School Nutrition

  • “Providing nutritious meals for a healthy diet, body, and mind.”

    Good nutrition is a key component of student success and achievement in the classroom.  Consequently, the goal of the School Nutrition Department is to provide appealing, nutritious, healthy, and well-balanced meals to our students daily. Our customers may choose from a variety of entrees, whole grain-rich foods, fruits, vegetables, and one-percent or skim milk. This variety is essential to properly supply our students' many nutrient needs.  Fresh fruit is available daily, and seasonal purchases of locally grown produce are coordinated through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and GAP certified farmers. Nutritional information for all menu items is available from the Cafeteria Manager, School Nurse, or School Nutrition office.

    Breakfast and lunch programs are offered at all schools.  During the 2018-2019 school year, more than 1.5 million breakfasts, 3.4 million lunches, 90,000 snacks, and 27,000 dinners were served in our school cafeterias.  Meals served in school cafeterias must meet menu patterns and rigorous nutritional specifications established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  However, if your child has been determined by a physician to be handicapped, and the handicap would prevent your child from eating the regular school meal, then School Nutrition will make any substitutions prescribed by your doctor.  If a substitution is needed, there will be no extra charge for the meal.  However substitutions and modifications to the menu are not available for personal, cultural, or religious preferences.  Please contact the School Nutrition Office at (704) 836-9110 for further information.

    Gaston County School Nutrition will be delivering meals to the classroom for face to face learning and meals will be available for pickup at school sites for remote learning and virtual students.

    We are dedicated to following COVID food handling practices which include packaging meals in order to reduce contact. For the first week of school, there is one meal option available for breakfast and lunch. After that, we will begin introducing a second option. Of course, students may still bring their meals from home.

    A lunch meal includes food components from five food groups: grains, protein, fruit, vegetable, and milk.

    From August 17 through August 31, 2020 breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to all students who wish to participate.

    Beginning September 1, 2020 the following meal price will go into effect.

    Meal Prices

       Breakfast     Lunch
    Elementary  $1.20   $2.70 
    Elementary Reduced   - 
    Middle School  $1.20   $2.80
    Middle School Reduced    - 
    High School  $1.20    $2.80 
    High School Reduced    - 
    School Staff  $1.50    $3.75
    Adult Guest  $1.50    $3.75

    Students with Special Diet Needs

    Students with medical conditions such as allergies and diabetes may request modification to school meals by completing a Diet Order form.  Parents may obtain a Diet Order application from the cafeteria manager, school nurse or School Nutrition office.  The form must be signed by a physician and returned to the cafeteria manager or sent to the GCS School Nutrition Office, 500 Reid Street, Lowell, NC 28098.  For more information, contact your school principal or call the GCS School Nutrition Office at (704) 836-9110.

    Free and Reduced Lunches
    All students enrolled in the Gaston County Schools are given an opportunity to apply for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch.  To apply, a parent or guardian must complete and sign a Free and Reduced Price Meal application form.  The form must be submitted each year.  Only one application per household is necessary.  Eligibility for free and reduced price meals is based on household income and number of people in the household.  Applications are available from the cafeteria manager, school office and the School Nutrition office.

    “USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider, Employer and Lender”