-- 5400 -- NCA Food Service

A.  Food Service Management Policies

The school operations manager or designee will develop and implement procedures for operating a food services program. In addition, the school operations manager or designee will monitor the quality and efficiency of the school's food service program.

The school's food service program will comply with all state and federal regulations for food quality and financial reimbursement.

The organization may elect to contract with a food service management company to manage the school's food service program.

The duration of contracts with food service management companies will be limited to one (1) year with no more than four (4) annual renewals.

B.  Uniform Policy for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The organization will have a free and reduced-price school lunch program. Eligible students will be identified for participation in the free and reduced-price lunch program based upon federal and state guidelines.

Information concerning the eligibility standards will be distributed annually within the school. The identification of student participants in the program will be confidential with such information disclosed to staff members on a strict need-to-know basis.

C.  Food Safety Policies

The purpose of organization’s food safety program is to ensure the delivery of safe foods to children in the school meals program by controlling hazards that may occur or be introduced into foods anywhere along the flow of food from receiving to service.

Serving safe food is a critical responsibility for school food service and is a key aspect of a healthy school environment. Keeping foods safe is a vital part of healthy eating. When properly implemented, the school's food safety program will help ensure the safety of school meals served to school students.

In order to carry out these goals and comply with federal law, the school's Food Safety Program will include written plans for each school and will be consistent with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

The school's Food Safety Program will focus on three (3) key points.
  1. Food preparation areas will be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner. This includes ensuring that workers hands, utensils, and food contact areas are clean and sanitary so as to avoid cross contamination.
  2. Temperature controls will be strictly adhered to. Food will be cooked and served at the proper temperature.
  3. Standard Operation Procedures should be developed to ensure sanitation; to ensure that food is maintained at the proper temperatures, and to facilitate other safety aspects of the food service program.

D.  School Wellness Policy

The academy recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of all students. Furthermore, research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student's health and well-being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks through the schools' meal programs, supporting the development of good eating habits and promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.

The academy is committed to creating a school environment that promotes and protects the overall well-being of all students and staff. The guidelines listed below encourage a comprehensive wellness approach that is sensitive to both individual and community needs.

Local School Wellness Policy Leadership
School Level
The academy will establish an ongoing School Wellness Team that will meet annually (at least one time per year) to ensure compliance and to facilitate the implementation of the academy’s wellness policy.
  • The school operations manager and local school staff shall have the responsibility to comply with federal and state regulations as they relate to the academy's wellness policy.
  • The school operations manager will be responsible for establishing the School Wellness Team that will ensure compliance with the school wellness policy.
  • The School Wellness Team will represent all school levels (elementary and secondary schools) and may include, but not be limited to, the following stakeholders: parents and caregivers, students, school food service program representatives (e.g. school nutrition director), school administrators (e.g. superintendent, principal, vice principal), school health professionals (e.g., health education teachers, school health services staff [e.g., nurses, physicians, dietitians, doctors, dentists, health educators, and other allied health personnel who provide school health services], and mental health and social services staff [e.g., school counselors, psychologists, social workers, or psychiatrists], physical education teachers, school board members, and the general public.
  • The School Wellness Team is responsible for:
    1. As required by K-20 Education Code 1003.453, the policy shall be reviewed annually and an updated copy shall be sent to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services when a change or revision is made.
    2. Ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations for competitive food and beverage items sold on the school campus (7 CFR 210.11 and FAC 5P-1.003);
    3. Maintaining a school calendar identifying the dates when exempted competitive food fundraisers will occur in accordance with the frequency specified in paragraph (c) of FAC 5P-2.002;
    4. And reporting its school’s compliance of the aforementioned regulations to the school principal, the person responsible for ensuring overall compliance with the academy's wellness policy.
The designated official for oversight is the school operations manager.

