Numerous scientific studies have suggested a strong link between child nutrition and learning in school. This research emphasizes the importance of school meal programs in improving the educational performance of our students.
The CAIU food services participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the National School Breakfast Program (NSBP) and serves nutritious, healthy meals every school day. All meals served must meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the student wellness policy
To provide quality meals that are balanced and nutritious
To provide an opportunity for all students to meet one third of their daily nutritional needs
To maintain high standards of sanitation and safety
To be an integral part of the CAIU Student Wellness Program by helping to educate students about proper nutrition
To give students an opportunity to learn to eat a variety of foods
To effectively communicate menu offerings to students, parents, and staff and help students to make informed choices
To use technology as needed to enhance the effectiveness of our program
To stay abreast of new regulations and standards as they pertain to the food services program
To regularly attend school nutrition conferences, workshops, and in-services to stay informed of current best practices in the area of food and nutrition so we can better serve the needs of our students and staff
The Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to students’ physical well-being, growth, development, and readiness to learn. The CAIU believes that children who begin each day as healthy individuals will be better prepared for academic success. The CAIU Administration and Board of Directors are committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education, and regular physical activity (adapted for each student’s needs) as part of the total learning experience. Our goal is a healthier generation for tomorrow!
The Capital Area Intermediate Unit's (CAIU) Hill Top Academy participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and serves nutritious/healthy meals every school day. All meals served must meet nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Student Wellness Policy.
Breakfast: Breakfast in the Classroom is offered at Hill Top Academy when your child arrives to school and enters the classroom. No Ala carte items are offered during Breakfast in the Classroom. A full meal must be purchased. A full reimbursable breakfast consist of 3 components which must include a fruit or juice.
Lunch: Limited a la carte snack and beverage items are available during the lunch period.
Note: All a la carte items must now meet the "Smart Snacks in Schools" standards which went into effect July 1, 2014. (See "Smart Snacks" for more information)
The Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU) is proud to offer SchoolCafe, a safe and secure way for parents/guardians to make online payments to their child's cafeteria account.
SchoolCafe allows you to:
- View your child's cafeteria account balance
- Review daily spending and purchases
- Access from computer 24/7
- Receive low balance email reminders
- Sign up for automatic payments
SchoolCafe Support: Hours 6:00am to 6:00pm CST. Phone: 1-855-729-2328
Point of Sale (POS) System:
Hill Top Academy (HTA) cafeteria has a PrimeroEdge POS System which allows all students access to their account. The account is accessible by using a "4-digit pin number" on a keypad at the cashier area. New students attending HTA will be given a "pin number" which will be used to access their account information for purchase of food/beverage items in the school cafeteria. Students returning will keep their same "pin number" from the year prior. Staff will be available to assist students with this process, if needed.
We are encouraging money for your child's account be prepaid using the SchoolCafe system OR having money (cash or check) deposited into their account first thing in the morning in order to ensure that those dollars are posted to your child's account for use that day.
* There is no charge to view student(s) account. There is, however, a $1.95 convenience fee that will be assessed for each payment transaction to the SchoolCafe user. A minimum of $10 and a maximum of $100 are allowed for each transaction. For questions regarding the SchoolCafe system, please feel free to contact Ms. Kelly Gethouas, Food Services Manager at 717-732-8436. For SchoolCafe Support, please contact the number or email address above.
Parents and guardians may pay for school a la carte items in advance either online using the SchoolCafe system or by paying by check/cash/money order at Hill Top Academy (HTA).
Paying Online: Parents/guardians may prepay online using the secure and easy-to-use SchoolCafe system which will allow use of debit or credit card to put money in your student's account. Automated payments and low balance alerts will help parents/guardians make timely payments, ensuring that their student has sufficient funds to purchase food/beverages at school.
While there is no charge to view a student's account, there is a $1.95 convenience fee that will be assessed for each payment transaction to the SchoolCafe user. A minimum of $10 and a maximum of $100 are allowed for each transaction.
