Home - Harford County Public Schools


What's For Lunch?'
smiling chef
Meal Prices
Breakfast $1.20
Elementary Lunch $2.40
Secondary Lunch $2.50
School Menus Reduced Prices
Breakfast $.20
Lunch $.30
Low-Fat Milk $.50
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To view cafeteria account balances and 90 day history of purchases visit MySchoolBucks.com This service is completely free of all charges.


About Us - Food & Nutrition Department

  • Harford County Public Schools Department of Food & Nutrition Services
    Food and Nutrition Department

    Department of Food & Nutrition Services operates 56 kitchens within the school system. The program is staffed with people who take pride in meeting the nutritional needs of students and staff. Growing children need a strong nutritional foundation to succeed inside and outside the classroom and in their other endeavors. School food service professionals work hard to prepare and serve food that appeals to Harford County’s students.

    During the 2016-17 school year nearly 1.5 million breakfasts and 3.5 million lunches were served to our students. Over 8,000 breakfast and 18,000 lunches every day. Extensive audits conducted this past year by state and federal officials concluded HCPS meals exceeded current USDA nutritional standards.

    Highlights of the program include

    • Honored with having Maryland “Manager of the Year” award winners three out of the last four years, including three Mideast regional winners and one National award winner.
    • Awarded the “One in a Melon” designation in 2016-17 school year as being the top Farm-To-School program in Maryland, recognizing ongoing work with local farms and orchards to provide a variety of very best local fresh fruits and vegetables on the menu.
    • Privileged to receive USDA award in 2015 for Summer Meals, for outreach to local community.
    • Provides FREE breakfast and lunch meals over the summer via onsite and mobile meals.
    • Food Services Dietitian regularly presents at school health fairs, works with school wellness and serves as a guest speaker in classrooms.
    • Support the creation of school gardens and the Aquaponics Program at Bel Air HS, teaching students about food production and the environment.
    • Host Culinary Boot Camps to provide summer training for school cafeteria professionals.
    • Working with manufacturers to create packaging that is completely recyclable or compostable withthe goal of making kitchens 100% landfill free.


    Tray Talk
    USDA
    Choose My Plate
    School Nutrition Association
    Fruits and Veggies More Matters
  • Overview
    The Food and Nutrition Department manages all aspects of the school food service program. The department's mission is to support the quality education and learning environment of students in the HCPS system by providing programs that operate within the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Programs.

    No local tax dollars from Harford County are provided to the Food and Nutrition Budget. The program is operated to break even with funds provided by student sales and state/federal reimbursement through the operation of programs such as National School Breakfast, Lunch, After School Snack, Dinner, and Summer Food Service Programs.

  • Our Mission
    The Department of Food and Nutrition supports the quality education and learning environment of students in the Harford County Public School system by providing programs that operate within the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program.

  • Our Vision
    The Department of Food & Nutrition Services is respected as an advocate for student nutrition by setting a positive example in the meal programs and operating as a vital resource on issues pertaining to student nutrition. The program is viewed as valuable by students, parents, school staff and the community.


School Meal Information

  • School Breakfast: A Healthy Start to the Day
    School Breakfast Program Something to crow aboutDo you want your student to be more alert, focused and ready to tackle the day's academic challenges? Encourage them to eat a healthy breakfast. Not just on test days, but every day of the year. Studies show that breakfast eaters are healthier and more energetic throughout the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – especially for learning.

    Harford County offers breakfast every school day in all locations. Breakfast is priced at only $1.05. A reduced priced breakfast is $0.20. Students who qualify for a free lunch automatically qualify for free breakfast. For more information on applying for free or reduced priced meals click Meal Benefit Application  


    Enjoy the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast:

    A complete breakfast includes a main course, fresh fruit, 100% fruit juice and milk. Eating a nutritious breakfast helps students achieve the classroom goals that you have set for them. National studies consistently confirm this. Parents, teachers and students also enjoy the benefits as well:

    • Improve classroom performance, including better test scores and grades
    • Increase ability to focus and concentrate on school work
    • Decrease incidents of behavior problems
    • Decrease student tardiness
    • Decrease the number of visits to the school nurse
    • Increases attendance rates

    Please encourage your child to start his/or her day off right by eating a healthy breakfast either at home or at school with friends.



    Breakfast in the Classroom:

    Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) is an innovative "Breakfast in the Classroom" project that began in 1998. Participating schools offer breakfast in the classroom each morning and is free to all students regardless of family income.

