School Nutrition - Information

General Information

The Muscogee County School Nutrition Program serves an average of 25,000 lunches and 8,000 breakfasts every day. The Program provides nutritious, economical meals for the students and staff in Muscogee County Schools. Students and adults may choose from a variety of menu items. Each day at lunch, elementary school students may select one of two entrée items, middle school and high school students may choose from up to 6 entrée items. Chef salads and cold sandwich plates are also available in most schools. The required USDA meal patterns are used in planning breakfast, lunch, and snack menus. Meals served provide over half of the nutrients needed every day by the school-age child. Breakfast provides one-fourth, and lunch provides one-third.

Staff members are available to make menu modifications for children who have special health needs or food restrictions. All 52 School Nutrition Managers and 142 of the program's staff members maintain national certification with American School Nutrition Association.

The Muscogee County School Nutrition Program is operated 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 at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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:

  • Mail
    USDA Director Office of Civil Rights
    Room 326-W, Whitten Building
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20250-9410 (or)
  • Fax: (202) 690-7442 (or)
  • Email: program.intake@usda.gov

This Institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Documents and Resources

Breakfast Flyer
Carb Count
Healthy Snack Idea Part 1
Healthy Snack Idea Part 2
School Nutrition Program Central Office Phone Roster
Georgia School Nutrition Association
Wellness Program

Frequently Asked Questions

What is School Nutrition Program?

Unlike other departments, the School Nutrition Program does not receive money from the school budget or the Muscogee County School District. It is expected to be self-sufficient financially. This means that School Nutrition Program must bring in enough revenue from food sales to support its day-to day operations. Food service costs include food, labor (salary & benefits), supplies, overhead, and other expenses associated with running the department such as processing and filing meal applications.

Why We Serve the Food We Do?

Breakfast and Lunch Menus are planned to meet USDA meal pattern guidelines that are part of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. Currently, menus are planned that are kid-friendly and nutritionally sound.

  • Limiting calories based on age to ensure proper portion size;
  • Ensuring students select a fruit or vegetable serving with every meal;
  • Offering weekly servings of dark green and orange/red vegetables;
  • Increasing the offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
  • Offering only fat-free and 1% milk choices; and
  • Restricting saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.

What is the need in our community for our services?

According to the Food Insecurity Map published by Feeding America.Org, Muscogee County has a 21% food insecurity rate, which means that 21% of the Muscogee County population does not have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Also, 73.69% of students attending Muscogee County Schools qualify for free and reduced lunch according to federal guidelines.

What are the benefits of eating school breakfast and lunch?

There is well documented research demonstrating that properly fed and nourished children have improved classroom performance, better test scores and grades, increased ability to concentrate, better attendance and less disciplinary problems, tardiness, and visits to the nurse.

What services does the Muscogee County School Nutrition Program offer?

Currently, we serve breakfast and lunch at all 55 Muscogee County Schools this would include St. Elmo, AIM, and Woodall. Also, we serve free breakfast and lunch to 38 CEP schools within the county. In addition to breakfast and lunch, we serve after school snacks in support of school’s local tutorial programs. A special program that is offered within Muscogee County School Nutrition Program includes the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which has the goal of exposing students to a variety of fruits and vegetables with the hopes of increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption and improving a child’s health.

Questions concerning Free and Reduced Applications:

MCSD currently has 38 schools that operate under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) where all students eat at no charge. School Nutrition will distribute free and reduced applications to the other 14 schools that are not operating under CEP.

  • School Nutrition Managers are available to answer questions on free and reduced applications, answer questions of parents, and receive pre-paid money on the student’s account.
  • A new Free and Reduced application must be completed annually.
  • Parents are not required to complete a free and reduced application at schools designated as CEP schools.
  • Applications can be submitted electronically using the link on the MCSD website.
  • Please return completed applications in a timely manner so that the student’s meals are captured under the proper status.

What is Offer vs Serve and do students have choices?

Offer vs Serve is a practice set by the USDA in order to help reduce plate loss. Under these regulations, School Nutrition must offer five meal components at lunch – milk, grain, fruit, vegetable, meat – and the student has a choice of selecting a minimum of three to be a reimbursable meal. At breakfast, the student must select three of four components - grain, protein, vegetable or fruit, and milk. A reimbursable meal must include ½ cup of a fruit or vegetable. Elementary students who pre-select their choice do have the option of changing their mind when coming through the line.

Can the SNP staff help with class parties/events?

Your SNP staff would love to help on those days where a special treat is needed by the school or a parent. Items such as Side Kicks (100 % frozen fruit juice cups), pizza parties, etc. can be purchased from SNP and will help meet the Smart Snack requirements.

Contact Information

Susan Schlader Director of School Nutrition

MCSD School Nutrition Program
Muscogee County School District
2960 Macon Road
Columbus, GA 31906
706-748-3219

Kelli McKenzie Assistant Director, School Nutrition Program

MCSD School Nutrition Program
Muscogee County School District
2960 Macon Road
Columbus, GA 31906
706-748-3218