Government Lunch Program

Information on Free & Reduced Price Lunch Program

The Food Service Department provides healthy, nutritious and delicious homemade meals to the Faculty, Staff and Students at Oak Park and River Forest High School. We feel it is our responsibility to properly feed and educate our students on a daily basis. Our state and federal governments exert strict regulations in the how and what portion of serving school meals.

Oak Park and River Forest High School Food Service serves an average of about 2,000 meals a day and at the same time complying with very strict rules and regulations set forth by the state and federal governments.

Our state and federal governments provide reimbursement revenues to OPRF for every complete school meal served. The amount of this reimbursement depends on the student receiving the meals. If the students family income meets the government guidelines, they are given the privilege of receiving a free or reduced price meal. There are three separate eligibility levels; free, reduced and denied. Listed below is an example of what a student would pay for a school breakfast and lunch.

   BREAKFAST LUNCH        
FREE MEALS $0.00 $0.00
REDUCED PRICE MEALS $0.30 $0.40
PAID MEALS $3.25 $4.00

As you can see, the price of the meal depends on the income level of the family that applied. If the family's income exceeds the guidelines set forth on the application, the student will be denied the privilege of a free or reduced price lunch, and must pay full price. While free will always means free, the price for reduced price and paid meals are set by the district (with certain limitations from the state guidelines).

Oak Park and River Forest Food Services receives more reimbursement money from the government for meals served to students with a free eligibility, less for reduced, and even less for paid. OPRF has a low percentage of free and reduced so it relies on the participation of all students.

As you can see, the serving of school meals is highly regulated by our state and federal governments. As mentioned above, OPRF is reimbursed for every meal sold. It is this reimbursement revenue that OPRF depends upon for operational expenses. The amount of this reimbursement depends on the eligibility status of the student who received the school lunch. OPRF receives a higher reimbursement for serving free students for obvious reasons. In addition, the reimbursement for reduced price meals is larger than full priced meals. This is why OPRF is subject to audits and must adhere to the rules and regulations set by agencies like the USDA. It is very important for OPRF to maintain extremely accurate records regarding WHO ATE AND WHAT the students' eligibility was (free, reduced or paid).

You can now see why it is very important to track the WHO AND WHAT portion of serving school meals. The Food Service Department has installed S.N.A.P. (School Nutrition Accountability Program) which makes this process more accurate. The computer does a wonderful job tracking this information, allowing OPRF to devote more time and energy in providing the nutritious and delicious homemade meals to the faculty, staff and students at OPRF.