    School Breakfast in the Classroom

    Schools currently approved and serving Breakfast in the Classroom:

    Aberdeen Middle
    Bakerfield Elementary
    Deerfield Elementary
    Edgewood Elementary
    George D. Lisby @ Hillsdale
    Edgewood Middle
    Halls Cross Road Elementary
    Havre De Grace Elementary
    Joppatowne Elementary
    Magnolia Elementary
    Magnolia Middle
    Riverside Elementary
    Roye Williams Elementary
    William Paca/Old Post Road
    Time for Breakfast'

    Fun video students hear at several
    schools announcing "It's Breakfast Time"
    School Breakfast
    Informational video about school
    breakfast in Maryland.
  • Our Meals
    Are School Meals Healthy?

    VegetablesYes! The Department of Food and Nutrition Services (DFNS) has always focused on providing the highest quality nutritional meal for the best price. Local and national media describe the major overhaul in Federal School Meals regulations and the impact on schools across the country. HCPS was well prepared because many of the requirements had been part of our programs for years. Extensive audits conducted this past year by state and federal officials confirmed HCPS meals exceeded USDA standards. Our staff will continually work to keep ahead of any new regulations. Schools meals offer a convenient, cost efficient breakfast and lunch for students.


    How are our menus created?

    The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 brought revised regulations to the National School Lunch Program. Changes in federal regulations were based on the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) review of schools meal programs across the country. New menu items and products are taste tested with students throughout the county to obtain feedback. A team including a Registered Dietitian and select cafeteria leaders meet monthly to build a menu tailored to today’s student’s nutrition needs and tastes.

    Meals consist of a choice from one of our multiple hot or cold entrées offered and must include at least one vegetable or fruit choice. Fresh fruits (often from local farms), a tossed garden salad and low-fat/fat free milk in several flavors are available daily. This past school year, nearly a half of million dollars was allocated to the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Additional A' La Carte  items that are made available daily in each building can be purchased for those students needing that “something extra”. Breakfast meals include an entrée, a choice of fresh fruit, juice and milk.

    See our Lunch Meal Deal  and Breakfast Meal Deal  for more information on what is included in a meal.



    Dietary and Special Restrictions

    Students requiring medically indicated special diets can participate in the School Meals program. The Food & Nutrition Department may be able to make accommodations for special diets as ordered by a child's healthcare provider. Contact the nurse at the school to begin accessing this service. Documentation of the student’s specific needs will be required before the Registered Dietitian on our staff can assist the student.

    Helpful Nutritional Education Links: Food Allergy Research and Education

    Smart Snack and A'La Carte Offerings

    A'La Carte   items are available for sale to students who wish to purchase additional items with their school meal or lunch brought from home. Any item on the published menu may be purchased a' la carte as a separate item or as a "second" portion. Any non-menu items offered meet the Smart Snack guidelines released as part of the Health Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010. A 'la carte choices include whole grain rich foods, baked (not fried) items, low fat dairy frozen treats and other age appropriate single portioned items. Candy, soda, and other items of minimal nutritional snacks are not offered for sale by the Food and Nutrition program. Many of our offerings are specially formulated to meet school guidelines and are not what is generally made available in local stores.

  • MySchoolBucks
    What is MySchoolBucks®?

    MySchoolBucks.com provides parents with the ability to prepay school activity fees, meals, monitor student cafeteria purchases and receive email notifications for low account balances.

    We strongly encourage parents to monitor, view and fund student accounts throughout the year. Parents may use an electronic check or credit/debit card and set up auto replenish features to easily add funds. This secured site is a free service for HCPS users.

    Parents should discuss meal and smart snack choices with their children. MySchoolBucks enables parents to monitor their child’s account balance and allows full access to view purchases for the last 90 days of service. MySchoolBucks also offers a mobile app for your convenience.

    SchoolBucks Download Your Mobile App

    Apple Store        Android
    My School Bucks The Simple Way to Pay


    How do I sign up for this FREE Service?

    • Go to MySchoolBucks.com and click "Sign Up Today"
    • Activate your account and add students. You will need your student's name, name of school and school ID number or birthday.
    • Provide your payment information.

    If you have any further questions, please visit MySchoolBucks.com and select the FAQ link. If you need assistance with the enrollment process, please call MySchoolBucks Customer Support at 1-855-832-5226

    To make requests to transfer money to another account or receive a refund, please call the Food & Nutrition office at 410-638-4078.

