• Frequently Asked Questions Chef Gabe serving samples to students

    Nutrition Services FAQ

    Q: When I eat in the school cafeteria, my adult meal costs more than the students, yet I get the same amount of food as the kids. Why is that?

    The Child Nutrition meal programs in schools are partially funded by the state and federal governments. Money is received only for student meals that are sold. The price for the adult meal is what it costs the school district to prepare and serve that meal. State regulation requires us to ensure we cover the cost of the meals sold to customers who are not students in Mapleton.

    Q: When I went to school, there were always six items on the tray. Why doesn't this happen anymore? I am afraid my child is not getting enough to eat.

    School meal requirements have changed over the years. Currently, the meals at school are required to meet the nutritional needs of children at the appropriate age, when breakfast and lunch are averaged together over each week. All meals in the District are analyzed for those necessary calories and nutrients required. When your child eats all foods offered, you can be assured that they are receiving what is necessary to get them ready to learn.

    Q: My child sometimes comes home hungry, and I find out they haven't been given everything on the menu. Why is this?

    Every child may take all items offered on the menu as part of the meal if they choose to do so. Federal laws allow children to make choices at mealtime at school. At breakfast, they must take at least three of the choices and at lunch, a minimum of 3 of the components offered. At times, one of the items offered may count as two or three components. For example, a hamburger on a bun counts as two different components, a meat/meat alternate, and a grain. Therefore a student could take that and a vegetable or fruit and nothing more and it would still be considered a meal that meets requirements.

    Q: How do I know whether my household is eligible for free or reduced priced meals?

    At the start of every school year, parents or guardians should complete the application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals. This form is available online, and a limited number of paper applications are available. The Nutrition Services office will email or mail you a letter telling you your child's eligibility, based on your household size and monthly gross income.

    Q: Will other government agencies see my completed application?

    No. Applications are confidential and not shared with anyone.

    Q: Are school meals healthy by today's standards?

    School meals are very healthy choices by today's standards. Meals served in Mapleton's schools are much lower in fat, sodium and added sugar, and higher in whole grains and fiber. School lunch provides 1/3 and school breakfast provides 1/4 of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for most nutrients a child needs. Mapleton Public Schools has gone a step further by providing fruit and vegetable bars at every school offering a variety of fresh choices daily for students.

    Q: As a parent, can I limit my child's a la carte purchase?

    Yes. This can be completed by calling or going to your child's school and speaking with the Kitchen Manager. The Kitchen Manager can review the account to show how you can limit purchases. For a list of all Nutrition Service contacts, including your school's Kitchen Manager, please click here

    Q: How can I be sure the money I send for school lunch is really spent on the meal?

    This can be controlled by sending a check for the meals instead of cash. Also, the District offers payments online at www.myschoolbucks.com. It is free to enroll, free to add money to your child's account and you can monitor your child's use of the money you add to your child's account.


    If you would like help paying online, please call the Nutrition Services office at 303.853.1117.