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Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department  —  Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know that school meals are healthy?

By law a school meal must meet federal regulations for nutrient content. Breakfasts must be planned to provide ¼ of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA’a) and lunches must be planned to meet 1/3 of the RDA by age group. A nutrition analysis is computed from a USDA approved computer program, Nutrikids. Meals must contain no more than 30% of calories from fat and no more than 10% of calories from saturated fat averaged over a week of menus. Research shows that milk was included in 87% of school lunches and only 7% of those from home. Home meals usually contained a sandwich and three times more snack foods than school meals.


Is food prepared in a safe manner? 

Every school cafeteria manager has successfully completed our extensive manager-training course. A sanitation self-inspection using the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) format has been implemented in all schools. This format requires managers to follow the purchased product through the various stages and temperatures from receipt to service. All student nutrition department employees receive repeated training on proper handling, preparation, and service of food to the customer. Abilene Health Department also performs 2 unannounced health inspections yearly.


What is “Offer vs. Serve”

“Offer vs. Serve” is a federal regulation designed to reduce food waste in the lunch program by allowing students to choose only those foods, which they intend to eat. Senior high schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are required to implement “offer vs. serve”. However, “offer vs. serve” is a local option in elementary and middle schools.

Abilene ISD has opted to extend “offer vs. serve” to include the elementary and middle schools. The five components of the meal include:

  • meat or meat alternate
  • fruit
  • vegetable
  • bread or bread alternate
  • milk


What is the meaning of Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

Offer both breakfast and lunch at no charge.


Does my child have to receive the entire meal?

Students who receive meal benefits, in order to recive a reimbursable meal they are required to select at least three (3) of five (5) items (called components) one of which must include a fruit, or a vegetable served. For optimum nutrition, we do recommend that students take all available meal items. Although, a full priced reimbursable meal is much less expensive than the same items purchased ala Carte, all students are permitted to purchase just the entrée, or just side dishes, on an ala Carte basis.


Eating Healthy in Difficult Economic Times

Have you recently had a change in your economic situation?  Do you have children who are enrolled in the Abilene Independent School District?  If you have answered, “yes” to both questions, the AISD Student Nutrition Department can help.  The Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, we are pleased to inform you that Abilene Independent School District will continue to implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)


Student Nutrition Prepayment and Deposit Options.

Parents have three options available to then to pay for their child’s meal account:

  1. Online– Using MySchoolBucks.com. The service is easy to use, convenient, private, secure, and FREE. Parents may also choose to make online deposits using a credit or debit card.  If an online deposit is made, there is a convenience fee of $2.49 per transaction that is charged by MySchoolBucks to host and operate the online service. The Student Nutrition Department and AISD do not receive any portion or percentage of the convenience fee that is charged.  Once you have opened your free account, you may check balances at any time from your computer or mobile device.
  2. Check– Write a check to (student’s school name) Student Nutrition and bring the check to the Student Nutrition Manager’s office.
  3. Cash – If paying with cash, Elementary level gives money to the cashier before service time or during service time for deposit on student’s account. Secondary levels put money at the KIOSK for deposit on student’s account.


How do I know when my child’s A la Carte account is running low?

Parents are welcome to contact the Student Nutrition office to inquire about current account balances of their student. Student account balances can also be checked online if you register on  www.mySchoolBucks.com.


What happens to the money in my child’s account at the end of the school year or if my child transfers to another AISD school?

Money left in an account at the end of the school year will be available for that student’s use in the next school year at any school within the district. A negative balance will also carry over to the next school year or school.


What happens if my child forgets lunch money?

Breakfast and lunch meals are free and there is no longer money required.


Can I limit my child’s ala Carte purchases?

Parents who wish to set parameters on their student(s) account may contact the Student Nutrition Office at 325.677.1444, Ext. 7594.


What if my child requires a special diet or diet modifications?

A statement signed by a licensed physician, a physician assistant, or another recognized medical authority must support requests for special diet modifications. The signed statement must be provided to the school nurse, who will then forward it to AISD Student Nutrition Department. Meal pricing is not affected by dietary modifications. The cafeteria staff tries to be vigilant with children, but it is ultimately the parent’s responsibility to educate the child about what foods should be avoided.


Contact us:

If you have any questions, please contact our Meal Benefits Coordinator,

Sylvia Alaniz at 325.677.1444, Ext. 8152 and we will be glad to assist you.