  • Harford County Public Schools Wellness Policy
    Harford County Public Schools recognizes the important relationship of nutritional integrity, physical activity and good health to student academic performance.

    The Board of Education supports and encourages efforts locally and nationally to reduce childhood obesity and the related health concerns of diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, asthma, joint problems and others.

    Harford County Public Schools is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect student health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

    If you have questions please call our office at 410-638-4078.

    Helpful Wellness Education Links: HCPS Wellness Policy 
    Four children holding hands
  • Other School Meal Information

    calculator All cafeterias in Harford County Public Schools utilize a computerized cash register system. A student enters his/her unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) chooses his/her meal and proceeds to the cashier. The student’s choices are logged on the student’s account. Food is purchased using money on the student’s account or with cash.

    A student's PIN is the same as his/her student ID number and will remain the same throughout all grades in Harford County Public Schools. This PIN should be protected by the student as part of his/her identity and should not be shared with other students. Students who properly enter his/her number when purchasing a meal move more quickly through the service line. Students can become familiar with their PIN and the cafeteria PIN pad with a downloadable practice sheet available here  . All transactions remain private and whether or not the student qualifies for reduced priced meals through our Free and Reduced Meals program remains confidential.

    We strongly encourage parents to monitor, view and fund student accounts by logging on to MySchoolBucks.com Parents may use an electronic check or credit/debit card and set up auto replenish features to easily add funds. This secured site is free to all parents to use. Parents should discuss meal and smart snack choices with their children. MySchoolBucks enables parents to monitor their child’s account balance and allows full access to view purchases for the last 90 days of service. MySchoolBucks also offers a mobile app for your convenience.


    Benefits of placing money "On Account"
    • Convenient - money cannot be lost or forgotten in the morning rush.
    • Safe - the PIN ensures only the one student can access the account.
    • Fast - cafeteria lines move quickly so there's plenty of time to eat.
    • Monitored - see secure account balance anytime on MySchoolBucks.com
    • Cost Efficient   - less costly and more nutritious than most bag lunches.
    • Peace of Mind - the auto replenish feature on MySchoolBucks.com ensures money for meals is always there for the student.

Free or Reduced Meal Benefit Program

  • Free and Reduced Priced Breakfast and Lunch is available to families who qualify. All applications from the previous school year expire on or about September 30th. A new application must be completed each year. To continue your status, Food & Nutrition must receive a current year application. If you believe your household may be eligible for free or reduced meals, submit a 2019-20 application by clicking Meal Benefit Form   . Complete one application per family.

    Completed applications are processed within ten days of receipt at the Food & Nutrition Service Office. Once processing is completed you will be notified via mail of your benefits. The benefit only begins once the application is approved by Food and Nutrition.

    All information on your application is confidential. Student accounts look identical to cash paying students, so no one can tell the status of any student. We respect your privacy.

    Foster, homeless, runaway or migrant child are eligible for free meals. Please contact the Pupil Personnel Services at 410-588-5282 for assistance in completing an application. The application must be submitted to begin benefits.

    Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year to your child’s school office or faxed directly Food and Nutrition. Benefits are non-transferrable from other states or counties. If you have questions regarding this process, contact:

    Harford County Public Schools- Food and Nutrition Services
    101 Industry Lane
    Forest Hill, MD 21050
    Phone: 410-638-4078

    Fax Completed Applications to (410)-638-4201 


Farm to School Program


  • The Department of Food and Nutrition Services program consistently leads the farm to school initiative in the state of Maryland focusing on supporting local farmers and businesses. Our cafeterias strive to offer multiple different local fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season and makes items available daily to all students as part of their meal choices from August through late December. Our local offerings are grown and harvested from farms within 50 miles of Bel Air.

    We encourage students to continue supporting our local farmers not only by selecting local produce in school lunches but by visiting their community farm stands. Look for the Farm to Schools signs in your area and continue to support local farmers who provide these great products to our students.



    Support the Local Farmers who Provide Products to Nourish our Students:

    Susquehanna Orchards

    Shaw Orchards

    Jones Family Produce Farm


    Apples on a branch
    Farm to School Video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0fNmPwJiGc

  • Harford County Public Schools Voted Top Farm to School Program in Maryland
    Press Release:

    Harford County Public Schools’ Farm to School Program Named “One in a Melon”

    Voted Top Farm to School Program in Maryland

    One In a Melon Aware Winner

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service recently awarded Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) a “One in a Melon” award for administering an exemplary farm to school program. One school district per state was selected for the award by receiving the most public nominations.

