Nourishment & Fresh Foods
Our nutrition team including professional chefs, registered dietitians, and experienced foodservice managers work in synergy to develop healthy, balanced meals that are created fresh with quality ingredients that students enjoy. Our registered dietitians utilize strategies supported by sound nutrition science as the framework for menu planning. Arbor chefs put a creative, healthy spin on scratch recipes. Our goal is to replace processed foods with whole foods and fresh ingredients.
Nutrition Education & Promotion
Arbor provides an environment for students to learn how to create healthy meals from a wide variety of options. Our chef created, dietitian approved meals provide a guide modeling the most current nutrition guidelines. Dietitian led nutrition education programs allow for unique, interactive student engagement such as “Dietitians Test Kitchens”, “Ask the Dietitian” lunch booths, classroom presentations, and wellness fair activities. Nutrition education is reinforced with vivid displays, nutrition & wellness flyers, activity sheets, fruit and veggie of the month, and monthly nutritional newsletters. Our Corporate Dietitian is available to answer questions via the Arbor website “Ask a Dietitian” link. We make it easy for students and parents to be confident about their health and wellness knowledge.
Inspiration & Encouragement
Students are encouraged to explore new foods with tastings and display cooking to spark student taste buds and curiosity with healthy options. Rotating fresh garden bars introduce students to a wide assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables while encouraging them to experiment with different combinations. Arbor’s nutrition team allows students to personalize and create their own balanced meals through “Build Your Own” food bars and featured recipes. Creative dishes inspire students to expand their palates.
For the 2023-2024 school year, breakfast costs $1.50, lunch costs $2.70, and milk costs $0.55.
Food service payments will run through Infinite Campus Lunch Portal for the 2023-24 school year. All balances on students' accounts will transfer to the new system. Negative lunch balances will be added to students' Infinite Campus account to pay off. Please contact Ally Bagg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-899-8105 with any questions.
Free and Reduced Meals
Students need healthy meals to learn. As part of our commitment to empowering our learners to succeed, Sycamore Community School District 427 offers healthy meals every school day, and some students qualify to receive them for free or at a reduced price.
Nutrition & Allergen Information
A binder of vendor product specifications, including nutritional, ingredient, and allergen information, for all items is available in the Food Service Director’s office as well as with the School Nurse.
In addition, our vendor provides a product lookup site to view product specifications online. You may obtain product codes for menu items as well as the vendor lookup site through the Food Service Director.
Please note that occasional substitutions may be required due to vendor shortages or mandated commodity usage. Proper documentation for students with dietary restrictions is important for communication of dietary changes among school faculty and staff.
Arbor Management managers and staff are trained in proper food handling, sanitation, and allergen management procedures.
Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) nondiscrimination regulation (7 CFR 15b), as well as the regulations governing the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, state that substitutions to the regular meal prepared for the general school population must be made for children who are unable to eat school meals because of their disabilities, when that need is certified by a licensed physician. The Modified Meal Request is required for documentation and must be signed by a Prescribing Physician/Medical Authority. The statement must include:
- the nature of the child's disability
- the reason the disability prevents the child from eating the regular school meal
- the specific substitutions needed
The guidance is based on the policy guidelines outlined in the FNS Instruction 783-2, Revision 2, Meal Substitutions for Medical or Other Special Dietary Reasons.
Students or parents/guardians of students with severe life-threatening food allergens (food anaphylaxis) or special dietary needs due to disability are encouraged to schedule a menu review with the Food Service Director and School Nurse upon submitting the Physician’s Statement for Food Substitution. If a request is not based on a disability signed by a recognized medical authority, it is at the district’s discretion whether or not they will accommodate the request per federal regulation.
About Arbor Management, Inc
Arbor Management is a privately held, employee-owned business that has provided services to school districts in the Midwest for over thirty years. They are committed to providing a highly customized service specifically designed to meet the needs of the students, parents, and staff of Sycamore Community School District 427.
Arbor's Mission is to:
- Aid in the fight against childhood obesity by serving wholesome meals that provide fuel and nutrients for healthy body weight.
- Maximize the use of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased locally as seasonally available.
- Serve a wide assortment of fresh, nutrient-rich foods every day and encourage the consumption of wholesome, balanced meals.
- Provide a variety of protein options including lean meat, poultry, legumes, tofu, hummus, yogurt, and quinoa.
- Serve products with a minimum number of ingredients and avoid added sugars, artificial ingredients, and preservatives.
- Use cage-free poultry with no added hormones or steroids.
- Purchase fresh eggs from a local farm that has been awarded for innovative conservation and ships eggs within twenty-four hours of being laid.
- Serve local skim and low-fat milk that is free from artificial growth hormones and is produced at sustainable farms.
- Eliminate all trans-fats. Utilize healthy cooking techniques including baking, grilling, and steaming.
- Conduct surveys, taste tests, and food advisory committees to collaborate and brainstorm new ideas with students, parents, and staff.
- Provide education and information regarding allergen safety, label reading, and age-appropriate portion sizes.
- Offer fresh, whole, and multigrain bread to increase vitamin and fiber intake.
- Promote environmental responsibility and sustainability.
USDA Meals for Kids Site Finder (Summer Site Finder)
USDA works closely with states to ensure that children who receive on free or reduced-price school meals can get the nutrition they need when schools are closed – whether during summer break or unexpected closures during the school year. Through USDA's summer meal programs, approved sites in communities across the country can serve meals to kids up to age 18 at no cost. Families can use this tool to find directions to nearby meal sites, as well as their hours of operation and contact information.
Answers to common questions about summer meal operations this year can be found here.
Families seeking food assistance for their children can also contact The USDA National Hunger Hotline, operated by Hunger Free America. The hotline can be reached Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 10: PM (Eastern Standard Time) at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) (for English) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish).