Child Nutrition/Food Services » Nutritionist's Corner

Nutritionist's Corner

Facts About Our Department
  • Hopewell City School Food Service is a unique department in the Hopewell school system because we are 100% self supporting. We pay for all direct expenses, payroll, and administrative costs. No funding comes from Hopewell City Public Schools general fund.
  • $2.3 million operating budget and over $1.8 million received from Federal and State reimbursement for meals
  • 59 employees
  • 6 sites serving an average of over 2,100 breakfasts, and 3,100 lunches daily. That’s over 900,000 meals a year!
  • A minimum of four lunch choices daily at all Elementary Schools and six choices daily at the Middle and High School.
  • A minimum of four breakfast choices offered daily at all of our schools.
  • Computerized point -of-sale accountability program provides meal sales data, student eligibility and prepayment options, history of what the child has selected to eat.
  • All students  eat at no charge through the Community Eligibility Program.  The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a provision from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that allows schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) with high poverty rates to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. CEP eliminates the burden of collecting household applications to determine eligibility for school meals, relying instead on information from other means-tested programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
The Food Service Department of Hopewell Public Schools provides nutritionally balanced lunches to more than 2,900 students each day through the United States Department of Agriculture's National School Lunch Program. We also serve breakfast to more than 1,700 students each day.

School meals must meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for the appropriate age group. Regulations establish standards for fat, saturated fat, protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and calories. Although meals must meet federal nutrition requirements, Hopewell City Schools Food Services make decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared.

The National School Lunch Act in 1946 created the modern school lunch program. Schools across this nation serve more than 31 million children each day. The federal laws regulating the school food service programs today are administrated under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Virginia Department of Education. The program has the objective of improving the health of students by providing good, nutritious foods that students will enjoy eating at a price that all students can afford. Another goal is to encourage and promote nutrition education.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed USDA to update the NSLP’s meal pattern and nutrition standards based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new meal pattern went into effect at the beginning of SY 2012-13, and increases the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the school menu. New dietary specifications set specific calorie limits to ensure age-appropriate meals for grades K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Other meal enhancements include gradual reductions in the sodium content of the meals (sodium targets must be reached by SY 2014-15, SY 2017-18 and SY 2022-23). While school lunches must meet Federal meal requirements, decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.

We encourage you to discover school meals and invite you to contact our department's staff members with your comments or questions at 541-6400.