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School District Kitchen Ready to Serve | Education & Schools

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School District Kitchen Ready to Serve
School District Kitchen Ready to Serve

The Clark County School District’s largest department is ready for school to start on Monday.

The food services department prepared cinnamon rolls, chicken nuggets and cookies for the first day of school. The district makes 175,000 meals at its central kitchen every day. The 150 cooks and food preparers use an assembly line to put together nutritious meals.

"They are putting together a cold tray on the speed line which is a half of applesauce and the kids' favorite, a low-fat cookie with sprinkles," said CCSD dietician Virginia Beck.

The department will be facing an even bigger task this year. A record 169,000 students will be on the free or reduced lunch program. That is 55 percent of students in the district. Elementary and middle school lunches cost $1.75. High school lunches are $3.           

"I think it is a pretty decent price. For the unfortunate families, I think it is pretty steep. They don't make enough money and they have more children to pay for. I think it is pretty steep," said parent Venus Banks.

The Food Services budget is more than $80 million a year. It was not impacted by the district’s budget cuts. More students are expected to buy their lunch this year, which will help offset the number of students getting free and reduced lunches.

"For the free and reduced students, we get a reimbursement from the USDA. The federal government actually funds the National School Lunch Program, so that is how we can stay in business by feeding all these students for free," said Beck.

The district saves money on food by getting it through the Department of Agriculture. It also uses its power as the fifth-largest school district in the country to get vendors to customize food to meet its needs.

Parents can still enroll their students in the free and reduced lunch program through the district’s website. For families who are paying for lunch, they can do it through schoolpaymentsolutions.com.