Homer Alaska - Schools

Story last updated at 6:08 PM on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Serving up healthy snacks

Six southern peninsula schools qualify for program

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer

A fresh fruit snack will welcome kindergarten through sixth-grade students to school this year at 13 sites in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. On the southern peninsula, the schools selected for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program are Chapman, Nanwalek, Ninilchik, Paul Banks, Susan B. English and West Homer Elementary schools.

"The schools were selected based on their higher level of students qualifying for the free- and reduced-priced meals," said Dean Hamburg, director of KPBSD Student Nutrition.

The three- to four-ounce snack will be served in the classroom either mid-morning or mid-afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the 2011-2012 school year.

Last year, four sites qualified for the program — Chapman, Mountain View, Nanwalek and Tebughna — but this year's $13,000 means students at more schools will benefit.

"It's a USDA provision to expose children to the ingestion of fresh fruits and vegetables more than they might have access to in their homes," said Hamburg, who anticipated continued funding in the future. "We're thrilled to be able to provide this additional service, in addition to the 1,000 breakfasts we serve each morning and the 4,000 lunches each day."

As a sponsor of the USDA breakfast and lunch program, 28 sites receive meals planned around the program's nutrition requirements and guidelines. The guidelines include measurements of calories, nutrients, meal pattern, menu entrees and menu items, with guidelines varying according to students' ages. Also influencing the meals offered are:

• Student preference;

• The district's wellness policy;

• Availability of USDA commodity provisions;

• Current pricing of distributor food supplies;

• Labor expense associated with preparation of menued foods;

• Seasonal availability of fresh fruits and vegetables;

• Student Nutrition Services responsibility to limit meal program expenses to revenue received from federal reimbursements and cash sales of meals and a la carte services.

Students are offered the option to select all foods on a daily menu or only the entrée and one other item to qualify as an appropriate complete meal.

For more information, call Dean Hamburg, student nutrition services administration, at (907) 714-8890 or visit www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/departments.aspx?id=296.


• $1.75 paid student;

• Free to students qualifying for Reduced and Free Meals;

• Adults $2.50, no milk.

Lunch, elementary school:

• $2.85 paid student;

• $0.40 reduced price student;

• $4.25 adult, no milk.

Lunch, middle school:

• $3.35 paid;

• $0.40 reduced price student;

• $4.25 adult, no milk.