    From March 15 through April 15, 2016, parents, teachers, community stakeholders, and students were invited to visit USDA’s Farm to School Census website and nominate their favorite farm to school program to receive the award. According to the Census, 22 Maryland districts have farm to school programs, and a total of 5,254 districts participate across the U.S.

    HCPS has been participating in farm to school since 2006. Initially, local farm purchases were primarily apples and peaches. Once the program was in place, it was expanded to include other fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, honeydew, lettuce, corn, green beans and broccoli, among others. HCPS also works with other programs, like the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP) offered by the USDA, to introduce a wider variety of produce to elementary students. A cooperative effort with Bel Air High School resulted in a project demonstrating the synergy of fish and plants to grow fresh lettuce and tomatoes. Support for school gardens is part of the program, and the plan is to continue to expand such efforts.

    Today, approximately 38,000 children have the opportunity to be exposed to local foods in their school meals and snacks at HCPS every day. In the future, HCPS hopes to expand the program, increasing the portion of local purchases every year.

    Farm to school programs help kids form healthy habits, learn where their food comes from, and develop an understanding of the importance of nutrition and agriculture. Results of the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census show that schools with robust farm to school programs report reductions in food waste, higher school meal participation rates, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables. Census results also show that U.S. schools invested nearly $800 million in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers in the 2013-2014 school year, which is money going directly back into local communities.

    School food service staff at HCPS have noticed a number of benefits to participating in farm to school initiatives, including being able to offer much fresher, more nutritious produce to students. Produce is picked closer to the ripening date and offered the next day in the cafeteria, in many cases.




Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is included in a lunch and what if my child does not like what is menued?
    Lunch meals consist of a choice one of our multiple hot and/or cold entrées offered and must include at least one vegetable or fruit choice. Fresh fruits (often from local farms), a tossed garden salad and low-fat/fat free milk in several flavors are available daily. This past school year, nearly a half of million dollars was allocated to the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. Additional A' La Carte   items are made available daily in each building and can be purchased for those students needing that "something extra".

    Breakfast meals include an entrée, a choice of fruit, juice and milk. See our Lunch Meal Deal  and Breakfast Meal Deal  for more information on what is included in a meal.

  • What happens if my child forgets his lunch money?

    • Elementary Students: Harford County Public Schools philosophy is that a hungry child cannot learn. While we do not encourage charging, your elementary child will still receive a meal and will be able to "charge" a breakfast or lunch to their account if money or bagged lunch from home is forgotten. Students who have an outstanding charge balance over $10 will receive an automated phone call home. A la carte purchases are never allowed to be charged.
    • Secondary Students: HCPS extends every child a courtesy charge of up to 3 meals. After the maximum limit is reached and the student requests an additional charge he/or she is referred to an administrator on duty in the lunch room. A la carte purchases are never allowed to be charged.
    We strongly encourage parents to monitor and fund student accounts by logging on to MySchoolBucks.com purchases from the past 90 days of service are available for viewing online at any time. Parents should discuss meal and smart snack choices as well as what is allowed or not allowed with their children.

  • My children have multiple allergies and require a strict special diet. How does HCPS provide for them?
    Meal substitutions will be provided for medically diagnosed condition that requires dietary intervention. Substitutions must follow all USDA guidelines. Please contact your student's school nurse to begin accessing this service. Questions may be emailed to Karen Olsen R.D.

  • Our family is on Food Stamps and my children should be getting Free Meal Benefits. Why are they being charged?
    Contact the Food and Nutrition Department at 410-638-4078 immediately as the Food Stamp information has not been received by our office. Meal Benefit application is necessary and are available at all school locations and by clicking Meal Benefit Form   .

  • What is the balance of my child's account?
    MySchoolBucks.com provides easy 24/7 account balance for free. The widget/phone app allows monitoring and electronic payments to the account. If you have any questions you can contact our office at 410-638-4078.

  • What form of payment can I send with my child for meals?
    While we encourage parents to electronically fund their children’s meal account at MySchoolBucks.com you do still have the option of sending cash to school with your child for deposit. Myschoolbucks.com accepts electronic checks, credit card, debit card or bank drafts. It is free of all service fees. Automatic monthly or balance based account deposits may be created from this secure site. Myschoolbucks.com smart phone apps are available through the App Store, Google Play and Windows store.

  • I have an active teen-will she receive enough food?
    A school lunch is designed to provide adequate calories for most students. However, active and growing teens may require additional calories. Your teen may purchase additional main courses, vegetables, fruits and or milk at a low a la carte price.

