Food and Nutrition Services, Fairfax County Public Schools, is a nonprofit $91.4 million business. Over 1300 food services professionals take pride in serving approximately 140,000 customer lunches daily at 238 schools and special centers, and vending. Meals are catered to day cares, private schools, senior citizen programs, Meals-on-Wheels sites, School-Age Child Care (SACC) programs, Family and Early Childhood Education Programs (Head Start).
The food service program, as an extension of the educational programs of the schools, is operated under the federally funded National School Lunch Act and Child Nutrition Act. The federal laws regulating the food service programs are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture through the regional office and implemented within the Commonwealth of Virginia by the State Department of Education.
The program's objective is to improve the health of students by providing a variety of palatable, high-quality, safe, nutritious foods that students will enjoy eating at a price affordable to them. The menus are planned by Registered Dietitians and chefs. The school cafeteria serves as the nutrition laboratory in the schools. [Top]
Office of Food and Nutrition Services, Fairfax County Public Schools, will help to develop excellence in every student. In an atmosphere that values diversity and human resources, we will be a premier food and nutrition services program in the nation by providing students with food and nutrition knowledge, skills, and values they will need for a healthy body in an ever-changing global society. [Top]
We will provide nutritious meals that reflect current science-based research, the Dietary Guidelines for American, and meal patterns outlined in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act for school age children. We will provide nutrition education in the classroom, school café and school community. We will serve as the nutrition resource to the community. [Top]
Every student will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of nutritious, culturally diverse, appetizing foods; served in a pleasant environment that provides adequate time to eat so they will be ready to learn.
- Our nutrition standard will be based on current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Institute of Medicine meal pattern recommendations as outlined in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
- Nutritional values of meals will be evaluated over a school week based on new meal standards rather than judged on a single meal or food item.
- Student preferences and input from monthly customer report cards and student taste parties will be considered in menu planning. All new foods will be evaluated for nutrient density, ingredients, and student acceptability. Since foods must be eaten to provide nutrients, menu changes will be gradual to assure acceptance.
- Student meals will meet the required calorie range by grade level and a variety of foods to support growth, development, and healthy weight.
- Purchasing practices will ensure the use of high quality ingredients, seasonal locally grown produce, and menu options to maximize acceptance. FNS professionals will continue to work with industry to develop foods that reflect the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Institute of Medicine recommendations.
- Foods will be prepared to ensure a balance between optimal nutrition and student acceptance.
- Competitive foods (a la carte and vending) offered to students in addition to meals will meet or exceed the Code of Virginia and United States Department of Agriculture HealthierUS School Challenge Standards.
- Nutrition education will be an integral part of the curriculum. The school cafe will play an important role in applying knowledge and skills in the classroom to establish lifelong healthy eating habits in children.
- In-service training and professional development opportunities will be provided for school food service managers, team members, and community stakeholders.
- The FCPS Wellness Policy will be promoted through the G.O.L.D.E.N. (Giving Others Lifelong Desire for Exercise and Nutrition) Wellness Award to all school community stakeholders. [Top]
Energy Zone is our logo.
We Care is our slogan.
Good Nutrition is our goal.
To reflect current science-based research, current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and HealthierUS School Challenge menus are planned with foods specified to have reduced saturated fat, zero trans fats, reduced sodium and sugar and increased fiber. Special nutrition efforts include use of:
- Enriched and whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, grains, and tortilla chips.
- Whole grain and reduced sugar cereal.
- Grade A frozen and canned vegetables.
- Fruit packed in light syrup or natural juice.
- A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables highlighting seasonal locally grown produce.
- A variety of vegetables including dark green, red/orange, and legumes offered weekly.
- A variety of 100 percent fruit juices fortified with calcium.
- Foods prepared with no added salt.
- Vegetable and animal proteins items will be reduced fat.
- Water-packed tuna or vacuum packed salmon.
- Low sodium and low fat cheeses.
- Variety of milk including 1% low fat unflavored; flavored and unflavored fat free milk.
- Turkey ham, turkey salami, ground turkey, and turkey hot dogs.
- Pork products limited to USDA commodities.
- No iodized salt packets available to customers.
- Low calorie and low fat salad dressings.
- Food items available with reduced or no artificial flavors, artificial colors, food dyes, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene(BHT), Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Potassium Bromate, and Sodium Benzoate.
- Soy bean oil in food preparation; and no palm or tropical oils and no beef or pork tallow.
- No sulfites in fresh vegetables.
- Desserts as a component of lunch are fruit based.
Positions are available in schools throughout Fairfax County.