Food Service Director
1776 Main Street
Coventry, CT 06238
Coventry High School
Capt. Nathan Hale School
Coventry Grammar School
Power up with breakfast...Eat breakfast at school to boost your brain and body power!
As we all recognize that hungry children cannot learn, the first step is ensuring that all students begin the school day with a nutritious breakfast at home or at school. The School Breakfast Program helps to make sure all our students start the school day alert, well-fed and ready to learn.
The School Breakfast Program is available to all students every school day when they arrive at school. Your child can attend every day or occasionally. These supervised meals provide your child with 1/4 of their nutritional needs each day.
School breakfast is tasty and nutritious. School breakfast is an ideal solution on mornings when kids are running late or parents have early commitments. It is also a wonderful way to make sure your children have a balanced meal to start each day. Try breakfast at school today!
Children from households whose income is at or below the levels set by the federal government may be eligible for either free or reduced-price meals. To apply, please contact your child’s school.
- Program Information
- Free and Reduced Lunch Offerings
- MySchoolAccount Information
- District Wellness Policy
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Employment Opportunities Available
The Coventry School Food Service is a nonprofit business. Our staff of food service professionals takes pride in serving approximately 1,500 customers daily at 4 schools as well as to the Coventry Early Childhood Center. Lunch, breakfast and a la carte items are available in all schools. The food service program, as an extension of the educational programs of the schools, is operated under the federally funded National School Lunch Act and Child Nutrition Act. The federal laws regulating the food service programs are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture through the regional office and implemented within Connecticut by the State Department of Education.
The program's objective is to improve the health of students by providing a variety of tasty, high-quality, safe, nutritious foods that students will enjoy eating at a price affordable to them. Each meal is nutritious and well-balanced, and meal choices are determined based on student preferences and affordability.
Coventry Schools participate in the USDA's Team Nutrition Program and all Coventry School Food Service staff belong to the School Nutrition Association of Connecticut (SNACT) an affiliate of the national School Nutrition Association (SNA). These organizations provide extra leadership and training to the School Food Service Director and staff of every school, as well as subscriptions to the School Nutrition magazine, an extremely valuable monthly magazine for School Food Service Professionals.
The Coventry and Andover School Food Service is a member of the Lighthouse Food Co-Op, which is made up of 12 surrounding school districts. The function of the Cooperative is to assist participating members in administering a fiscally sound food service operation by using the collective buying power of our members to secure the best price for a variety of goods and services. The primary focus of the Lighthouse Food Co-Op is Child Nutrition Programs.
Coventry Public Schools
District Wellness Committee
1700 Main Street
Coventry, Connecticut 06238
Every spring, our Wellness Policy evaluation forms are distributed to teachers and staff members of the Coventry school district, grades K-12. The areas evaluated under our Goals and Guidelines include:
- Nutrition Education and Promotion
- Physical Activity and Other School Based Physical Activities
- Nutrition Guidelines for All Food in Schools
- Health Education and Life Skills
- Healthy School Environment
- Other School-Based Activities to Promote Student Wellness
- Communication and Promotion
Based on the evaluations, the district wellness committee recommends the following actions:
- Promoting healthy food celebrations by providing school staff and parents with resources such as “Good, Better, Best Snack Ideas” and “Ideas for Healthy Celebrations” fliers.
- Adherence to 20 minutes of supervised recess in grades K-5.
- Encouraging teachers and staff to model the behavior outlined in the wellness policy.
- Encouraging staff to reward students with extra recess or physical activities.
- Increase awareness of the importance of the District Wellness Policy
1. What is the school lunch program trying to accomplish?
The goal of the program is to provide high quality, nutritious meals to all students for the lowest possible cost.
2. Who is in charge of the lunch program in my child's school?
The Cook-Manager at each school is in charge of the day to day operations of their school kitchen. The Director of School Food Services, Beth Pratt, supervises and coordinates the general operation of the program. The Board of Education, represented by the Superintendent, makes the final decisions about the program.
3. Who plans the school menus?
Menus are planned by the School Food Service Director with input from the Cook-Managers. Students are welcome to suggest ideas and every effort is made to incorporate these ideas while remaining within the budget and USDA regulations.
4. Can schools serve any food they want?
Menus must meet federal school lunch requirements. Meals are planned with the goal of providing students with one third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for key nutrients and calories. The USDA provides the School Food Service with any changes in the regulations and the staff is updated regularly to insure regulations are met.
5. Are school breakfasts and lunches nutritious?
Recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports state “school meals are healthy and children who eat school meals consume more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy items than children who do not eat schools meals.” Research has shown lunches from home include a sandwich and three times more snack foods. This combination contains more carbohydrates, fat, and sugar. Milk is included in all school lunches but very seldom in lunches from home. School lunches sometimes get falsely accused of contributing to the childhood obesity issue but the research is evidence that school lunch plays a major role in keeping our children healthy.
6. Are school lunches high in fat, sodium and calories?
School meals are carefully planned to meet federal regulations and provide 1/3 of the students' Recommended Dietary Allowances and contain no more than 30 percent calories from fat and 10 percent calories from saturated fat averaged over the week. This information is printed on the parent monthly menu.
Food items such as chicken nuggets and pizza served in our schools are specified to contain limited amounts of fat and sodium. The nutrient content is different than those sold in local fast food restaurants. To reflect the regulations stated in the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, all of the grains served in school meals are whole grain rich and a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are offered daily. In addition special attention is paid to limit sodium and all foods served are trans fat free.
7. Are soft drinks and candy available to students during the school day?
No. Schools in Connecticut are forbidden from selling soda. The Coventry Schools have also agreed to comply with Connecticut’s Healthy Snack initiative. This means no candy can be sold at school and all snacks sold in the cafeteria or anywhere else in the school must comply with the published list.
8. How much does it cost the school to prepare a student lunch?
The average school lunch costs $3.14 to prepare and serve, including the value of donated commodities in the meal.
9. How can lunch be sold to students for a price so much lower than the cost?
The school receives federal and state funds for every meal it serves. This reimbursement, along with the value of the donated commodities used in the meal, makes up most of the difference between what the lunch costs to prepare and what the student pays. Snack sales help close the gap between income and expenses.
10. Why should my child buy lunch at school rather than bring it from home?
The school lunches assure that your child is receiving a nutritionally balanced meal. More variety is easier to achieve through school menus. Also, school lunches are less expensive to buy than a lunch of equal nutritional value prepared and packed at home.
11. Is my child required to take every item offered for lunch?
No. Students have the choice of declining one or two food items. They also have the choice of accepting smaller portions of one or two items, provided they accept full portions of at least three items and that one of them is a fruit or vegetable. This helps solve the problem of students throwing away uneaten food while still giving students the opportunity to try new foods.
12. Are there other advantages to my child's participating in the school lunch program?
Students learn good nutritious habits that provide a basis for better health throughout their lives. School lunches contain a variety of foods and offer students exposure to new foods. The well-nourished student will generally have better attendance, be more attentive, and have more energy to cope with school day opportunities.
13. How can I be involved?
Comments and suggestions are always welcomed and encouraged. Please call your students school kitchen or the food service office. The health of our students is very important to us. We welcome you to join our Wellness Committee for input on the District Wellness Policy.
For information on part time employment (or substitute work) in the Food Service Department, please call the food service office directly:
1776 Main Street
Coventry, CT 06238
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion,reprisal and, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.(Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at this link or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form.You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S.Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 IndependenceAvenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the federal Relay Service at (800) 877- 8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.