For the last two years, all students attending GRCS were able to get free lunch. This year the USDA did not renew the waiver, so students who have not qualified for meal benefits need to pay for hot lunch. You are encouraged to apply for lunch benefits today. You will be notified by email the week of August 15 of the determination of your application.
Grand Rapids Christian Schools is excited to participate in the National School Lunch Program for students and staff. Below is a summary of important details about our food service program. We are committed to serving students healthy school meals that provide excellent nutrition to enhance student learning. We look forward to serving your family this year!
- Hot Lunch Menus
- Hot Lunch FAQs
- Paying for Hot Lunch
- Free and Reduced Meal Benefits and Application
- Summer Food Service Program
- Additional Information and Resources
Hot Lunch Menus
Hot Lunch FAQs
- How do students order meals?
- Can I still send a check to school?
- If I send a check, when will it be available?
- Can I send one check for all my students?
- How will I know when the account is getting low on funds?
- Can students charge lunches to other students' accounts?
- What if I do not have access to the internet?
- Can I call to get my student's balance?
- What happens if a student account is $0 or less?
- Can I get a refund from my child's account?
- What are the school meal patterns?
- What is a meat alternative?
- What is Offer vs. Serve?
- Are school meals nutritious?
How do students order meals?
Full-day preschool students will preorder their sack lunches for the entire week. This is done by a completing a Google doc and submitting it by Monday morning.
At the elementary and middle schools, students sign up for hot lunch at the beginning of the day in their classroom. At the serving line during lunch, they receive their selection.
At the high school cashier, students enter the last six digits of their Student ID on a pin pad to access their accounts. Student photos appear on the screen to prevent students from being misidentified.
Students may also order milk only for .$50.
*Students receiving free or reduced-price meals use the same procedure, and there is no indication on the screen that the student is receiving a free or reduced-price lunch.
Can I still send a check to school?
Absolutely! Meal deposits may be sent to school with your student in an envelope. Please label the envelope with "Food Services" and include the student's first and last name, teacher's name, and school. Envelopes may be dropped off in the school office. At the High School, checks or cash may be accepted from 7:30-10:30 am at the school office.
Checks payable to Grand Rapids Christian are accepted. Please include your student's first and last name on the check. A $10 fee will be assessed for all returned checks.
If I send a check, when will it be available?
Can I send one check for all my students?
How will I know when the account is getting low on funds?
You can monitor accounts online. Follow the link to familyportal.cloud and after creating an account and receiving your password, you can log on and view account balances and history.
Click the "View History" link next to the student's name. To view another history click the "Student List" link in the account menu. There is no charge to view your student's account history or balance.
Can students charge lunches to other students' accounts?
What if I do not have access to the internet?
We are happy to assist you in maintaining your student's account.
For elementary students, please contact the school and we will place you on a list to receive reminder slips to be sent home with your student. Once a week, an email is sent home if the account reaches a balance of $10 or less.
At the middle and high schools, cashiers make every effort to alert students when account balances are getting low. Students may also check their balances as they make their purchases.
Can I call to get my student's balance?
Yes! You can call the Hot Lunch office at 616.574.5815 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org Our priority is student service, so we may not be able to respond during lunch. We will return your message as soon as possible.
What happens if a student account is $0 or less?
We cannot provide credit. However, we will allow a three-meal grace period if a student account is negative. Only a qualifying federal meal will be provided and the price will be deducted from the account. If we do not receive a deposit during the grace period the student will not be able to have hot lunch.
High school students will not be able to charge à La Carte drinks and snacks.
Can I get a refund from my child's account?
Unfortunately, we do not refund hot lunch balances. However, we are happy to transfer funds between your children's accounts. All lunch balances are carried over to the following school year. We urge all families and senior year students to monitor their lunch balances beginning in April to avoid leaving an excess balance on their account.
There is no fee to register at familyportal.cloud to access your child's account usage and balances.
What are the school meal patterns?
The USDA regulates the school meal patterns and specifies the size of each portion. School lunches must include five components as determined by the federal regulations. The five lunch components include a meat/meat alternative, one serving of bread/grain, vegetable, fruit and fluid milk.
- Meals are based on the average calories for a five-day week:
- Grades K-5th: 550-650 calories
- Grades 6th-8th: 600-700 calories
- Grades 9th-12th: 750-850 calories
What is a meat alternative?
What is Offer vs. Serve?
Offer versus Serve is a concept that was adopted by Congress in 1975 to permit students a choice in selecting the food they prefer and reducing food waste in schools. Under this concept, a student is offered all five meal components for lunch; but must choose at least three components with one of them being a fruit or vegetable serving to qualify for the hot lunch price or meal benefits.
Are school meals nutritious?
