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Centralia Elementary School District

Food Services » Program Information

Program Information

Centralia School District Food Services Program

The operation of Centralia School District's Food Services department is similar to that of a stand-alone business, with one exception, a school food service program must comply with very strict rules and regulations set forth by the State and Federal Governments. Food Services is a self-sustaining program that does not receive money from the District's General Fund.

Centralia School District’s Food Services Program participates in the National School Lunch Program as well as several other State and federally funded Programs. Federal law requires school districts to establish a non-profit school food service program, and further requires that Federal, State and local revenues received by the food service program be used only for the operation or improvement of such services. Revenue that is generated through the food service program, which is approximately $2,000,000.00 per year, is used to pay for food, supplies, equipment, maintenance, salaries, wages, benefits, and any other expenditure that the program may incur.

By taking part in the National School Lunch program, Food Services receive cash subsidies and donated commodities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for each meal that is served. In return, we must serve lunches that meet Federal requirements, and we must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children. Currently the full price for lunch is $2.70 and the full price for breakfast is $1.25. The reduced prices are $0.40 for lunch and $0.30 for breakfast if households qualify.

Under the direction of Paul Ngo, Director of Food Services, this department consists of the following positions: 3 Food Service Assistant III, 17 Food Service Assistants, 1 Utility Person (Driver), 1 Utility/Custodian (Driver), and 1 Bilingual Clerical Specialist. Operating from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. this team is responsible for planning, preparing, delivering and serving approximately:
  • 2,800 lunches per day across the Centralia School District.
  • 700 daily breakfasts, which are available at all sites throughout the District starting at 7:30 a.m.
  • 200 daily After School Snacks at Buena Terra, Los Coyotes, and Miller.
  • 400 hot Suppers served daily in the afternoon at Danbrook, Centralia, Dysinger, Raymond Temple, and San Marino.
  • 500 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables are offered weekly, at no cost to students, during morning recess at Danbrook and Centralia.
  • 11,500 served meals throughout the summer of 2019 at our Summer Food Service locations at Danbrook, San Marino, and Walter Knott.
  • Over 150 catering events annually for staff and other non-district clients.
The Centralia School District Food Services Department is recognized as a Culinary Center for the California Department of Education’s Fresh Meals @ Schools Initiative. Through innovative best practices, Centralia is one of 16 school districts responsible for creating and standardizing recipes for schools to use throughout the State of California. Many of the items served to students in the Centralia School District are made from “scratch” at the Central Kitchen located at Dysinger School.

The Food Services Department is also responsible for processing eligibility applications for the free/reduced price meal program. Approximately 2,500 applications are processed every year through the Food Services Department.