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Lunch Program

over 2 years ago

Changes to our Lunch Program

You may have heard that there will be new federal requirements for school meals. Knowing what changes were likely to take place, we have gradually been making changes so it wouldn’t be such a shock to the students when the new requirements went into effect.

Fruits sliced open

Biggest Changes:

  • Students will now be required by the USDA to have ½ cup of fruit or vegetables on their tray for it to count as a full meal. Previously we encouraged students to take a fruit or vegetable but they were only required to have 3 of the 5 components on their tray, a fruit or vegetable were not required. We plan to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to give the students more to select from.

  • The amount of food and calories offered at each meal will be based on three different age groups; grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Before, we only had two age groups which left some of the younger students with way too much food, and some of the older with not enough. You’ll see that on the menus, many of our items are the same, but portion sizes and recipes will be designed to meet the specific age groups.

  • We need to offer ½ cup of fruit to grades K-8 and 1 cup of fruit to grades 9-12.

  • We need to offer ¾ cup of vegetables to grades K-8 and 1 cup of vegetables to grades 9-12.

  • We are now limited as to how much meat/meat alternate (cheese, yogurt, etc.) and grains we can offer. Previously, we only had a minimum to meet, but could offer more. Now we have to stay within the specified ranges for each age group. This means main entrees may not be as large as they have been. Remember, though, that there are more fruits and vegetables available than before. We’ll have to be a little creative to make this work, but have no doubt we can make each meal something our students will enjoy.

Boy eating vegetables

USDA Changes We Have Made:

  • All grains offered (with the exception of pasta) must be whole grain rich. All grains offered meet this requirement. Pasta is mixed 50/50.

  • We must offer vegetables from the following groups each week: dark green, orange/red, beans, starchy, and other vegetables. We’ve been working towards this goal by serving fresh veggies with low-fat ranch, switching all lettuce to a higher mix of romaine & spinach, and offering beans/legumes.

  • Starting July 1st, 2014 all menus must meet USDA’s first sodium target. Working with our manufacturers we have met this target with what we feel are some very good products for our students.

  • Any foods sold in schools during the school day must be “whole grain rich” or have the first ingredient be listed as a fruit, vegetable, a dairy product, a protein food, or be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit or vegetable. The school day is considered 12:01am until one half-hour after the last bell.

How You Can Help:

  • Encourage your children to try new things at home and school.

  • Join your child for lunch and/or breakfast.

  • If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!

Thank you, we look forward to serving our students of the Mandan Public Schools a good and nutritious meal each and every school day!

Meal Charging Procedure

11 months ago

Mandan Public School District Nutrition Services Meal Charging Policy

Because good nutrition is key to the optimal growth and development of children, we make every possible attempt to reach out to parents before meal charging becomes a problem.

Parents are responsible for monitoring their children’s meal account and ensuring a positive balance in their accounts. Student lunch balances can be viewed in the parent portal in PowerSchool, or you may also set up an account by going to By setting up an account through MySchoolBucks, you can deposit money into your student’s lunch account, check their balance, or view a transaction report.

The following protocol will be used by Mandan Public School District to assist parents with their responsibility to maintain a positive balance.

·      Once a child’s balance has reached a balance below $10.00 (full price student), or $2.00 (reduced price student), an automated instant alert will go out on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. (This will be for elementary and Middle School students only. No instant alert will go out for High School students)

·      If an elementary student has a negative balance a written notice addressed to the parent will also be sent home with the student from the school secretary.

·      Middle School and High School students will be notified at the cashier stations when their accounts are low.

·      Once an account has reached a negative balance of $10.00 or below, only the second-choice meal will be offered to the student, they will not have their choice of which entrée they will receive.  It is the parent’s responsibility to monitor their child’s account.  

·      If meal charging for an individual student becomes a continuous problem, that particular student’s charge privileges may be suspended and it may create a potential report to Social Services for child neglect.  

·      Ala carte items at the High School and Middle School may only be purchased when the student’s account has a positive balance. There is no charging of ala carte items under any circumstances.

·      No adult may charge meals. Employees of the District must prepay by depositing money into their accounts before meal service.

·      Parents of elementary students who want to have lunch with their student must call the school before 10 a.m. on that particular day and pre-pay in the school office before the lunch service begins.

Free and reduced price meal applications are available at every school and will be accepted at any time during the school year. 

If you have any questions or need assistance in filling out the application please call the Director of Nutrition Services, Becky Heinert, at 701-751-6500.