  • Is there financial assistance available to families for school breakfast and lunch meals?
    Free or Reduced priced meals are available to students based on your household income. If your family is experiencing a temporary hardship please consider applying for reduced meal benefits. Families may apply anytime throughout the year. Meal Benefit applications are available at all school locations and by clicking Meal Benefit Form   . You can contact Food Services at 410-638-4078 for more information.

  • How do I check or limit what my student is buying with their meal account?
    Log on to MySchoolBucks.com to monitor your students balance and a complete 90 day purchase history. Parents should discuss meal and smart snack choices as well as what is allowed or not allowed with their children.

  • What happens to money left on account in June?
    Any money remaining in your child’s account as well any unpaid balances, will rollover from one school year to the next. When your student transfers to another school within Harford County Public Schools, the account is automatically available at the new school. Balances from students no longer attending HCPS may be transferred to a sibling or requested to be refunded by check by calling the Food and Nutrition office at 410-638-4078.

  • I do not want my student to purchase more than a meal - what should I do?
    MySchoolBucks.com allows you to monitor your child’s purchases- you may review these each day with child.

  • Our family observes specific dietary restrictions but I still want my student to have a school meal. What accommodations are available?
    The school meal program provides a wide variety of choices daily. Many schools offer items in addition to the printed menu. Talk with the cafeteria manager to determine the options available at your child’s school (such as meatless, pork or seafood free). The staff will need to know at the beginning of the day if your child is present and wants a substitution.

  • I am interested in working in the cafeterias. How do I apply?
    More information on available positions within Food and Nutrition Department can be found by clicking here.




Our Staff

  • Food & Nutrition Services Team

    Harford County Public Schools Food & Nutrition team consists of over 450 members. The awarding winning program in Harford County is only made possible by great team members. A great team is created when an emphasis on food quality and customer service provides the support for students to make healthy choices and eat nutritious meals. We have “Super Hero” Lunch Staff that are truly more than food service professionals. Our super heroes include mothers, fathers, aunts, grandparents and the neighbor next door. The dedication and nurturing each of them provides to our students is remarkable. Many have children of their own in our school system and treat each child like their own.

    The School Nutrition Association (SNA) as well as the Maryland School Nutrition Association (MdSNA) provides educational/training opportunities throughout the year for directors, supervisors, cooks and servers to keep up with the latest information and current trends in school food service. Nationally recognized credentialing and certification opportunities exist and are strongly encouraged. Locally, the Harford County chapter of the School Nutrition Association (HCSNA), holds yearly fund raising events to help schools provide holiday toy drives and back to school supplies for needy students right here in Harford County.

    Professional Training Conducted by Local Chefs

    Cook Smart is a grant funded culinary training program designed to have chefs from the local area teach culinary fundamentals to school nutrition employees. Knife skills, healthy cooking techniques and planning skills are taught throughout the culinary training. These new skills and techniques are then applied to each cafeteria. This encourages students to choose freshly prepared fruits, vegetables and legumes. New dishes are demonstrated in the cafeteria during taste tests. Feedback from taste tests determine what items are placed on the menu. Cook Smart has had over 40 graduates from the culinary training program in Harford County.

    Harford County Cook Smart Chef Inspired - Student Approved
    Join Us in Employment Opportunities
    We are currently seeking applicants for food services workers and cafeteria substitutes
    • Convenient Hours and No Weekends
    • Advancement Opportunities
    • Competitive Pay
    • Full Training Program
    • Credentialing and Certifications Opportunities

    Please contact us at 410-638-4078  for more information, visit Food and Nutrition Job Opportunities or Harford County Public Schools Human Resources.
  • National, Regional and Local Staff Awards
  • 2012 State of Maryland Louise Sublette Award Winner
    Bev Hagner
    Pictured 2 nd from the right Bev is celebrating “Baltimore Celebration Day” cafeteria staff.

    Magnolia Middle School Cafeteria Manager Beverly Hagner
    Receives the 2012 Louise Sublette Award for Maryland

    Each year, the School Nutrition Association—an organization of school food service professionals-- honors school nutrition professionals with the Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence in School Nutrition, which is considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. It recognizes the importance of those closest to the school nutrition program-- the managers. The award is named in memory of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition programs in Tennessee and in the School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, she worked with many areas of foodservice and nutrition--public schools, colleges, hospitals and elderly feeding programs. Her name is given to this high award because throughout her life, Louise Sublette emphasized that the success of school nutrition depends upon those professionals who work in school nutrition programs. Foodservice/Nutrition manager members of SNA know that every special idea they use often improves the child nutrition program in their school. The award is given to the person who has taken a special idea, developed it into a goal and used that goal to help the school's nutrition program grow. By sharing these "success stories" good ideas can spread across the country and make school nutrition programs better. Bev Hagner won this award in 2012.