Title / Relationship to the School or DistrictRole on Team
School Operations ManagerAssists in the evaluation of the wellness policy implementation, wellness policy designee.
Health & Wellness CoordinatorAssists in the evaluation of the wellness policy implementation.
Physical Education TeacherAssists in the evaluation of the wellness policy implementation.
Parent RepresentativeAssists in the evaluation of the wellness policy implementation.
Student RepresentativeAssists in the evaluation of the wellness policy implementation
The academy will make every effort to review and consider evidence-based strategies and techniques in establishing goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity and other school-based activities that promote student wellness that may include, at a minimum, a review of Smarter Lunchroom tools and techniques.

Nutrition Promotion
Nutrition promotion can positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by creating food environments that encourage healthy choices and encourage participation in the school meal programs.
  • The school environment, including the cafeteria and classroom, shall attempt to provide clear and consistent messages that promote and reinforce healthy eating.
  • An effort will be made to increase visual promotional materials on campus, for example, printed materials in classrooms and around school campus where students can access useful nutrition information.
  • Discover effective ways to communicate school wellness messages and identify healthy eating and active living messages that resonate with parents. For example, newsletters, social media posts, and printed materials which highlight a wellness topic.
Nutrition Education
Academic performance and quality of life issues are affected by the choice and availability of nutritious foods in our schools. Healthy foods support student physical growth, brain development, resistance to disease, emotional stability and ability to learn.
  • Nutrition benchmarks in Florida’s Physical Education Standards may be taught as part of the structured and systematic unit of instruction during physical education classes and will be under consideration to be integrated into other subject areas (e.g., math, science) where there is a natural fit.
  • Students may receive quarterly nutrition education that is interactive and teaches skills they need to adopt healthy eating behaviors.  Classroom lectures, activities and student participation are examples of what may be provided in nutrition and health classes.
  • The staff responsible for health/nutrition education will make every effort to be be adequately prepared and participate at least annually in professional development activities to effectively deliver an accurate nutrition education program as planned.  Preparation and professional development activities may provide basic knowledge of nutrition combined with skill practice in program-specific activities and instructional techniques and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits.
  • Nutrition education at the academy may:
    1. Include enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant and participatory activities.
    2. Promote fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products and healthy food preparation methods.
    3. Link with school meal programs.
Physical Activity
The academy will make every effort to ensure that physical activity is an essential element of each school’s instructional program. The program may provide the opportunity for all students to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to participate in a lifetime of physical activity. 
  • All students in Grades K-5 shall receive 150 minutes per week of instructionally relevant physical education.  For middle school physical education in Grades 6-8, all students shall receive a minimum of one semester of physical education in each of the three years.  In Grades 9-12, students receive a minimum of one credit of physical education in senior high school as required.  One semester must be personal fitness while the second semester may be any physical education course offered by the academy with the approved state course codes.   (Sunshine State Standards)
  • Students will have the opportunity to be involved in physical activity through physical education programs, before and after school activities or other activity programs.  Students will be encouraged to participate in community-offered fitness and athletic programs.
  • Regular classroom teachers will be encouraged to provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.
Other School-Based Activities
The academy will make a concerted effort to integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting. These initiatives may include nutrition, physical activity and other wellness components so that all efforts work towards the same set of goals and objectives used to promote student well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.

General Guidelines
  • The goals outlined by the wellness policy may be considered in planning many school-based activities (such as school events, field trips, dances and assemblies).
  • The health and wellness coordinator will make every effort to ensure that all school-sponsored events will adhere to the wellness policy guidelines. All school-sponsored wellness events may include physical activity and healthy eating opportunities when appropriate.  
  • Most after school programs will encourage healthy snacking and physical activity.
  • The health and wellness coordinator will make every effort to actively develop and support the engagement of students, families and staff in community health-enhancing activities and events at the school or throughout the community.
  • The academy shall be in compliance with drug, alcohol and tobacco-free policies.
Eating Environment
  • Students will be provided an adequate amount of time to consume their meal with an effort to provide a minimum of 15 minutes after receiving their food from the line.
  • The school will provide nutritious, fresh, food to students and staff.
  • Convenient access to facilities for hand washing and oral hygiene will be available during meal periods.
Health Services
  • A coordinated program of accessible health services shall be provided to students and staff and may include, but not be limited to, violence prevention, school safety, communicable disease prevention, health screening, including body mass index, community health referrals, immunizations, parenting skills and first aid/CPR training.
Behavior Management
  • The academy is committed to making every effort to prohibit the use of food as a reward, unless incorporated into an activity that promotes positive nutrition messages (such as a guest chef or field trip to a farm).
  • Teachers and other school personnel will not deny or require physical activity as a means of punishment.
Guidelines for All Foods and Beverages Available During the School Day
The academy shall operate and provide food service in accordance with USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) standards and applicable laws and regulations of the state of Florida. The guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by USDA.

