School Lunch Regulations

Every year questions arise regarding school lunches, and necessitate the need to remind patrons of the rules and regulations by which USD 315 must adhere. Please know these regulations are state and federal requirements - not just our district policies. 

In order to participate in the Child Nutrition and Wellness program (including free and reduced meals) and receive government funding for all meals served, USD 315 is required to abide by stringent guidelines.

Our Food Service Department is audited locally and by the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) annually, with a Federal audit occurring every third year. If USD 315 is deemed out of compliance with the regulations, the district is required to pay back funds received from the government subsidies. Non-compliance may also affect the district’s ability to be part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to offer free or reduced meals.

The following description is found on the KSDE, Child Nutrition and Wellness page (

Kansas school sponsors that participate in the lunch program receive reimbursement from USDA for each meal served to eligible students. In return, they must serve lunches that meet federal requirements, and offer reduced price and free lunches to eligible students.

To meet USDA nutrition requirements, local sponsors choose the menus and use Nutrition Standards for School Meals, a food-based preparation method. Regulations establish a standard for school lunches to provide one-third (1/3) of the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. Regulations also require schools to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual's calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat.

The calorie, fat and sodium allowances are strict. The table (on back) breaks food offerings down by numbers so you can see exactly what your child may be offered, as well as the quantities/varieties the state requires the district to offer on average each week.

Beginning July 1, 2014, federal regulations require that all grains offered in the NSLP and School Breakfast Program be whole grain-rich. This means that 51% or more of the product must be made up of a whole grain. This includes, but is not limited to: Buns, rolls, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, cookies/brownies, pastas, and noodles.


The USD 315 Food Service department strives to offer your child a variety of options each week and introduces new foods regularly. We work hard to make your child’s meals the best they can be! You are always welcome to join your child for a meal (adult lunch price - $4.00).


If you have questions or concerns about the USD 315 Food Service operations, please contact Lynn Carpenter, Food Service Director, by telephone (785) 460.5240 or email:


The district thanks you for your support of Colby Public Schools and our Food Service Department.  Have a great school year, and Go Eagles!

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