• Breakfast & Lunch FAQs


    1.  What is “Universal School Meals"?


    Beginning this school year, the California Universal Meals Program (Education Code 49501.5), also referred to as School Meals for All, requires public school districts serving students in grades TK through grade 12 to provide two meals free of charge (breakfast and lunch) during each school day to any student that requests a meal.  The program is a great step toward ensuring that all California students are receiving adequate nutrition and are therefore in a position to reach their full potential academically, socially and emotionally.  The legislation ensures that all students, regardless of their financial status, will have access to healthy, high-quality meals. 


    There is no charge for these meals but we are asking that you review and complete the Free and Reduced application if your family is eligible. LINK HERE


    2. How will the lunch program change for the 23-24 school year?  


    There is a federal program called the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) that has been in place for decades. In the past, districts have been able to choose whether or not to participate in this program.  To participate in NSLP, a district must meet certain requirements regarding what lunch provider is used and how lunch is provided and accounted for.  Under NSLP, if a student meets financial need criteria, when the district provides that student lunch, the federal government will reimburse the district a prescribed amount (usually less than the meal actually costs). Under the new California Universal Meals Program, any student, not just those with financial need, receives a meal if requested at no charge, provided that the school district participates in the NSLP.  If a district participates in NSLP, the state of California reimburses the district at the prescribed amount for these additional free lunches as well.


    Ross School has not participated, this year or any past year, in the NSLP.  In the past, the number of families in our district who would have qualified for the program was very small, and there were a number of benefits to opting out, including more choices for food vendors and a lower administrative burden. Due to the mandate to provide these meals and the fact that we must provide them under California law we must offer this program to comply with current state law. 


    3. How will Ross participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)?


    For a small school district, like ours, the detailed tracking and accounting of all lunches provided, and participation in frequent audits can be burdensome, however we have entered into a partnership with two other local districts in order to reduce this administrative burden.  Under this partnership Ross School and the other two local educational agencies (Kentfiled and Reed) will be using one vendor for the 2023-24 school year.  Reed will host the NSLP while Ross and Kentfiled will function like “satellite'' Schools to Reed. This allows us not join the NSLP while still being reimbursed for the meals we serve.


    4.  Who is the meal provider/vendor that will be providing lunch?


    Meals will be provided by The LunchMaster. This is the premiere lunch program used by many school districts in Marin.


    5. How do I order lunch for my student?


    The district is required to place the order. There is nothing to do on your end. If you do not want a LunchMaster lunch please pack your own.


    6.  How do I order breakfast for my student?


    The district is required to place the order. The Ross School breakfast program will be served at recess to all students who want the breakfast. Students do not need to sign up for the breakfast snack. If you do not want the “breakfast” please pack a snack for your student to have during the regular snack time.

    7.  Can you share how the menu is designed and the type of food that is available.


    The breakfast menu has one option per day. The lunch menu will have two options: meat and  Veg/Gluten Free. The meals come from a shared facility, so while some are gluten free, they are not certified gluten free.  The first week's menu and allergy sheet are linked HERE 

    Each meal is served with a fruit, vegetable and milk along with the entree item. The first week's menu and allergy sheet are linked HERE