ON THE MENU: School nutrition information for the 2023-2024 academic year
Enjoying nutritious meals is an important part of the school day. Gaston County Schools is proud of its school nutrition program and the hundreds of employees who work each day to prepare well-balanced meals for students.
Here is a look at school nutrition information for the 2023-2024 academic year. Parents and their children are encouraged to review the information carefully.
And, remember, the first day of school for students is Wednesday, August 16.
■ How can I find my child's school menu?
Click here to see what is being served each week at your child's school.
■ What is included in a school meal?
A breakfast meal includes an entree made with grain and/or protein, fat-free or 1% milk, and fruit and/or juice (limit of one juice per meal). A lunch meal includes an entree made with grain and/or protein, fat-free or 1% milk, vegetable, and fruit.
■ What is the cost for meals?
Breakfast is $1.40 for students (all grade levels) and $2.00 for adults. Lunch is $2.90 for students in grades K-5 and $3.00 for students in grades 6-12. The price for adults is $4.00. There is a $0.40 charge for lunch and a $0.30 charge for breakfast for students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
A la carte items are available for purchase on an individual basis.
■ What about the CEP schools?
There are 40 schools that qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. All students at schools involved in the CEP program receive meals free-of-charge. Students who attend one of the following schools do not have to pay for breakfast and lunch and do not have to fill out an application for free or reduced-price meals.
Ashbrook High School
Bessemer City Central
Bessemer City Middle
Bessemer City High
Bessemer City Primary
Catawba Heights Elementary
Chapel Grove Elementary
Chavis Middle School
Cherryville High School
Gardner Park Elementary
Grier Middle School
Hunter Huss High School
Holbrook Middle School
Friday Middle School
Mount Holly Middle
North Belmont Elementary
North Gaston High School
Pleasant Ridge Elementary
Southwest Middle School
Stanley Middle School
Webb Street School
York Chester Middle School
■ How do parents apply for free or reduced-price meals?
Parents with a child at a non-CEP school (see list above) are encouraged to apply to receive free or reduced-price meals. Eligibility is based on household income and the number of people in the household. The application (in paper format) can be picked up from the school office or school cafeteria or at the School Nutrition Office, 500 Reid Street, Lowell. The application (in electronic format) can be completed by clicking here.
■ How do parents pay for their child’s meals?
Cash, checks, and money orders are acceptable forms of payment in school cafeterias. Parents wishing to pay by credit or debit card may click here to set up an account on the LINQ Connect portal (formerly called Family Titan Portal).
Students/parents who used the online portal last year will need to create an account in the LINQ Connect system for this year. Any balances from last school year will be rolled over.
■ What if my child has a special dietary need?
If a student has a special dietary need and/or the need for a unique meal time, parents should complete a diet order form; the form must be signed by a recognized medical authority. Contact the school cafeteria manager, the school nurse, or the School Nutrition Office, 500 Reid Street, Lowell, for a diet order form or click here to download it from the Gaston County Schools website.
Please note that students who have had a diet order form on file in the past are being asked to complete a new form this year. The new form will be in effect until the school receives written or verbal notification from the parent or recognized medical authority that the diet order is no longer needed.
Here are a few school nutrition reminders for parents and students:
▪ To receive a meal for the established price, students must take at least three of the five items that make up a lunch meal and at least two of the items that make up a breakfast meal (one of the items must be a fruit or a vegetable). Otherwise, students will have to pay individually for the items they have selected.
▪ Charging meals is an option for students in elementary school and middle school on a limited basis. Students in elementary school and middle school who do not have money and have exceeded the charge limit may receive a complimentary alternate meal upon request. Charging meals is not allowed at the high school level. High school students who do not have money may also request a complimentary alternate meal.
▪ Water is available for students at no charge and without restriction when meals are being served at school.
▪ Each cafeteria staff strives to provide well-balanced meals for students and staff. Meals are prepared using state and federal guidelines to ensure they are healthy and meet dietary requirements. Parents who have a question or concern about meals served in the cafeteria should contact the school principal for information.
■ More Info
For more information about school nutrition, please contact the school principal, click here to visit the school nutrition webpage on the Gaston County Schools website, or call the School Nutrition Office, (704) 836-9110.