School Food Service Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

    • *What constitutes a school lunch and what is my child required to take to make a complete school lunch?

    • Octorara Area School District follows the traditional school lunch pattern with Offer vs. Serve Option. The traditional school lunch pattern requires School Food Service Departments to offer the following menu options.

    •                1 Serving of meat or meat alternative
                    2 Servings of fruit and/or vegetables
                    1 Serving of bread or bread alternative
                    1 Serving of milk

    • Offer vs. Serve requires the student to take at least three (3) of the five (5) menu options. 

    • In addition every student must take at least one (1) fruit or vegetable to make their meal complete.

      *How will I know when my child needs more money in their account?

    • Negative account balances will be communicated directly to parents by the Foodservice Department or by the school according to Board Foodservice Policy 808. By setting up an account at, (formerly ParentOnline), you can view and print your student account information. School Cafe will allow you to set up email reminders to remind you when your student’s account is getting low.

    • *How many snacks are students allowed to purchase?

    • We are limiting the number of snacks each student can purchase to 5 items per day. Students with a negative account balance or causing disruption in the cafeteria will NOT be allowed to buy snacks. Disruption is determined by any school staff on duty in the cafeteria.
      As of 3/15/2023 we will no longer make change for snack purchases. Students looking to buy snacks will need to preload their account. Any change from cash transactions will be added to the student’s account for their next purchase.
      If a parent requests, we are able to put an alert on the account which states the number of snacks allowed to be purchased per day for that individual student. 

    • *How does a parent apply for free/reduced meals?

    • Free and reduced meal applications are no longer required as of 7/1/2023 since the Octorara Area S.D. now participates in the Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Lunch Program. Students currently enrolled in the district can take (1) eligible Breakfast and/or Lunch per school day free of charge.

      *Will any other student know if my child is on the Free and Reduced Meal Program?

    • No, each child uses their individual student ID number at the point of sale. Federal law prohibits overtly identifying a student by his/her meal eligibility. This applies to students Directly Certified as Free or Reduced through some other assistance program such as Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF. 

    • *Where can we find nutritional information for breakfasts and lunches?

    • Nutritional information on specific items can be obtained from the Food Service Office upon request. The inconsistencies associated with supply chain shortages and substitutions limit the ability to post such information. Our office can also review any menu item for allergy concerns as well. Please refer to the school Nurse's office to report any pertinent student allergies. The Nurse relays that information to the foodservice department as needed throughout the year. 

    *Please feel free to reach out to the Foodservice Department with any additional questions or concerns.                                                               

    Dorian LoBato, Foodservice Director                                                                                                  610-593-8238 x 30588

    Emily Harper, Foodservice Manager                                                                                                   610-593-8238 x 30580