Child Nutrition

11 months ago

Image of kids in a huddle                

Feeding Mandan’s Students


There are special people at all our schools who work each day to help improve students’ concentration, enhance classroom participation, increase test scores and keep our students healthy and ready to learn. Amazingly these people do this without even entering the classrooms.

Who are these people? We are the Nutrition Services staff at Mandan Public Schools and proud of our employees who work hard each day to provide our students with nutritious, balanced meals. On a monthly basis our kitchen staff proudly prepares and serves approximately 45,000 lunches and almost 15,000 breakfasts to our students.

Teachers tell us that well-nourished children are more eager to learn and do better in class. When we give our kids healthy food choices they learn healthier habits. Together we can make a difference and help our kids develop healthy habits for life!

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) sought to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals, and reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat to meet the nutritional needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The intent was to provide nutrient-dense meals (high in nutrients and low in calories) that better meet the dietary needs of school children and protect their health. The Act sought to improve lunches and breakfasts by requiring schools to adhere to some strict guidelines. Examples of some of those guidelines are:

  •    Offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal component
  •    Offer fruit daily at breakfast and lunch
  •    Offer vegetables daily at lunch including specific vegetable subgroups weekly
  •    Offer whole grains: half of the grains would be whole-grain rich
  •    Offer meals that meet specific calorie ranges for each age/grade group to ensure proper portion size
  •   Reduce the sodium content of meals
  •   Prepare meals using food products that contain zero grams of trans fat
  •   Require students to select a fruit or vegetable as part of the reimbursable meal
  •   Require menus to adhere to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Food on school menus must contain 30% calories from fat, less than 10% of calories from saturated fat, at least 1/3 of the RDA for key nutrients like calories, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and C.


Apples and oranges sliced and stacked

We understand that not every child has the same preference for food and we do have options in place to accommodate that. In elementary school, children are allowed to have a choice between different kinds of fresh fruit, canned fruit, fresh vegetables and hot vegetables each day. They have their choice of a hot entrée or boxed meal that still contains the same nutritional needs as our hot lunch. Each of these choices meets the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutritional standards we must follow.

We are required to offer five food groups at each meal. If they prefer, students only have to choose any of three of the five food group items. One requirement is that they must choose a fruit or a vegetable.

We do our best to ensure that each student receives the meal of their choice. If for any reason, a child is not able to have their preferred choice, they are offered an alternative meal choice. If one food group item is no longer available, (including their choice of the main entrée, another main entrée will be offered) the child is offered an alternative item. In all cases, children will be offered the appropriate items to fulfill the nutritional requirements.

Good nutrition is key to the optimal growth and development of children. Our nutrition staff strives each day to provide your children with tasty, healthy meals and because of this, we do not allow any outside food from other “restaurants” to be brought into our school cafeterias. We thank you for your continued participation in this matter.

Mandan is full of amazing children and families. We are honored to help them learn and grow. We will continue to do our best to provide them with the nutrition they need to grow up to be the best people they can be.

To find more information about required nutritional standards and Mandan’s Nutrition Services Department, visit the Mandan Public School District website at Click Departments and Child Nutrition, or you may download our “Mealviewer” app.

Families of returning students will see meal balances rolled forward into their child’s/ren’s meal account(s) for the next year. Families who have no students returning (last sibling to graduate, family leaves district) will receive a refund of the remaining balance in their meal account unless they wish to donate the funds. Requests for refunds form must be received by June 10 of the recently completed school year or within two weeks of leaving district, whichever comes first. Any money left in inactive accounts will be donated to help struggling families with negative balances in their meal accounts.

If you have any questions, please contact Becky Heinert, Director of Nutrition Services, at 701-751-6500.

Thank you from the Mandan Public Schools Nutrition Services.

We look forward to serving your children this school year!


Becky Heinert

Director of Nutrition Services

As the motto on our office wall states:

It is our children for whom our program was established, they are

 our most important ingredient!”


about 1 year ago

Visit My

FAQ’s for Parents

With current national attention being focused on children’s health and wellness issues, Mandan Public School District’s Child Nutrition Department is excited to provide parents a convenient, easy and secure online prepayment service to deposit money into your child’s school meal account at any time. This service also provides parents the ability to view your child’s account balance through a web site called By having money in each child’s account prior to entering the cafeteria, we find the lunch lines move along much faster so your child has more time to eat and be with friends.

