day shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including competitive foods that are available to students a la carte in the dining area, as classroom snacks, or from vending machines.
- All food and beverages that are provided, other than through sale, on the school campus during the school day (which may include classroom snacks, for classroom parties, and at holiday celebrations) shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- The food service program will provide all students affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need to be healthy and to learn well.
- The school food service program may involve students, parents, staff, and/or school officials in the selection of competitive food items to be sold in the schools.
- Nutrition information for competitive foods available during the school day shall be readily available near the point of purchase.
- All foods available to students in District programs, other than the food service program, shall be served with consideration for promoting student health and well-being.
- The food service program shall be administered by a qualified nutrition professional.
- The food service program shall be administered by a director who is properly qualified, certificated, licensed, or credentialed, according to current professional standards.
- All food service personnel shall receive pre-service training in food service operations.
- Continuing professional development shall be provided for all staff of the food service program.
The Board designates the contracted Food Service Director as the individual(s) charged with operational responsibility for verifying that the District meets the goals established in this policy.
The Superintendent shall appoint a District wellness committee that includes parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, educational staff (including health and physical education teachers), mental health and social services staff, school health professionals, members of the public and school administrators to oversee development, implementation, evaluation and periodic update of the wellness policy. The Wellness Committee shall be an ad hoc committee with members recruited and chosen annually.
The Wellness Committee shall be responsible for:
- assessment of the current school environment;
- review of the District’s wellness policy;
- presentation of the wellness policy to the school board for approval;
- measurement of the implementation of the policy;
- recommendation for the revision of the policy, as necessary.
Before the end of each school year the Wellness Committee shall recommend to the Superintendent any revisions to the policy it deems necessary and/or appropriate. In its review, the Wellness Committee shall consider evidence-based strategies in determining its recommendations.
The Superintendent shall report annually to the Board on the progress of the Wellness Committee and on its evaluation of policy implementation and areas for improvement, including status of compliance by individual schools and progress made in attaining goals of policy.
The Superintendent is encouraged to inform the public, including parents, students and community members, on the content and implementation of this policy. In order to inform the public, the Superintendent shall:
- distribute information at the beginning of the school year to families of school children;
- include information in the student handbook;
and post the policy on the District’s website, including the Wellness Committee's assessment of the implementation of the policy.
The District shall assess the Wellness Policy at least once every three (3) years on the extent to which schools in the District are in compliance with the District policy, the extent to which the District policy compares to model wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the District Wellness Policy. The assessment shall be made available to the public in the School District Annual Report to the public and/or on the School District's web site.