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Brenham ISD Child Nutrition Department

1301 Niebuhr
Brenham, TX  77833
Phone: 979-277-3750
Fax: 979-277-3751

Child Nutrition Frequently Asked Questions

2021-2022 Meal Update

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued guidance that allows schools to offer FREE meals to all students during the 2021-2022 school year. While no application or eligibility determination process is required for your student to receive free meals this school year, the income eligibility requirement will likely resume in the 2022-2023 school year. 

Our department changed software companies. Parents will need to visit SchoolCafe.com to create an account and make payments to their student(s) accounts. Please see below for additional information. 

Child Nutrition has made some changes in our process for accommodating dietary needs. Please see below for additional information. 

School Cafe

How can I make a payment to my child’s account?  Payments can be made at your child’s school cafeteria or you can login to School Cafe for on-line payments.  

Who can I contact for help for School Cafe questions?  You can contact the Cybersoft Support line at (855) 729-2328 or email at customercare@schoolcafe.com 

Can I put restrictions on my child’s account?  Yes!  You can add your own restrictions through your student’s account in School Cafe.

Menu Planning 

Who plans the menu? Menus are planned by a registered dietitian following the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) school nutrition program guidelines.  These guidelines are set forth by the US Dietary Guidelines and the Institute of Medicine.  

What is my child required to choose at breakfast? The School Breakfast Program (SBP) guidelines require that we offer three different food components daily (grains, fruit and milk).  In order for a breakfast to qualify as a full meal, students must choose at least three items and one of these must be a fruit.  We participate in “offer versus serve” which means Brenham ISD offers students a variety of choices daily as well as daily cereal options.   

What is my child required to choose at lunch? The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) guidelines require that we offer five different food components daily (meat or meat alternate, grain, fruit, vegetable and milk). In order for a lunch to qualify as a full meal, students must choose at least three of these food components and one of these three must be a fruit or a vegetable.  For example:  A hamburger (grain and meat) and ½ cup of fruit would be considered a complete meal.  Of course, students may select all food components if they choose – hamburger, vegetable, fruit and milk. Brenham ISD offers two different vegetables daily, students are allowed to take both servings.  

Are the serving sizes of foods appropriate for all students? Serving sizes are planned to be appropriate for the ages of our students.  Older students will receive more servings of food items and therefore receive more calories than younger students.

What does whole grain rich mean?  Whole grains are grains that contain the entire grain kernel which is packed with fiber, b-vitamins, iron, protein and healthy fats.  Whole grain simply means consuming grains in their “whole” form without being processed or removing any of the kernel.  As of July 1, 2014, all grains offered in the SBP and NSLP must be whole grain rich.  Whole grain “rich” means that at least half of the grain in a grain product is whole grain.  

What kind of milk is offered? We offer non-fat unflavored milk and non-fat flavored chocolate milk at breakfast and lunch.

What type of vegetables do you serve? We offer a variety of vegetables from the five subgroup categories: dark green, red/orange, legumes, starchy and other.  Brenham ISD adds fresh options to our menu as permitted through the seasons and availability.  

Dietary Accommodations

My child has food allergies, who should I contact about this? Students in need of special dietary accommodations must provide a Physician's Request for Dietary Accommodations Form signed by a licensed physician identifying the student’s disability, explanation of why the disability restricts the child’s diet, the major life activity affected by the disability and the food or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet.  The form can be located on our website or for more information, please contact your school nurse or our district dietitian.

My child is a vegetarian, what options are available for my child?  We plan our menus to be “offer versus serve” which means students may pass on the meat offered as long as they have three food components.  For example, a complete meal could be a wheat roll, broccoli, mandarin oranges and milk. While vegetarian options may not be offered daily, students can still customize their meals to meet their specific needs. 

Can the district provide dietary accommodations for religious requests?  Brenham ISD can only provide dietary accommodations to students with a valid medical condition and not religious/ preference requests.  

Can Child Nutrition add an alert to my student’s account? The Child Nutrition Department can only add an alert to a student’s account pertaining to dietary accommodations after we have received a valid medical condition request per the Physician’s Request Form for Dietary Accommodations.  All other alerts will need to be made by the parent(s)/ guardian(s) through School Cafe.

Free/Reduced Meals

Who can get free or reduced-price meals?  There are various ways students can qualify for free and reduced price meals.  All children in households receiving benefits from SNAP, FDPIR, or TANF, are eligible for free meals.  Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.  Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.  Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal income Eligibility Guidelines.

Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are already approved for free meals?  No, but please read the letter you go carefully and follow the instructions.  If any children in your household were missing from your eligibility notification, contact Brenham ISD Child Nutrition Department immediately at 979-277-3750.

Can I apply online?  Yes!  You are encouraged to complete an online application instead of a paper application if you are able.  The online application has the same requirements and will ask you for the same information as the paper application.  Visit School Cafe to begin or to learn more about the online application process.  

My child’s application was approved last year.  Do I need to fill out a new one?  Yes!  Your child’s application is only good for one school year and for the first few days of the new school year.  

Will the information I provide be verified?  Yes!  We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report.

 

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture 
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
  3. email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en inglés), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, credo religioso, discapacidad, edad, creencias políticas, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.
Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de señas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o con discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] llamando al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en línea en: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-file-a-program-discrimination-complainty en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA

(1) por correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442;
(3) o correo electrónico: program.intake@usda.gov.

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.