At least once every three years the Michigan Department of Education is required to conduct a nutrition review to determine that the school district is meeting the nutrition standards set by the USDA. Our menus are designed to meet or exceed the nutrient standards for calories, calcium, iron, Vitamin A & C, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and dietary fiber.
Paying for Hot Lunch
2022-2023 School Year
|LUNCH (INCLUDES MILK)||$2.95||$3.15||$3.50|
The Meal Magic Student Account System
- You will use familyportal.cloud to access your Meal Magic Student Account System
- You can apply for reduced and/or free meal benefits
- Designed like a debit account, it eliminates the need for students to carry cash at school
- Allows you to deposit money to a student account for use on any day, eliminating the morning lunch money hassle
- Simple, convenient and designed to improve our services
- Improves the speed of our lunch lines, giving students more time to eat
- Protects the identity and privacy of students receiving meal benefits
Adding money to your account
Provided by Meal Magic Corporation, familyportal.cloud is used in many school districts in Michigan and other states. It provides a safe, secure and convenient way to make deposits to student meal accounts. Please note that familyportal.cloud does charge a nominal convenience fee for deposits made with a credit/debit card. No fees are charged for checks or cash sent to schools for deposits made to accounts. Grand Rapids Christian Schools does not receive any portion of this fee. We provide this service for your convenience.
To view your student's account balance, history or to make an online deposit, you must first set up an account at familyportal.cloud.
Deposits can be made at any time and there is no need to indicate which days your student will be eating. You may make deposits online or send cash, or you can send check or money order (made out to GRCS with Food Service in the memo) to school. There is no fee for check or cash deposits made at school or by mail.
Free and Reduced Meal Benefits and Application
Over 30 million students participate in the National School Lunch Program every day. Over 50% receive free meals.
Applications for free and reduce price meal benefits from the federal government are available here.
Select Grand Rapids Christian School district. We encourage you to apply for meal benefits as income levels change.
Applications for free/reduced meal benefits must be submitted each school year. Please be assured that this information remains confidential.
If you need an application mailed to you, please contact Jill Zondag.
For questions on Free and Reduced Meal Benefits, please contact Mrs. Jill Zondag, Hot Lunch Account Coordinator.
Hot Lunch Account Coordinator
FREE & REDUCED MEALS FAQ’S
- Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
- Who is eligible for free meals?
- Who is eligible for reduced-price meals?
- Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?
- My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one?
- Will the information I give be verified?
- If I don’t qualify, can I apply later?
- What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application?
- Can I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. Citizen?
- Who should I include as members of my household?
- What if my income is not always the same?
- We are in the military. Do we include our housing allowance as income?
- My spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is their combat pay counted as income?
- What if my child(ren) do not have health insurance?
- My family needs more help. Are there other programs we can apply for?
Do I need to fill out an application for each child?
- No. Complete one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Family Application for all students in your household.
- We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information.
- You may go online to complete an application at familyportal.cloud
- Or manually complete family applications by calling Nancy Michales, at 616.574.5815, and she will gladly mail you an application.
Who is eligible for free meals?
- Children in households getting Food Assistance Program (FAP), Family Independence Program (FIP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), can get free meals regardless of your income.
- If your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.
- Foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income.
- They may also be included as household members on family applications if other family members wish to apply for free or reduced-price meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway or migrant
- If you haven't been told your children will get free meals, please call your homeless liaison or migrant coordinator to see if your child(ren) qualifies.
- Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
- An application must be filled out by WIC households.
Who is eligible for reduced-price meals?
Should I fill out an application if I received a letter this school year saying my children are approved for free meals?
My child’s application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one?
Will the information I give be verified?
If I don’t qualify, can I apply later?
What if I disagree with the school's decision about my application?
Can I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. Citizen?
Who should I include as members of my household?
- All people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends) who share income and expenses
- Yourself and all children living with you
- Do NOT include other people who live with you who are economically independent (for example, people who you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children, and who pay a pro-rated share of the expenses).
What if my income is not always the same?
- List the amount that you normally get
- For example, if you normally get $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only got $900, put down that you get $1000 per month
- If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get it only sometimes
- If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income
We are in the military. Do we include our housing allowance as income?
My spouse is deployed to a combat zone. Is their combat pay counted as income?
What if my child(ren) do not have health insurance?
My family needs more help. Are there other programs we can apply for?
Summer Food Service Program
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was created to ensure that children in lower-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs.
Get more information about the Summer Food Service Program and locations here.
Additional Information and Resources
VOLUNTEER FOR HOT LUNCH
GET IN TOUCH
Food Services Director
Hot Lunch Account Coordinator
GRAND RAPIDS CHRISTIAN
2300 Plymouth Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506