    Bev Hagner took the theme of the Food and Nutrition Department last year which was “Taste of Cities across America” and created a fun filled cafeteria every month. Cafeteria lines and staff were decorated with the city- themed menu of the month including such cities as Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, and even our local city Baltimore. For this honor, Bev Hagner received a Plaque, free registration to the Ocean City School Food service Convention, and two nights free lodging during this convention.

  • 2013 National Healthier US School Challenge Award Winner
    Managers Photo

    In April 2013, all Harford County Public Elementary Schools were awarded the Bronze award from the USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC). HUSSC was established to nationally recognize schools that are creating healthier school environments through their promotion of good nutrition, healthy menu choices and physical activity.

    To qualify for the awards, a school must submit a formal application and meet strict criteria set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The HUSSC criteria reflect the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published recommendations (April 2007) for foods that should be served in schools, outside of the organized school lunch meals.

    Healthier US Schools must also have a local school wellness policy as mandated by Congress. Local school wellness policies support the HUSSC initiative and affirm that schools play a critical role in promoting student health, preventing childhood obesity, and combating problems associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity.

  • 2013 National Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence
    Beth Freeman
    Beth (pictured in the front middle) promoting daily healthy breakfasts to students

    C Milton Wright Cafeteria Manager Beth Freeman Wins 2013 National Louise Sublette Award!

    Each year, the School Nutrition Association—an organization of school food service professionals-- honors school nutrition professionals with the Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence in School Nutrition, which is considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. It recognizes the importance of those closest to the school nutrition program-- the managers. The award is named in memory of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition programs in Tennessee and in the School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, she worked with many areas of foodservice and nutrition--public schools, colleges, hospitals and elderly feeding programs. Her name is given to this high award because throughout her life, Louise Sublette emphasized that the success of school nutrition depends upon those professionals who work in school nutrition programs. Foodservice/Nutrition manager members of SNA know that every special idea they use often improves the child nutrition program in their school. The award is given to the person who has taken a special idea, developed it into a goal and used that goal to help the school's nutrition program grow. By sharing these "success stories" good ideas can spread across the country and make school nutrition programs better. Beth Freeman won this award in 2013.

    Beth Freeman, cafeteria manager of C Milton Wright, felt strongly that breakfast is very important for high school students. It has been documented that many high school age children skip this important meal. It was clearly happening at C Milton Wright and the cafeteria could be an instrument to change this. The manager and her staff set a goal to create a breakfast program that would draw students into the cafeteria. The goal was serve 10,000 breakfast meals in one school year. Several activities and changes to the program could bring this goal to fruition. One change Beth did was she enhanced the breakfast menu offered to include several new choices. She also served breakfast faster by creating a Grab and Go line. Activities included creating breakfast games like Name the Movie using a quote, to Red Carpet Breakfast, to Eat Breakfast with your School Mascot!

  • 2013 Maryland Rhonda Motley Award
    Amy Hill
    2013 Maryland Rhonda Motley Award: Winner was Amy Hill, Cook from North Harford Middle School

    The Rhonda Motley Gold Success Award recognizes a Maryland non-management Food Service employee who has made a notable contribution to the success of the School Meals program in his/her school. The award is named in memory of Rhonda Motley, who initiated the award (then known as the Silver Success Award) in 1978 and who worked tirelessly to further the Maryland’s School Nutrition Association’s goals.

    Amy won the award for her outstanding contribution at the Edgewood Elementary school. She initiated what has become known as “Taste Test Tuesdays” with the students throughout the school year. Every Tuesday she introduced a new fruit or vegetable to the students and encouraged each to at least try a small taste of them through samples.

  • 2009-2014 National District Of Excellence Award

    The Department of Food & Nutrition Services was awarded the District of Excellence (DOE) distinction for school nutrition by the National School Nutrition Association on August 9, 2009. We are proud to announce that this national recognition has been extended through June 2014. Nationally, there are only 30 Districts of Excellence and Harford County remains the only district in Maryland on this distinguished list .