Also, parents will have the ability to print out a copy of their child’s eating history report. This history report will show you all dates and times that your child has purchased a breakfast and or lunch within the past thirty days.

To access these services:

Click on the link above. From this site you will create your account and add money to your child’s school meal account. All you need is your child’s name, student ID number ( if your child does not know this number you can find their student ID # in your Power School Parent Portal) and school ZIP code. The instructions listed will guide you through the easy online account set up process.

Things to know:

> If you have more than one child in the District you can handle all online prepayments from the same online account.

> Payments can be made with a major credit or debit card.

> The convenience fee of $1.95 will be paid by the Mandan School District. Mandan Public School District will not profit from the use of this site.

We are very excited to offer these new services. However, if you choose not to take advantage of the online prepayment service you may continue to make advance payments via cash or check, which should be made payable to the Mandan Public School District. Please write your child’s full name on the check.

If you have any questions about these new services, please feel free to contact Becky Heinert at 751-6500.    

Free & Reduced Price Meal Guidelines

11 months ago

Food Services Free & Reduced Price Meal Guidelines

Children need healthy meals to learn. Mandan Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day.  Elementary Breakfast costs $1.70, Secondary Breakfast cost, $1.85, Elementary lunch costs $2.65, Middle School lunch cost $2.90, High School lunch cost $3.15. Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $0.00 for breakfast (breakfast is paid by the State) and 40 cents for lunch.


For School Year 2019-2020

Household Size









Each Additional Person:





















2x per Month










Every 2 Weeks




















Here are answers to questions you may have about applying:

  1. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION FOR EACH CHILD? No. Complete the application to apply for free or reduced price meals. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.
  2. WHO CAN GET FREE MEALS? ? All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) or the Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families (TANF) can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free or reduced price meals if your household income is within the limits on the Federal Income Chart.
  3. CAN FOSTER CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? Yes, foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income.
  4. CAN HOMELESS, RUNAWAY, AND MIGRANT CHILDREN GET FREE MEALS? If you haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call the school at 751-6500 to see if they qualify.
  5. SHOULD I FILL OUT AN APPLICATION IF I RECEIVED A LETTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR SAYING MY CHILDREN ARE APPROVED FOR FREE MEALS? ? Please read the letter you got carefully and follow the instructions. Call the Child Nutrition office at 751-6500 if you have questions.
  6. MY CHILD’S APPLICATION WAS APPROVED LAST YEAR. DO I NEED TO FILL OUT ANOTHER ONE? Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year. You must send in a new application unless the school told you that your child is eligible for the new school year.
  7. I GET WIC. CAN MY CHILD(REN) GET FREE MEALS? Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application.
  8. WILL THE INFORMATION I GIVE BE CHECKED? Yes and we may also ask you to send written proof.
  9. IF I DON’T QUALIFY NOW, MAY I APPLY LATER? Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year if your household size goes up, income goes down, or if you start receiving SNAP TANF or FDPIR. If you lose your job, your children may be able to get free or reduced price meals during the time you are unemployed.
  10. WHAT IF I DISAGREE WITH THE SCHOOL’S DECISION ABOUT MY APPLICATION? You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: BECKY HEINERT, DIRECTOR OF NUTRITION SERVICES. MANDAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, 901 DIVISION ST. NW, MANDAN, ND 58554.
  11. MAY I APPLY IF SOMEONE IN MY HOUSEHOLD IS NOT A U.S. CITIZEN? Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
  12. WHOM SHOULD I INCLUDE AS MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD? You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends). You must include yourself and all children living with you.
  13. WHAT IF MY INCOME IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME? List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes.
  14. WE ARE IN THE MILITARY. DO WE INCLUDE OUR HOUSING ALLOWANCE AS INCOME? If you get an off-base housing allowance, it must be included as income.
  15. MY SPOUSE IS DEPLOYED TO A COMBAT ZONE. IS HIS/HER COMBAT PAY COUNTED AS INCOME? No, if the combat pay is received in addition to her basic pay because of her deployment and it wasn’t received before she was deployed, combat pay is not counted as income. Contact your school for more information.
  16. WE ACCEPT APPLICATIONS AT ANYTIME DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR; however, because of the high volume of applications before the start of school, in order for us to process your application before classes begin, please submit form by August 12.


If you have other questions or need help, call:
Becky Heinert, Child Nutrition Director at 751-6500.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (202) 720-5964 FREE (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

2019-20 Meal Prices

Nondiscrimination Statement

10 months ago

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.