Back to School 2023-24: Update #3
Last Updated: August 24, 2023
The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline.
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Greetings PSB Families,
I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Public School of Brookline community from your school Food Services Department! The Food Services Department operates 10 school cafeterias, family style meal service at each Public Schools of Brookline sites, and the satellite services to all Brookline Early Education (BEEP) locations.
Daily breakfast, beginning at 7:30 am
Daily lunch at each school
Daily breakfast, lunch and snack served to students in the BEEP Program at each site.
Free summer meals program
The Food Services Department is a self operated program which balances the budget through meal sales, a la carte sales, and State/Federal reimbursements; the program’s financial goal is not to rely on the general fund for support. The state of Massachusetts recently became the 8th state in the country to permanently fund Universal Free Meals for all students in schools in the state. The Public Schools of Brookline will continue to provide a free meal to all students under the USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs. All children enrolled in the district are eligible for one free breakfast, lunch or snack free meals, regardless of income.
Regardless of the Universal Free Meals in MA, income eligibility must be reestablished for all students each year. Free/ reduced eligibility status will be used by the state and Federal government to reimburse the district for meals served to families. In other words the Federal and State Government pays not you!
Additionally, students eligible for free or reduced price meals are eligible for the Summer P-EBT Program. Families that qualify should take advantage of this opportunity to continue receiving these benefits.
Our mission is to alleviate childhood hunger within the district and increase student success by providing and promoting a nutritionally balanced diet in a warm and friendly environment. Our highly trained staff treats food safety and customer service as their highest priority. We work hard to develop healthy and appetizing meals for the students. Many of the foods are made from scratch using the best ingredients; including low-fat proteins, whole grain pastas, fresh fruits and vegetables, locally sourced bread, and hormone-free milk.
The menus are analyzed and recipes adjusted to ensure they meet USDA nutrition guidelines for each age group for calories, sodium, and saturated fat.
Choice and variety are important to students, so our menu is planned to provide options including a daily vegetarian entrée and salad bars. We are sensitive to the various nutritional needs of our students. If your child has an allergy to any food, please contact your school nurse.
A lunch is made up of five basic food components: milk, meat or meat alternate, vegetable, fruit, and grain. Students must select at least three of these components for a complete reimbursable meal (one of which must be a vegetable or fruit). Individual meal components purchased by themselves such as milk, apple juice, snacks, and second entrees are considered a la carte purchases and are not covered by free reimbursable meal benefits. Families should consider adding money to their child meal account to cover additional a la carte menu items.
Purchasing a second meal or an a la carte item is very easy. Every student is assigned a student ID (LASID) that is tied to his or her meal account; students enter their ID number or use a barcode card to pay at the register. The meal account is similar to a checking account, where purchases are deducted from funds applied to the account. Funds can be applied by cash or check paid to the kitchen cashier or the Food Services Office at 2 Clark Road, Brookline. Balances carry-over year to year while the student is attending any of the schools in the Public Schools of Brookline District. Online credit and debit card payments are available by following the payment link on the District website: https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us. Your student’s account balance and purchase statement can be viewed by logging into Linq Connect.
Extra entrees and a la carte snacks and drinks can only be purchased if there is money on the student’s account to pay for the items being purchased. If a student’s account goes into the negative, an automated email and/or phone call will be sent to the parent/guardian to ensure that negative charges do not accrue drastically before the parent/guardian is made aware. Items will not be available for purchase until negative meal debt is paid in full.
Linq Connect for Meals
The district uses Linq Connect to manage students' accounts. You now have full control over your child's meal account. To create an account:
Create an account at LinqConnect (https://linqconnect.com/) where you will be able to see your child’s meal account history, view menus, request refunds, transfer funds, and more, all in one convenient location.
You can also make payments for a la carte items, such as bottled water, seltzer, second meals, etc.
Click on “Sign up today!” to begin the process of making a new account.
Be sure to have the following information to successfully link your student(s) to your account
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth
FREE/Reduced Meal Application
The Services Department participates in the National School Lunch Program, which is a federally funded program that assists in providing nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free complete meals to students each school day. Attached to this letter is an application for free and reduced-price meals; it is also available at your student’s school and electronically on the Food Services page on the District website. Electronic applications are also available by accessing the Food Service tab in your Linq Connect account. One application per family must be fully completed each school year and returned to the Food Services office by mail, e-mail, or dropped off at your student’s school. The online application will automatically be sent to us when it is submitted. An application is not required for students to receive FREE meals in Massachusetts. Households should only submit an application if they meet the income threshold to determine their child’s meal eligibility status.
- “Meal eligibility status” is important because it may enable you to access other state and federal benefits, such as Summer- EBT.
The Meal Application is available online – it is convenient and easy. Click here: Online Meal Application (https://family.titank12.com/application/new?identifier=6DERAG)
Submit an application as soon as possible this school year to avoid missing any benefits
- One application per household is sufficient.
- We accept applications year-round, so if there is a change in your family’s financial situation be sure to apply or update your application on file.
All Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) families are encouraged to pre order their meals using the Linq Online Ordering. Students in K- 12 do not need to pre order. They can access a variety of menu items as they go through their school cafeteria serving line including a salad bar in each cafeteria. BEEP families should continue to submit your child's meal orders at: https://family.onlineordering.linq.com.
For questions about the Meal Application, please contact Mona Saltalamacchia, at 617-730-2415, or email mona_Saltalamacchia@psbma.org. She can also send you a paper Meal Application form at your request.
Forms and additional information are also available on our website at: www.brookline.k12.ma.us/foodservice.
If you have any non time sensitive questions, please you can submit them to our general email at email@example.com.
For menus and other information, please visit the Food Services webpage on the Public Schools of Brookline School District website: https://publicschoolsofbrooklineschoolnutrition.com/index.php?sid=1563208143895&page=menus. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Director of Food Services
Assistant Food Services Director
Food Service Coordinator