    A district of excellence must maintain excellence in four key areas which encompass the “Keys to Excellence” program: administration, communications/marketing, nutrition/nutritional education, and operations, and meet their goals to serve attractive, nutritious meals in a cost-effective manner. “Keys to Excellence” is the core of the School Nutrition Associations professional development and training programs.

    HCPS Key to Excellence

    “This honor highlights the quality of the food services and nutrition management at HCPS, and we will continue to strive to serve healthy, affordable meals to our students. We are extremely proud of this achievement,” said Superintendent Robert M. Tomback.

    “We are very proud of our staff and the dedication they provide every day to serve the students in the school system,” said Gary Childress. “This national recognition was the result of a team effort to meet the needs of our customers, the students and staff of HCPS.

    For more information on the District of Excellence program, visit www.schoolnutrition.org .

    Managers Photo

    Staff representing the 56 school cafeterias and 450+ staff who made earning the national District of Excellence possible...
    Standing are the area managers (left to right): Bev Hagner. Linda Reynolds, Wanda Rohrbaugh, Sandy Keithley, Leah Schmidt,
    Mary Dietz, Karen Lockwood, Myra Watson, Joann Edwards, Joanne Adams, Freda Reinhardt, Barb Gostomski, Karen Edmeades,
    Joan Smith, Barb O’Neil.
    Seated: Gary Childress (supervisor), Karen Olsen, Dave Markland, Daren Zeller, Walt Beatty, Deb Lauver, Della Eiche, Linda Althouse.
    Not pictured: Linda Pyle.

  • 2014 Maryland Heart of the Program Award
    Ginny Vogt
    2014 Maryland Heart of the Program Award: Winner was Ginny Vogt, Cook at Bel Air Middle School

    The award was created to recognize outstanding school nutrition employees who work with the manager in daily operations in preparing and serving appetizing meals to children and exhibit an extraordinary commitment to the nutrition program. Recipients consistently influenced the quality of school nutrition programs through outstanding customer service, interest in young people, cooperation, work attendance, creativity, their participation in professional growth and training opportunities and their willingness to “Go the Extra Mile” when necessary. These employees make the difference between an outstanding program and average program.

    Ginny proved to be the heart of our program by spearheading and volunteering at multiple training events and advancement opportunities in buildings through Harford County this past school year. Ginny worked in multiple different capacities and her dedication to our students was above and beyond the normal call of duty.

  • 2014 Maryland & Regional Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence

    2014 Maryland & Regional Louise Sublette Award of Leadership Excellence: Winner was Barbara Gostomski, Manager of Bel Air Middle School

    The award recognizes the importance of those employees closest to the school nutrition program-- the managers and is considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. The award is named in memory of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition programs in Tennessee and in the School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, she worked with many areas of foodservice and nutrition--public schools, colleges, hospitals and elderly feeding programs. Her name is given to this high award because throughout her life, Louise Sublette emphasized that the success of school nutrition depends upon those professionals who work in school nutrition programs. Foodservice/Nutrition manager members of SNA know that every special idea they use often improves the child nutrition program in their school. The award is given to the person who has taken a special idea, developed it into a goal and used that goal to help the school's nutrition program grow. By sharing these "success stories" good ideas can spread across the country and make school nutrition programs better.

    Barbara won the award for her work in promoting new lunch foods in her cafeteria by incorporating “Cook Smart” ideas. “Cook Smart” is a professional cooking class her staff participated in over the summer of 2013 and teaches staff how to prepare simple, healthy and delicious food for students. Cook Smart ideas keeps things simple— simple healthy preparation techniques, simple ingredients together with simple equipment.

    This is the second consecutive year a Harford County Public School Food and Nutrition employee has been awarded the Maryland and Mid-East Regional award. Beth Freeman manager of C. Milton Wright High School not only won Maryland and the regional award but went on to receive the National award in 2013

  • 2014 Maryland & Mid-East Regional Outstanding Director of the Year
    Gary Childress
    2014 Maryland & Mid-East Regional Outstanding Director of the Year: Winner - Gary Childress

    Gary Childress, Supervisor of Food and Nutrition Services was selected as the School Nutrition Association’s Outstanding Director of the Year Award for the state of Maryland and the Mideast Region. This is a prestigious award that recognizes the contributions of school nutrition directors who manage effective programs which are providing healthful, appetizing and nutritious meals to students.

    The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a nationally recognized association dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our nation’s children by promoting excellence in school nutrition programs. Gary was recognized at the SNA Annual National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, July 13-16, 2014.

