Meal Update April 19, 2021
We are excited to welcome back our middle and high school students beginning April 20! Through special funding from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, students will continue to have access to free meals for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. However, we have some updates regarding availability and distribution of our free meals.
Beginning Monday, April 19, we will no longer serve meals to the greater community, as we refocus on providing meals during the school day to our in-person learners. We are grateful to our community for supporting our efforts to ensure students across Dakota County had access to nutritious meals.
Students learning in person will still have access to free breakfast and lunch, as well as take-home meals to support them on distance learning days and weekends.
Students who are enrolled in the 196 Digital Academy full-time distance learning model will still have the option of picking up a free seven-day meal kit at any of our secondary schools.
Beginning Wednesday, April 21, meal kits for our 196 Digital Academy learners will be available to pick up on Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at any secondary school. If your family would like to pick up seven-day meal kits, please provide updated information by completing this seven-day meal kit survey by Friday, April 16. Completing this brief survey assists our Nutrition Services Department in preparing an adequate number of kits.
For information on local food resources, please review our list of local food shelves and community meal opportunities.
At BHMS, we continue to partner with Every Meal (formerly Sheridan story) and have a wide range of meal kits available.
Hybrid students can pick up kits after school and Distance Learners on Wednesdays along with the ISD 196 meal kits.
Please call our Student Support Specialist, Annie Estes, with questions or for more information. She can be reached at 651-905-5822.
Has COVID-19 affected your ability to afford food? Second Harvest SNAP Outreach Specialists are available over the phone for application assistance and sharing of food resources. Use our online screening tool to be screened for eligibility and send a referral. Or, call 651-209-7963 to leave contact information. Multilingual interpreter services available.
Food and Nutrition Services
Emergency Nutritional Benefits in 2021 - sign up by 2/28/21
Families in our district who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are now eligible for additional emergency nutritional benefits offered from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
If you have already qualified for free or reduced-price meals earlier this school year, you don’t need to do anything because your family will automatically receive these new benefits.
However, if your family income has been affected by the pandemic and you have not completed an Application for Education Benefits (free or reduced-price meal application) for this school year, please complete and submit your application by Feb. 28, 2021.
These benefits are provided by Federal “Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer” funds (P-EBT) and will be provided to any family who qualifies for free and reduced-price meals this school year. These additional benefits will be retroactive to September 2020. We urge families to apply right away.
Families who qualify will receive separate electronic grocery cards for each student in the family. The cards would include funds (approximately $6.82/day) for each day your student was in distance learning during the school year. Cards will be mailed from the State of Minnesota in late March 2021.
Signing up for Free and Reduced Priced Lunch
YOUR CHILD MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE SCHOOL MEALS
District 196 provides healthy meals each day for our elementary students. And your family may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. If you participated in this program last school year and wish to participate again this year, you must submit a new application each year.
Federal funds and school-related fees are determined with this information. The failure to complete the application could result in the loss of millions of dollars to our school system, which would negatively affect teaching and learning in a significant way.
All students in our district are currently eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch through the extension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s free meals program, however this funding is not guaranteed long-term. It is important families who qualify for free or reduced-price meals still apply this year.
To apply, click here, or visit https://paypams.com/Applynowisd196 or call 651-683-6958 if you need assistance filling out the application.
There is no charge for free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch. A second full breakfast or lunch for a student is the same price as an adult breakfast and lunch. Only individual meal pricing is listed for an adult breakfast and lunch (weekly, monthly and yearly pricing is not available). Milk is included with all meals, but for additional cartons of milk or if purchased separately, it is an Ala Carte charge of 40 cents each for all eligibility levels.
For questions about your student’s meal account or balance information, please contact the food and nutrition services manager at your student’s school.
If your child has an allergy, contact the school nurse prior to the start of the school year to complete the appropriate paperwork.
Steps to take if your child has a severe allergy
- Notify school nurse of your child’s allergy
- Each year, prior to the first day of school, provide the following items to the school nurse as needed:
- Epinephrine must have pharmacy label attached; please check expiration dates.
- Prior Consent to Release Private Data
- If a special diet is requested, complete the Special Diet Statement signed by the parent/guardian and physician and meet with the Food and Nutrition Services Manager in your child’s school to discuss your child’s special dietary needs. Review appropriate menu item selections with your child.
- The school nurse shares information about your child’s severe allergy on a need-to-know basis with additional school staff such as teachers, clerical staff, bus drivers and other support personnel. It is, however, very helpful for you to also make contact with your child’s teachers at the start of each school year to inform them of your child’s severe allergy and to answer any specific questions and address any concerns they may have.
- Contact the coordinators of your child’s before- and after-school, non-school-sponsored activities such as School-Age Care (SAC), Camp Invention, etc. These activities may take place when the school nurse is not available.
Anaphylaxis is a serious and potentially life threatening allergic reaction that is rapid in onset. DO NOT HESITATE to give Epinephrine.