General Guidelines
  • All reimbursable meals will meet nutrition standards mandated by USDA, as well as any additional state nutrition standards that go beyond USDA requirements.
  • School meals may include a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, while accommodating special dietary needs and ethnic and cultural food preferences.
  • To the maximum extent possible, the academy will participate in available federal school meal programs, including the SBP, NSLP, and ASSP.
  • Free, potable water will be made available to all children during each meal service.
Competitive Foods
  • All foods and beverages sold on the school campus to students outside of reimbursable school meals are considered “competitive foods,” and must comply with the nutrition standards for competitive food as defined and required in 7 CFR 210.11.
    • School campus means, for the purpose of competitive food standards implementation, all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day. 
    • School day means, for the purpose of competitive food standards implementation, the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.
  • Competitive foods include items sold a la carte in the cafeteria, from vending machines, school stores, snack bars and for in-school fundraisers.
  • To be allowable, all competitive food items sold to students must meet general nutrition requirements and nutrient standards.
General Nutrition Requirements for Competitive Foods 
  • Be a grain product that contains 50 percent or more whole grains by weight or have a whole grain as the first ingredient; or
  • Have as the first ingredient one of the non-grain major food groups: fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein foods (meat, beans, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, etc.); or
  • Be a combination food that contains 1⁄4 cup of fruit and/or vegetable
  • If water is the first ingredient, the second ingredient must be one of the above
Nutrient standards for competitive foods:
Nutrient StandardsSnack Items and Side Dishes
(including any added accompaniments)
Entrée Items
(including any added accompaniments)
Calories200 calories or less350 calories or less
Sodium Limits200 mg or less480 mg or less
Total Fat Limits35% or less of total calories35% or less of total calories
Saturated fatLess than 10% of total caloriesLess than 10% of total calories
Trans fat0 g of trans fat as served
 (less than or equal to 0.5 g per portion)
0 g of trans fat as served (less than or equal to 0.5 g per portion)
Sugar35% of weight from total sugar as served or less35% of weight from total sugar as served or less
  • Any entrée item offered as part of the breakfast or lunch program is exempt if it is served as a competitive food on the day of service or the day after service in the breakfast or lunch program.
  • Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables with no added ingredients, except water.
  • Canned fruits with no added ingredients except water, which are packed in 100 percent juice, extra light syrup or light syrup.
  • Low sodium/no salt added canned vegetables with no added fats.
  • Reduced fat cheese, nuts, seeds and nut/seed butters, as well as seafood and whole eggs with no added fat are exempt from the total fat and saturated fat standards.

* Refer to 7 CFR 210.11 competitive food service standards for additional exemptions.         
Nutrition standards for beverages:

Portion sizes listed are the maximum that can be offered.
Plain waterunlimitedunlimitedunlimited
Unflavored low-fat milk8 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.
Unflavored or flavored fat-free milk8 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.
100% fruit or vegetable juice8 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.
100% fruit or vegetable juice diluted with water but no added sweeteners8 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.12 fl. oz.
Other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain 5 calories or less per 8 fl. oz., or 10 calories or less per 20 fl. oz.Not allowedNot allowed20 fl. oz.
Other flavored and/or carbonated beverages that are labeled to contain 40 calorie or less per 8 fl. oz. or 60 calories or less per 12 fl. oz.)Not allowedNot allowed
  1. fl. oz.
For elementary and middle school students: foods and beverages must be caffeine-free with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances. Food and beverages for high school students may contain caffeine.

