BREAKFAST BEGINS AT 8AM

Dear McCallum Campus Community,

Welcome back! For those who I have not had the opportunity to meet yet, my name is Todd Thornburgh, and I am the cafe manager here at McCallum. We are so excited to be able to provide free breakfast and lunch for all AISD students this year. At AISD, we encourage all students and staff to dine at school. As a federally funded program, we receive reimbursement for each meal served; the more meals we serve the more funding we have to invest in the quality of our food, maintain local jobs, and support the Texas economy.

Below I will share a few program updates and highlights regarding school meals this year at AISD. You may also explore Food Service resources at any time through our Campus Toolkit.

Free student meals: All students receive free breakfast and lunch for the 2021-22 school year, regardless of household income and without any application or documentation. AISD Food Service will not collect meal benefit applications. AISD Office of Accountability and Assessment will collect income information from families to help maintain campus demographic information needed for various types of funding.

Teacher and staff meals: Breakfast meals may be purchased for $2.75 (breakfast begins at 8am) and lunch for $4.25. While all meals are free for students for the 2021-22 school year, Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) guidelines prohibit the district from providing free adult meals. As a federally funded program, Food Service only receives reimbursement for each meal served to students, not those served to adults. TDA also restricts the use of federal funds to pay for the cost of meals served to adults. Staff may purchase school meals with cash or check in the cafe. Online pre-payments may be made by setting up a SchoolCafe employee account, following the instructions linked here. Online payments are subject to a processing fee.

Menus: Daily menus may be viewed at SchoolCafe.com/AustinISD or by downloading the SchoolCafe mobile app. AISD menus are filled with fresh produce, vegetarian options and locally grown, sustainably raised, clean label ingredients. Our menus regularly feature chef prepared, scratch-cooked recipes made here in our kitchen.

Supporting the Texas economy: AISD spends nearly half of their food budget within Texas. Some of our local vendors include New World Bakery (whole wheat bread, buns, muffins), Fiesta Tortillas (tortillas, tortilla chips), and Johnson’s Backyard Garden (featured Farm Fresh Friday vegetables). We also participate in the Farm to School program where we source fresh apples, oranges, grapefruit, pears, and more from Texas growers throughout the year. Our department also employees over 600 staff across the district, each meal served helps to maintain these jobs.

Meaningful food purchasing: AISD is the first district in Texas to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program. Every food purchase we make is evaluated in the following areas: local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition. By making our vendors aware of the direction our purchasing efforts are headed, they’re making changes to their products and practices and creating more good food options not only in Austin, but for schools across the country.

Catering: Food Service encourages campuses to explore catering options within the district, rather than an outside vendor, as these funds go back to providing healthy, tasty meals for AISD students. Please contact AISD Executive Chef, Diane Grodek (diane.grodek@austinisd.org) to learn more about catering options.

Wellness policy: AISD encourages healthy practices to continue outside of the cafe, therefore all campuses are asked to comply with the district’s Wellness Policy. This document (English / Spanish) provides an overview of the policy, as well as ideas for healthy snacks, non-food rewards, and fundraising alternatives.

Field Trips: In order to provide the best service possible to students and faculty, it is important we know when children will not be present to eat regularly scheduled meals. Notification of field trips or other scheduled activities which result in such absences and alternate meals must be provided two weeks prior to the event, using the Field Trip or ISS Sack Lunch Request Form, so that the correct amount of food may be ordered and prepared for sack lunches as well as regular meal service. To ensure food safety, coolers must be provided by the campus group for transport of milk and entrée items containing meat. Food Service may provide ice or cold packs.

Garden to Cafe: The AISD Garden to Café Program provides guidelines to gain approval to serve school garden-grown foods in the café. Schools requesting this approval will be required to designate a Garden Leader, who will follow the necessary standards and protocols to ensure the garden meets health regulations. Campuses requesting to participate in the Garden to Café program can begin the process by submitting the Austin ISD School Garden to Café Conditions for Use of Garden-Grown Produce in School Kitchens.

COVID Safety Guideline: AISD Food Service follows Center for Disease Control and Austin Public Health guidelines for safe meal service operations. All students and staff are asked to wash their hands prior to entering the serving line and follow all district safety procedures in the cafeteria.

Todd Thornburgh
AISD Nutrition and Food Services Manager
512-841-2241 McCallum High School Cafe
mccallumcafe@austinisd.org
Follow us on Twitter @ AustinISDFood