In recent years, we have seen an increase of young children with food allergies. Children can stay safe at school, but it requires organization, preparation and education.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) nondiscrimination regulation, as well as the regulations governing the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, make it clear that substitutions to the regular meal must be made for children who are unable to eat school meals because of their disabilities when that need is certified by a licensed physician.
The child's condition would meet the definition of "disability" with the physician's assessment stating the food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions. In these situations, the Food Service Department will accommodate the prescribed substitutions from the physician.
The Food Service Department may make food substitutions, at the district's discretion, for individual students who do not have a disability. Such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. This covers those students who have food intolerances or allergies but do not have a life-threatening reaction when exposed to the food(s).
Each special dietary request must be supported by a statement that explains the food substitution that is requested. The medical statement MUST INCLUDE:
- an identification of the medical or other special dietary condition which restricts the student's diet.
- the food or foods to be omitted from the student's diet.
- the food choices to be used as a substitution.
The Food Service Department works closely with the Nursing Department to ensure that our students are kept safe while in our care. If you have any questions regarding food choices served, please feel free to contact the Food Service Staff at your student's building or the Nutrition & Food Service Supervisor, Bill Bailey, at 330-926-3800 x 502034.