Standards for food and beverages available during the school day that are not sold to students: 
  • The school will provide parents and teachers a list of ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards and fundraising activities.
  • Schools and teachers may limit celebrations that involve food during the school day.
  • Fundraising efforts during the school day will be supportive of healthy eating making every effort to comply with applicable regulations and nutrition standards for competitive foods while also emphasizing the sale of nonfood items.  
  • Other than exempted fundraisers, no fundraisers that include the sale of food items will occur until thirty (30) minutes after the conclusion of the last designated meal service period.
Policy for Food and Beverage Marketing
School-based marketing will be consistent with policies for nutrition education and health promotion. As such, the following guidelines apply:
  • Schools will only be allowed to market and advertise those foods and beverages that meet or exceed USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
  • Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors are encouraged. Including: vending machine covers promoting water and pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines.
  • The academy's nutrition department’s replacement and purchasing decisions will reflect the marketing guidelines mentioned above.
The effectiveness of the wellness policy will be evaluated and the results will be presented to the governing school board with the recommended revisions annually.

Evaluation and Measurement of the Implementation of the Wellness Policy
The academy's School Wellness Team will update and make modifications to the wellness policy based on the results of the annual review and triennial assessments and/or as local priorities change, community needs change, wellness goals are met, new health information and technology emerges and new federal or state guidance or standards are issued. The wellness policy will be assessed as indicated at least every three years following the triennial assessment.

Triennial Progress Assessments
The academy will assess the local school wellness policy to measure wellness policy compliance at least once every three years. This assessment will measure the implementation of the local school wellness policy, and include:
  • The extent to which the academy is in compliance with the local school wellness policy;
  • The extent to which the local school wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies; and
  • A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the local school wellness policy.
Informing the Public
The academy will ensure that the wellness policy and most recent triennial assessment may be made available to the public. The academy may also actively notify households on an annual basis about any updates made to the wellness policy and the availability of the triennial assessments results, as well as potentially providing information to the community about the school nutrition environment.
  • The health and wellness coordinator will make every effort to ensure the most updated version of the wellness policy and triennial assessments are available on the school website for the public to view.
  • The health and wellness coordinator may present wellness policy updates, as applicable, during meetings with the School Wellness Team and other interested groups or stakeholders.
  • Wellness updates may be provided to students, parents and staff, as applicable, in the form of the school's website and newsletter, to ensure that the community is informed and that public input is encouraged.
Community Involvement
The academy is committed to being responsive to community input, which begins with awareness of the wellness policy. The academy will make every effort to actively communicate ways in which parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators and the general public can participate in the development, implementation and annual review of the local school wellness policy through a variety of means which may include:
  • The academy will make every effort to consider student needs in planning for a healthy nutrition environment.  Students may be asked for input and feedback through the use of surveys and attention may be given to their comments.
  • The academy may use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on the school's website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of any updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy.
Record Keeping
Records to document compliance with the requirements of the local school wellness policy may include, but is not limited to the following:
  • The written local school wellness policy;
  • Documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements, including requirements to make the local school wellness policy available to the public as consistent with the section on informing and updating the public.
  • Documentation of the triennial assessment of the local school wellness policy.

E. Unpaid Meal Charges

Unpaid meal charges are recorded in accounts receivable, are considered collectable until written off, and are considered delinquent if efforts are being made to collect the payments. 

Unpaid balances may be carried over to the next school year and collections efforts may continue.

Collection activities must be focused on parents and guardians, not students.

Unpaid meal charges are considered bad debt after 24 months of unsuccessful collection efforts, and balances are to be written off as operating losses. The nonprofit school food service account resources may not be used to cover costs related to bad debt, e.g., legal and collection costs. The loss may not be absorbed by the nonprofit school food service account, but must be restored using non-Federal funds.

Adopted: May 5, 2020
Amended: April 19, 2021
Amended: February 8, 2024

USDA SP 47-2016