Update from Food Services and Wellness: special visitors for Taste Washington Day, grace period ends for free and reduced price lunch status on Oct. 10

A Message from Chef Patrick Durgan: Engaging students in food education

Hello to October and the second round of our school menus. We were so happy to share many new and exciting entrees with you since August. Every meal served in the cafeteria is a chance to educate our students about food and healthy eating. We will continue to think of our cafeterias as classrooms. We will develop campaigns to engage our young eaters to think about where food comes from and how it is grown. We will encourage them to try new menu items so that their palates change as our offerings diversify. We will talk about “adventure bites” and “harvests of the months” and ask for their feedback on items served. Through sampling events, farmer visits and The Good Food Project Student Ambassador Program, we will stay in routine contact with our student and family customers as we move through this year of transition and new offerings. Thank you for being a positive force in student lives!

Patrick Durgan
Executive chef and director of food services

School menus online

Our school menus can always be found online.  Bookmark the page!

Lunch tray from Taste Washington Day
: The Lummi Island Wild salmon cakes lunch will be served again on Friday, Nov. 15. Mark your calendar now!

Reminder: Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications for 2019-20

Families need to reapply every school year for free and reduced price meals. Families can apply or re-apply at any time throughout the year. The 30-day grace period for last year’s free and reduced price meal status ends on Oct. 10 and will return to full-pay for families that have not turned in a new application for the 2019-20 school year. The application is available online or can be found in the back of the Family Handbook and Calendar mailed to families in August and in your school office.

Applying for free or reduced meals is not only important for providing meals for your children but it also helps support district funding. Other benefits to families may include discounts for after-school and summer programs and student fee assistance. Eligibility for free and reduced lunch is based on any one of these three things: your total household income and size, your child’s individual status as foster, homeless, migrant or runaway, or participation in an assistance program by any member of your household. Fill out your application today to receive benefits as soon as possible.

Dietary Options Available

There are many vegetarian options available on the new school menu by asking the server to withhold the meat. If you see *add meat/chicken” on the menu item, then it can be skipped for your meal.
We have also developed some suggestions on how to look for items made without gluten on the menu. Click here for the list. Students can ask lunch line servers to withhold the bun, bread or pasta on any item served.

An amazing Taste Washington Day with special guests

We were happy to celebrate this year’s Taste Washington Day with some special visitors. These included the first lady of Washington State Trudi Inslee, Chris Iberle and staff from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), as well as staff from the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI). We also invited the Lummi fishers who caught the salmon used in the main entrée salmon cakes.
Read the full story online…
Group visiting central kitchen

Photo above: Keith Carpenter (Lummi Island Wild), Chef Patrick Durgan, Eric Abel (Bellewood Acres), Chris Iberle (WSDA), Chef Mataio Gillis, Ellie Kinley (Lummi Fisher) and Trudi Inslee (first lady of Washington).

Adventure bite at Birchwood Elementary

Girl takes a bite of a salmon cake
Photo above:  Birchwood student takes #adventurebite of the scratch-made salmon cake on Taste Washington Day with Chef Mataio Gillis.

How to pay for school lunch

Families can pay for school meals or add money into food accounts with cash or check at their school, or by adding money via online payments.

Online payments:  Another easy way to add money to a food account is by making payments through the online system called MyPaymentsPlusIf a food account balance is low, it will only take a few minutes to add money using a credit/debit card or a checking account at any time of the day from anywhere. Payments will post within one-hour to the student’s food account. Families will be charged a fee of $1.95 per transaction for making an online payment. First time registering? Visit our Food Services Online Payments webpage for step-by-step instructions. Important step: Before logging in, you will need to know your student’s Other ID number (a 10-digit number) which can be found in Skyward Family Access.

Food balance notifications: Throughout the school year, we regularly notify families about low or negative balances in student food services accounts.  You can manage your notification preferences in Skylert in Family Access. Thank you for keeping on top of your balance.  Please take a moment to sign up for free and reduced price meals if you qualify. (See information above.)

Cloud Mountain farmer shared tomato knowledge

Cloud mountain farmer with student
Photo above: The Northern Heights Elementary cafeteria was visited by Cheryl Thornton of Cloud Mountain in September. Her farm tomatoes are found in our two-ton tomato sauce. (See related story.) Students had a chance to meet her, ask her questions and to taste the scratch-made tomato sauce.

Harvest of the Month for October

The Harvest of the Month for October is broccoli and cauliflower. Broccoli is served daily on salad bars and will be an option on the baked potato bar on Oct. 28. Cauliflower is added routinely to our cheese, queso and alfredo sauces, served on Oct. 10, 15, 21, 28 and Nov. 8. (These dates have been updated from the printed menu.)  For more about these vegetables and featured recipes, visit the Whatcom Farm to School website.

Birds and the Bees Forum set for Oct. 9

A sexual health education informational meeting for parents/guardians of students in grades 5-12 will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9. The meeting will be held at the District Office, 1306 Dupont Street. Families will learn why sexual health education matters in our schools and will be introduced to resources to help them start important conversations with their children. Topics will include HIV/AIDS prevention information. The materials and curriculum used in classrooms will also be shared. These materials can also be previewed online later in October. Contact Wellness at (360) 676-6470, ext. 6533 with any questions or concerns.


@BPSCentralKitchen on social media
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Food Services posts on Instagram and Facebook from the new Central Kitchen, telling the wonderful stories of change. Follow us today and you will see food preparation in progress, specialty salads being delivered to schools, and highlights of the program.

#goodfoodpromise  #realfoodmadewithlove   #cookingfromscratch   #adventurebite