Parent and Community Information
Food is a big part of everyone’s well-being, and Ithaca Schools’ students need a place to eat where they can connect with others, recharge, and enjoy a sense of happiness in their school. That’s why we serve food kids love to eat and create programs that encourage fun and discovery.
Our foodservice team is passionate about using fresh, nutritious, minimally processed and locally sourced ingredients, and we foster a sense of adventure in students through experiential learning activities – all with healthier students, healthier communities and a healthier planet in mind.
Our goal every day is to make sure that Ithaca Schools’ students leave the cafeteria happier and healthier than when they came in!
For the 2023-2024 school year, Ithaca Schools is joining the Michigan School Meals Program. Ithaca students, 4 years and up, can get one free breakfast meal and one free lunch meal each day.
Although meals are free, all families should still fill out the Education Benefits Form. These applications are critical in determining the funding our school receives from a variety of State and Federal Supplemental programs, including, but not limited to: Instructional Supports, non-Instructional services, professional learning for staff, parent and community engagement supplies and activities, and technology. Your family may also receive benefits outside of school such as reduced fees for activities, discounted internet service, and more.
What to Expect for Breakfast
Before going to class in the morning, your child can stop by the cafeteria to get a breakfast containing healthy whole grains and a variety of fresh fruit White or chocolate milk and a second option of fresh, dried, frozen or canned fruit will be available for your child to add to his/her meal at no cost.
What Comes in A Lunch
K-5– Your child will have a choice of three main entrees every day, including a hot option and 2 cold options. A complete lunch includes: A meat and a grain (often combined as a main entrée), a variety of fresh and prepared fruits and vegetables, and a choice of white or chocolate milk. A student must have 3 of the 5 components to count as a lunch. One of the components MUST be a fruit or vegetable.
Middle Schools and High Schools – In these grade levels, your child will have more choices for meals. The Grill and 2Mato stations include homemade pizza by the slice, and a variety of hot sandwiches such as fresh grilled burgers and chicken sandwiches. The On the Go includes fresh prepared items, such as salads, yogurt parfaits and bento boxes. The Create station includes a variety of home-style meals, pasta dishes, and Global cuisine. A complete lunch includes: A meat and a grain (often combined as a main entrée), a variety of fresh and prepared fruits and vegetables, and a choice of white or chocolate milk. A student must have 3 of the 5 components to count as a lunch. One of the components MUST be a fruit or vegetable.
A la carte items are available for purchase at the middle school/high school building.
One free breakfast and one free lunch is available to each student per day. Additional meals may be purchased a la carte using funds in the student’s account. Students will not be allowed to purchase a la carte items if funds are not available on their account.
All of our a la carte offerings meet the USDA Smart Snacks Standards for food and beverages.
*Please note that milk is included in a reimbursable meal. Charges for milk only apply if milk is chosen without a reimbursable meal or if an additional milk is taken with a meal.
The Meal Magic Family Portal (https://Ithaca.familyportal.cloud/) is your one-stop site for managing your child’s meal account. Once you’ve created your personal account, you will be able to:
● Fill out Education Benefit form by clicking on “Benefits”
● View your child’s detailed purchase history
● View current account balanceis
● Make an online deposit
● Transfer funds between your children
● Set up automatic low balance email reminders
● Access and change parental controls, such as a daily spending limit
The best way to get started is by going to Meal Magic Family Portal where you can log in to your current account, or create a new account. Click on “How-To Videos” or “Instructions” for help.
To deposit funds into your child’s account using a credit or debit card please set up an account on the Meal Magic Family Portal, or pay by check/cash in Dining Services Office or to the cashier in the Cafeteria. Make sure any cash or check funds are clearly marked with your child’s name and state that the deposit is for “Dining Services“.
If your child has funds remaining at the end of the school year, these funds will transfer with your child to the next grade level for as long as your child remains enrolled in the Ithaca School District.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to meal account deposits, please contact the Dining Services Office firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-875-8013.
All students will be allowed to purchase a reimbursable meal regardless of their lunch account balance. If a child’s lunch account balance is zero or below, we will offer a reimbursable meal; however, they will not be allowed to purchase any à la carte items. This will create a negative balance on their account. Negative and/or low balance reminders will be emailed twice weekly to the email address on file. Parents and/or guardians are responsible for the negative balance accrued on their student(s) accounts.
Request Special Meals and/or Accomodations
Please email Rick Bongard at email@example.com or phone 989-875-8013 with any questions or concerns about your child’s dietary needs.
If your student has a special dietary need due to a disability or medical issue, special dietary accommodations can be made. Please complete the Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations and mail to;
Ithaca Public Schools
Ithaca Public School Wellness Policy
Chartwells is looking for qualified employees to serve as substitute school nutrition professionals at Ithaca Public Schools! If you are a reliable and trustworthy person that would like to serve the students and staff of the district on an occasional basis, please consider applying for a food service position. You can start your online application and view our available positions on indeed.
Consider the benefits of joining the food service team:
● Work the same schedule as your children – summers, nights and weekends off
● Paid time off including holidays, personal time and sick time
● Priority school of choice for out of district families
● Continued paid training, including ServSafe Manager course and certification
● Free shift meal
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877- 8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442;
USDA Civil Rights Complaint Link: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Ithaca Public Schools is proud to partner with Chartwells K12 to serve up happy and healthy meals!