  • 2015 Maryland & Mid East Region Manager of the Year

    2015 Maryland & Mid East Region Manager of the Year: Winner - Earliene Klapka

    Earliene Klapka At this year’s National Convention in Salt Lake City Utah, the School Nutrition Association awarded the Mideast Regional Manager of the Year Award to Earliene Klapka from North Harford High School. Earlier this year the Maryland School Nutrition Association awarded Earliene the Maryland Manager of the Year Award. It is considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn. The award recognizes a cafeteria manager who has demonstrated dedication and ingenuity to improve his or her school meal program.

    Earliene’s proactive vision has enhanced the cafeteria experience and increased participation in the school meal program at the North Harford High complex. In an effort to provide nutritious meals in a creative way, she initiated a serving line dedicated to special themed entrees, including Italian, Asian, Mexican and grill-style dishes. Leading up to its successful launch, Earliene promoted the new menu options through morning announcements, email blasts and posters made by art students. She also established a “Hawk’s Express” line, stocked with healthy grab-n-go items, to address students’ requests for a faster lunch option. A team leader, Earliene ensures her staff has opportunities for professional growth, offering hands-on training and supporting job rotations within the department. Currently, Earliene is part of a planning committee working to create a community composting system within the North Harford area, utilizing food scraps from schools.

  • 2015 Maryland Employee of the Year

    2015 Maryland Employee of the Year: Winner - Rachael Ziegler

    Rachael Ziegler Maryland School Nutrition Association has awarded Rachael Ziegler, the production kitchen assistant from Southampton Middle School Maryland Employee of the Year. The Employee of the Year award recognizes non-managerial school nutrition employees for the contributions they have made throughout their school nutrition career. This award recognizes an outstanding employee who is a current School Nutrition Association (SNA) member and SNA certificate holder. Rachael perfected her skills through attending Cook Smart Culinary training and other professional training opportunities. She entered this past years State Convention Farm to Tray competition in Ocean City. Most importantly, Rachael stepped up to worked in multiple different locations within Harford County in the time of need.

  • 2016 Maryland Manager of the Year
    2016 Maryland Manager of the Year: Winner – Barbara O'Neil

    Barbara Oneil Ms. Barbara A. O’Neil of Patterson Mill High School was named SNA’s 2016 Maryland Manager of the Year.

    Ms. O’Neil worked diligently to create a specialized “family-style” menu for the school district's environmental program at Harford Glen. She partnered with Harford Glen's team to create an eco-friendly meal that reduced the program’s environmental footprint. Students had the opportunity to participate in breakfast, lunch and dinner while visiting Harford Glen. Meals were designed around the curriculum allowing the students to learn about responsibility, waste and the impact their choices have on the Earth. All meal scraps were composted, and students researched the food wasted and the process in which nutrient-rich humus was incorporated into the program's vegetable garden.

    Ms. O’Neil is always looking at ways to engage the students and be aware of their evolving tastes and needs. She pioneered the deli line at her school, which has been duplicated at numerous schools throughout the county. The “Make It Your Way” line allows customers to create their own sandwich, sub, wrap or salad. The nominee has also created the “Husky Express” after meeting with students and hearing that they want more time with their friends during lunch. The grab-and-go line allows students to make their purchases more quickly to have more time to interact with their friends.

    Patterson Mill Middle High School’s production kitchen is an emergency shelter for Harford County. On numerous times, Ms. O’Neil has weathered storms and power outages to provide support to the community. She serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to displaced residents and emergency personnel whenever called upon.

    For these reasons, along with several other glowing examples of her dedication to and hard work in the field of school nutrition, Ms. O’Neil was named Maryland’s Manager of the Year by the SNA.




Summer Meals

  • HCPS Summer Table

    Harford County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Department annually participates in the United States Department of Agriculture summer food service program. The “Summer Table” is a program where any child between the ages of 2-18 may receive a meal at no cost at participating meal sites. The meal site may be a school building, mobile site or off-site location. Students need not register or be enrolled in a program to receive meal service.

    The summer table offers breakfast, lunch and/or snack meals to sites throughout the county. Menus are posted at each physical site. A continued goal of this program is to ensure that every child in Harford County is provided with a balanced, nutritious meal at no charge.

    Harford County Public Schools has been participating in the summer food service program for more than twenty years, serving the youth and community members. More information can be obtained by calling the Food and Nutrition Department or visiting Healthy Harford:

    http://www.healthyharford.org/health-initiatives/healthy-schoolschildcare/hcps-summer-meals-program




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