Food ServiceFAQ

Fall 2022

Back to School Information - Fall 2022

Breakfast and lunch is available at each school.  We work hard to offer a variety of options to choose from.  We look forward to serving you!

We offer free and reduced priced meals to eligible children if their parents or guardians complete the 22-23 meal application. 

For those who don’t apply or don’t qualify, elementary children are allowed to charge the dollar amount up to the price of three lunches.  Middle School children are allowed to charge the equivalent of one meal. High School students are not allowed to charge. If a child does not have enough in their account for a regular meal, an alternate meal is provided free of charge.  There is no limit on the number of alternate meals provided. No child is forced to go hungry.

This free meal meets the federal meal requirements including milk.  If a child is repeatedly receiving an alternate meal, school food service staff contacts the district food service office to follow up with the principal or parents to assist in getting the balance cleared up.  Staff will also contact the food service office to transfer money between children in the same family in order to ensure a regular meal is served.

Notifications are sent to parents via email and in the case of elementary children, by paper notice daily where no email is provided.  Paper notices are sent to the elementary school daily, teachers are to give the negative balance sheet to the child to bring home that day.  Secondary children are also verbally reminded daily as their meal account gets close to running out of money.

Letter to Household 22-23.docx

How to Apply.docx

Free and Reduced Meal Application English

Solicitud en español para comidas gratis oa precio reducido

Frequently Asked Questions 22-23.docx

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How to deposit funds into my students account?

You can add funds into your students account through our new food service Family Portal https://westottawa.familyportal.cloud/

You will also find that you can add funds to your students meal account through the Family Portal. These funds can only be used to pay for meals or to purchase snacks sold in the Cafeteria, WO Zone, or Snack Bar.

What are the benefits of completing a 22-23 Meal Application?

This year each household needs to fill out and sign a Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application to see if they qualify for free or reduced meals. The GREAT NEWS is that ALL students enrolled at our school can receive a healthy breakfast and lunch each day.

In addition, we need every household to fill out a meal application because this information is critical in determining the amount of money that our school receives from a variety of State and Federal supplemental programs like Title I A, At-risk (31a), Title II A, E-Rate, etc.

These supplemental programs have the potential to offer supports and services for our students including, but not limited to:

  • Instructional supports (staff, supplies & materials, etc.)
  • Non-instructional services (counseling, social work, health services, etc.)
  • Professional Learning for staff
  • Parent and Community engagement supplies and activities
  • Technology
  • Pandemic-EBT

We are asking that you please complete and submit a meal application as soon as possible to ensure that additional funding for our school is available to meet the needs of our students. All information on the application submitted is confidential. Without your assistance in completing and returning the attached application, our school cannot maximize the use of available State and Federal funds.

Free & Reduced Price Meals

How do I apply for Free and Reduced-Priced School Meals?

We recently switched our web portal. Parents/guardians will be directed to a new website to complete the free and reduced lunch application. The new food service family portal to complete a free and reduced lunch application is here.

Please read This Document to review the steps to apply for the Free and Reduced Price Lunch Program.

To apply for meal benefits, please follow the instructions within the new Food Service web portal here to create an account using your students school ID number. Your application will be electronically forwarded to West Ottawa. If your family qualifies for free or reduced price lunch meal benefits, your children will also receive free or reduced price breakfast.

You can review the documents on the links provided as well:

Solicitud en español para comidas gratis oa precio reducido

Free and Reduced Meal Application English

I have more questions about this program. Where can I get them answered?

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions for common questions regarding this program.

If you feel your question(s) still is/are not answered, you may contact Rachael Heemstra directly:

616-786-2101, heemstrar@westottawa.net

Policies

What is the Student Charge Policy?

Elementary students are allowed to charge the dollar amount up to the price of three lunches.

Middle School students are allowed to charge the equivalent of one lunch.

High school students are not allowed to charge.

If a student does not have enough in their account for a regular meal, an alternate meal is provided free of charge. This meal meets the meal requirements including milk. If a child is repeatedly receiving an alternate meal, school food service staff will contact the District Food Service office to follow up with the Principal or parents to assist in getting the balance cleared up. Staff will also contact the Food Service office to transfer money between siblings in order to ensure a regular meal is served.

What is the Wellness Policy at West Ottawa Public Schools?

As required by law, the Board of Education establishes the following wellness policy for the Ottawa Public School District.

The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of the District’s students. Furthermore, research concludes 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, by supporting the development of good eating habits, and by promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.

The Board, however, believes this effort to support the students’ development of healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise cannot be accomplished by the schools alone. It will be necessary for not only the staff, but also parents and the public at large to be involved in a community-wide effort to promote, support, and model such healthy behaviors and habits.

The Superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines necessary to implement this policy, including, but not limited to, the manner in which the implementation of this policy shall be regularly evaluated by the principal of each school. The Board designates the Superintendent/designee as the individual(s) charged with operational responsibility for verifying that the District meets the goals established in this policy.

Review of this policy shall occur each year by a committee appointed by the Board, consisting of a representative(s) of the Board, the administration, the food service provider, the parents, the students, and the public. The committee shall provide the Board with any recommended changes to this policy.

42 U.S.C. 1751, Sec. 204
42 U.S.C. 1771

First Reading-July 17, 2006

Approved-August 21, 2006

Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and the 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 the 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 the 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: https://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to the 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 the USDA by either:

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

3) Email:
program.intake@usda.gov

Contact Us

Who can I contact in the Food Service department?

The very heart of what we do each day is service. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve your families’ school meal needs and strive to serve nutritious tasty food prepared using the safest procedures.

In order for us to serve you better, your input is appreciated. Please email Jenna or call (616) 786-2100 with your thoughts, ideas, suggestions or compliments.

Thank you for your confidence and support,

Jenna Stamp, Director
(616) 786-2101

Elizabeth Herweyer, Assistant Director
(616) 786-2101

Rachael Heemstra, Administrative Assistant
(616) 786-2101

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Catering

Who do I contact for catering?

Please email Noelle Whitlatch or call 616-786-2102 for all your catering needs!