Policy 7546, School Nutrition Services


The Board of Trustees (“Board”) supports a Nutrition Services program that is designed to provide a nutritious and reasonably priced meal to all students in the Washoe County School District (“District” or “WCSD”), and to contribute to a better understanding of good nutrition and to foster good eating habits. Through this policy, and any associated documents, the District’s school nutrition services program shall be established, implemented, and maintained.


1.  Governing Principles

a.  The nutrition services program will be operated in a manner consistent with the goals and objectives of the District and in compliance with Board policies and administrative regulations, and all local, state and federal laws and regulations.  This includes such functions as menu preparation, purchasing, and related recordkeeping.

b.  The District will participate and comply with federal civil rights laws, including those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in particular the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.    Discrimination within District programs is prohibited in accordance with Board Policy 9201, Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Prohibited, as well as state and federal laws and regulations.

c.  A school lunch program shall be available at all schools.

d.  A school breakfast program shall be available according to the need and desire of the individual schools.

e.  No child shall be humiliated, or otherwise made to feel ashamed, due to an inability to pay for lunch.  However, the District shall seek to establish parental accountability and will work with a student’s parent/guardian to establish a payment plan and/or determine if the household qualifies for free or reduced price meal benefits when a hardship is claimed for any reason.

2.  Governing Practices

a.  The District shall take steps to foster a greater understanding of good nutrition to students.  In accordance with Board Policy 5600, Student Wellness, nutrition materials shall be provided to all teaching staff for dissemination to students and their families.

b.  The District shall maintain and implement a written food safety program to ensure that all safety and sanitation requirements established in local, state and federal laws and regulations are met.

c.  A clean and safe environment shall be provided and adequate time provided for all students to consume their meal.

d.  All eligible costs associated with the nutrition services program shall be paid exclusively by user fees, federal funding and reimbursements to the program.  Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, labor, food, supplies, utilities for the central kitchen, insurance for the central kitchen, vehicle fuel, vehicle repairs and maintenance, insurance for vehicles, depreciation on vehicles and equipment, and indirect costs (as allowed by the Nevada Department of Agriculture).  

e.  The Nutrition Services Fund shall be reported as an enterprise fund, which helps focus on the cost of providing services and the portion of those costs being paid by the user fees.  Enterprise funds provide information needed by the District to make better-informed decisions regarding the Nutrition Services operations.

f.  Use of any District food service facilities and equipment shall require a completed and approved Use of School Facilities Application.  See Board Policy 7120, Community Use of School Facilities, for additional information related to terms and fees.

g.  Cost of Meals

i.    The Board of Trustees shall approve the price of student meals as well as any change in the price for student meals sold in schools.  This does not include the price of individually sold food or beverage items. 

ii.    The District shall participate in the Federal School Lunch Program and offer free or reduced price meals in accordance with the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Information related to application for free or reduced price meals shall be available and communicated to parents/guardians.  The District encourages qualifying parents/guardians to apply for the program of free or reduced price school meals. 

1)   Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year; and must be renewed each school year.  Eligibility in one school year does not roll over to the next school year.  Free and Reduced Meal applications are available at the school office or on the District’s website (https://rocket.washoeschools.net).


iii.    The District shall communicate, on an annual basis, to nutrition services staff, school administrators, parents/guardians, and students the District’s protocol for making a meal available to a student who is not in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program when that student does not have money available, either in hand or in his/her account, to pay for the meal.

1)   Any student who does not have money to pay for a meal will be treated fairly and with compassion.  Each student’s situation will be handled discreetly and as confidentially as possible.   

2)   An elementary school student who does not have money in his/her account or in hand shall be served the regular lunch.  The cost of the meal shall be applied to the student’s account as a negative balance.  The District’s Protocols for Unpaid Charges shall be implemented as approved by the Board of Trustees and communicated to parents/guardians.

3)   Middle and high school students who do not have money on account or in hand, or their parents/guardians, are encouraged to check with a school administrator or counselor for payment options and/or alternatives for receiving a meal.  Alternatives may include applying to work in the kitchen/cafeteria in exchange for a meal and additional food credits or compensation. 

4)   School staff shall regularly communicate the student’s meal fund balance and payment options to the parent/guardian.

5)   In accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules, the District is not allowed to write off an unpaid balance on a student account. Any negative balance shall be reimbursed to the Nutrition Services Enterprise Fund by the District’s General Fund or another non-federal source.


1.    Enterprise fund means a fund established to account for operations:

a.    Which are financed and conducted in a manner similar to the operations of private business enterprises, where the intent of the [District] is to have the expenses (including depreciation) of providing goods or services on a continuing basis to the general public, financed or recovered primarily through charges to the users; or

b.    For which the District has decided that a periodic determination of revenues earned, expenses incurred and net income is consistent with public policy and is appropriate for capital maintenance, management control, accountability or other purposes. (NRS 354.517)


1.        Through this policy and the associated guidelines, the District seeks to:

a.    Demonstrate exceptional customer service to students and their families;

b.    Provide access to nutritious, appealing, high quality meals to every student in a healthy and safe environment; and

c.    Maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility.


1.  This policy reflects the goals of the District’s Strategic Plan and aligns with the governing documents of the District, to include:

a.  Board Policy 5600, Student Wellness

2.  This policy aligns and complies with Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and Nevada Administrative Code (NAC), to include:

a.  Chapter 354, Local Financial Administration

b.  Chapter 387, Financial Support of School System, and specifically:

i.    NRS 387.068 – 387.112, Programs of Nutrition; Lunches for Elderly Persons

3.    This policy aligns and complies with federal laws and regulations, to include:

a.    Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act

b.    Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, to include:

i.    USDA School Program guidance (SP 46-2016) Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies

ii.    USDA National School Lunch Program guidance (NSLP 2017-08) Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies


1.    This document shall be reviewed as part of the bi-annual review and reporting process, following each regular session of the Nevada Legislature. The Board of Trustees shall receive notification of any required changes to the policy as well as an audit of the accompanying governing documents.

2.    Administrative regulations, and/or other associated documents, will be developed as necessary to implement this policy.

3.    This policy and the associated implementing guidelines shall be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure the District is taking steps to make school meals available to all students while maintaining a high degree of fiscal management.


Revised on June 12, 2018