Since the National School Lunch program was established in 1946, there has been a lunch meal pattern designed to provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for students in various age groups. The Food Based Lunch requirements are still designed to meet this goal. Also, these requirements are designed to help schools conform to the principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Using the Food Based Lunch requirements, meals are planned that meet the calorie and nutrient needs of students. School lunches are also planned to reduce the amount of cholesterol, fat and sodium in menus and increase the amount of carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
The four food groups that compose the school lunch are 1) Meat/meat alternate; 2) Vegetable/Fruits; 3) Grains/Breads; 4) Milk. A food item is one of the five required foods for lunch Each of the food components must be represented on the lunch menu by one food item, and there must be two different vegetables or fruits offered daily.
Etowah County's Child Nutrition Program (CNP) participates in the Offer Versus Serve Provision, which is the USDA regulation that allows students to choose fewer than five of the food items offered in the Food Based Lunch. Students are allowed to decline two of the five required items.
Meals served in the school lunchroom are carefully planned to be well balanced, nutritious, tasty, and attractive. Students are encouraged to participate in the school lunch program.
Students may bring their own lunches to school. However, bottles, carbonated drinks, and breakable thermos bottles are not permitted. Neither "fast food" nor soft drinks may be brought in the lunchroom by parents, students, or staff.
The Child Nutrition Program operated by the Etowah County Board of Education shall follow all applicable state and federal guidelines. Pursuant to such guidelines, payments for meals must be made when service is rendered. Thus, no person my receive a meal without appropriate payment to the Child Nutrition Program.
It is the intent of the Etowah County Board of Education to provide an opportunity for each student to eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch during the school day. It is also the policy of the Etowah County Board of Education to comply with all federal regulations pretaining the the National School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs. Program regulations do not allow for meal charges of any type; therefore, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to pay for meals a child purchases. The Etowah County Schools will not allow the charging of any adult meal or ala carte tem. It is the responsibility of the principal to ensure participating students are provided a meal.
--Etowah County Schools Code of Student Conduct 2012-2013
Breakfast is served beginning at 7:15 a.m. Students have a designated time for lunch during the 5th period of the day. The cost of the basic menu for lunch is $2.00 and $1.00 for breakfast. If a student wishes to have a drink other than milk (bottled water or juice)  with lunch, there is an additional charge. "Fast foods" or carbonated beverages are not allowed in the lunchroom. Free and Reduced Lunch forms are sent home to all students at the beginning of the school year and are always available in the school office. Students are encouraged to pre-pay for their meals. Money should be sent to the school with the student’s name, homeroom and PIN number marked on the front of the envelope. Students who attended Hokes Bluff Elementary School will have the same PIN number. Meal prices are determined by the Etowah County Board of Education.
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