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Welcome to Lee's Summit R-7 Child Nutrition Services!

How is the School Cafeteria Funded?

Imagine running your own restaurant with a captive audience of customers who eat lunch each day.  Now imagine providing these customers a complete, five component meal that consists of a meat entree, fruit, vegetable, whole grain item and milk.  Finally, imagine having only $3.23 to purchase the items necessary to provide this entire meal!  And don't forget the other things you need to run your restaurant and prepare those meals--things like equipment, (ovens, stoves, coolers, freezers), electricity, small wares (pots, pans, dishes, serving utensils), and all of the wages and benefits for your staff. (We have approximately 190)  That is what school cafeterias all over the United States do each and every day!!

The National School Lunch Program makes it possible for all children attending school in the U.S. to receive a nutritious lunch every school day.  The program provides per meal cash reimbursements to help schools provide this meal.  This means all eligible schools can participate and all children attending these schools have the opportunity to eat a school lunch.  Schools participating in the program also receive agricultural commodities as a supplement to the per-meal cash reimbursements, based on the number of lunches they serve.  In other words, the more students that eat lunch, the more commodity supplements the school cafeteria can receive.  This past schooll year, the commodity value schools received amounted to .23 cents per lunch.

Some students may qualify to receive free or reduced=price meal benefits, which determines the exact amount of reimbursement received per meal.  The above mentioned $3.23 is the amount of reimbursement for providing a free meal to a student.  The point to be made here is that the school cafeteria, is in fact, a business.  It must be self-supporting, even though it is not permitted to be a "for profit" business, the cafeteria is supposed to be an "even money" operation.  In other words, they are only supposed to bring in enough money to cover their operating costs and no more.  In fact, they are allowed to have no more than three months operating expense on hand.  Any amount in excess is subject to seizure by the state entity that monitors the school lunch programs. 

It can be quite a balancing act to provide a nutritious, tasty meal each day!  Not many restaurants can claim to provide a complete, well-balanced meal with proper portion sizes and charge less than $3.00.  Furthermore, if a student doesn't have enough money in their account to cover the cost of the lunch, schools happily allow the student to "charge" their meal, and pay the next day, or when they can.  Try doing that at a chain or even local restaurant!  School cafeterias do their very best to nurture and nourish students so they can become the leaders of tomorrow.  It is an act of love for the staff running these school "restaurants".  Understanding how school cafeterias operate is the first step to learning how you can help to support their efforts.  The cafeterias receive no funding from their district, only funds from the meals they serve. 


Our mission is to provide food service meal opportunities that meet the nutritional needs of students grades PreK-12 at an affordable cost, encouraging healthy eating habits, personal fitness, and proper dietary choices.

Good nutrition and learning go hand in hand.

The Nutrition Services department is made up of a team of food and nutrition professionals that are dedicated to students' health, well being and their ability to learn. We support learning by promoting healthy habits for lifelong nutrition and fitness practices.

Meals, foods and beverages sold or served at schools meet state and federal requirements which are based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines. We provide students with access to a variety of affordable and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students.  To answer your questions on our program and meal service, we have created a 411 sheet:  Nutrition Services 411

If you have questions about how meals are priced or comparison of meal pricing in the metro area.  Click on What's New.



Come Work With Us While Your Child Is In School!!

For more information contact Donita Zehr at:  986-2207