Welcome to Food Services
Mark Hicks, Director of Food Service.
Here at the Arlington Food Service Department, we are guided in our mission to exceed our customers' expectations by utilizing a process of continuous improvement. We are dedicated to providing the best available nutritional components and incorporating them into a wide variety of menu choices that offer great value to our students and staff. Our team is committed to preparing healthy yet interesting meals that surpass the dietary guidelines as defined by the new Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, administered by the USDA.
Recently the USDA announce it would allow schools whom had been giving free meals to all and any students over the summer to continue to do so by applying for a waiver to operate under the summer feeding rules. As you know Arlington had participated in this program under a mandate from Governor Cuomo during the Spring. From March 16th through June 30th Arlington made meal kits available 5 days a week to any and all. This program was run without any aid from the State and with very small reimbursement amounts from the USDA. This caused the Arlington Food Service Department to operate the Free Meals program on its cash reserves without any significant revenue received and depleting its operating budget. The District was then forced to step in and replenish our operating budget with a transfer of funds from the general operating fund. The final loss of revenue and the depletion of reserve funds was catastrophic. Since all schools food services operate outside the school district general budget, a decision was made in September to return to the regular lunch program. Children whom are designated as qualified for free meals under these guidelines will continue to receive their meals at no cost. Children whom would normally pay for meals will return to doing so. Many factors went into this decision including existing operating budget deficits, a lack of funding from the State, avoiding furloughs of staff and helping students return to some normalcy. While we anticipate financial losses again this year we are dedicating to managing the outcome as best can be done with taxpayers in mind while still meeting the realistic needs of the children. The Governor has not mandated this program yet although many of the smaller districts with much less financial risk have opted to continue the program. No child in Arlington will go without school lunch if they have need. Things can change and if we are instructed to return to the free meals for all program we will do so.
Reopening the Schools during COVID-19.
As of September 10th the Department will be making breakfast and lunch available to the students for purchase using their regular student ID number. Any student or staff member in a building will be able to purchase the regular menu lunch or a sandwich option. A remote learning student or parent will be able to pick up their lunch at the main entrance between 10:30 am and 2:00 pm simply by signing for it while providing their student name and ID number. All breakfast and lunches will meet the USDA standards for school lunch and will include a fruit, a vegetable and a milk or juice. Breakfast will be continental in its offerings. A remote student can also receive a bagged breakfast for the next day when they pick up their lunch. Any student enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch program will continue to receive these benefits. Applications are available at your school and online as well.
Please check back here for updates and changes as we move forward!
The Dutchess County Summer Food Service Program
A great way to ensure that kids get the healthy food they enjoy during the school year, even when schools are not in session. All kids are invited to drop by locations in Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Amenia/Millerton and Wappingers for a meal, activities, or both!
The summer meals opportunities in Dutchess County are collaborative efforts with various locations and hours.
Parents are encouraged to call 845-677-8223 extension 110 to find out more about all the Summer Food Service Programs being offered in your area.