Paying by Check: While we encourage parents/guardians to use SchoolCafe for payments, we will still accept checks made payable to "CAIU" or "Capital Area Intermediate Unit" for up to $20 which will be applied to your student's account.
School Breakfast Program:
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federal and state reimbursement program for each breakfast served that meets federal requirements.
Hill Top Academy participates in the School Breakfast Program and uses a food-based meal pattern as required by PDE. Based on the meal pattern, there are specific minimum requirements in three food components that may consist of four food items. The three food components are grains (with optional meat/meat alternate allowed); fruit/vegetable; and milk. Grains must be 100% "whole grain-rich", sodium is reduced, fruit serving is 1 cup per day and students are required to take 1/2 cup fruit under "Offer vs Serve".
National School Lunch Program:
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federal and state reimbursement program for each meal served that meets federal requirements.
The CAIU Hill Top Academy participates in the National School Lunch Program and uses a food-based meal pattern as required.. The food-based menu planning approach focuses on food components. There are five required food components at lunch which are grains, fruits, vegetables, meat/meat alternates and fluid milk. Since Hill Top Academy encompasses K-12 students all in one facility, PDE approved the CAIU to use one meal pattern for all grades. We still must meet all the requirements of that meal pattern.
Offer vs. Serve is a serving method designed to reduce food waste and food cost. It is an option used at Hill Top Academy. All students must take a minimum of one half cup of either fruit or vegetable component. Students are also allowed to decline two of the five required food components at lunch. Students are encouraged to eat all five components. Grains must be 100% "whole grain-rich" and sodium is reduced.
Under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations 7 CFR Part 15b require substitutions or modifications for school meals for those children whose disabilities restrict their diets. A child with a disability must be provided substitutions in food when that need is supported by a statement signed by a licensed physician.
If a child has been determined by a physician to be disabled and the disability would prevent the child from eating the regular school meals, the CAIU will make any substitution prescribed by the physician. If a substitution is required, there will be no extra charge for the meal. Please note that a substitution is not required for a food allergy, unless it meets the definition of a disability.
If you believe your child requires a substitution because of a disability, have your physician complete the “Medical Plan of Care” form attached below. You can also obtain a “Medical Plan of Care” form by contacting the school (HTA) at 732-8484 or the cafeteria office at 732-8436.
Medical Plan of Care for Feeding (Revised May 2019) for the “Medical Plan of Care for School Food Service” form.
Allergies / Intolerances:
Generally, children with food allergies or intolerances do not have a disability as defined under the Rehabilitation Act. The school food services may, but is not required to, make food substitutions for them. Each special dietary request will be determined by the school food service on a case-by-case basis.
Allergies or intolerances also require a supported statement from a licensed physician.
Fluid Milk Substitutions:
As per the USDA ruling 73 FR 52903 Fluid Milk Substitutions in the School Nutrition Program, “Water or juice can not be offered as a fluid milk substitute for a student with medical or special dietary needs.” This means that the CAIU Food Services can not substitute juice or water as we have in the past for students with milk intolerance or anon-disability milk allergy.
With a physician’s prescription, parents/guardians may send a milk substitute with their child or their child can purchase plain water or juice ala carte. Parents/guardians may also send medication in to the nurse who can administer it to your child prior to their lunch period. Medication will require a physician’s prescription stating the name of the medication, dose and administration directions.
As part of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act and the Food Employee Certification Act , all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Programs must adhere to certain safety standards. They are listed below.
All schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are required to obtain two food safety/health inspections each year.
The National School Lunch Act requires that food safety facility inspections be conducted by the State or local governmental agency responsible for inspections. Inspections and licensing are conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (DOA). The latest inspection report for Hill Top Academy is available below.
Click Here for the latest "Food Facility Inspection Report."
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) / Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP):
Schools participating in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Programs are required to implement a food safety program based on HACCP principles.
“In accordance with USDA guidance, a school food safety program must include the following elements: documented standard operating procedures and a written plan at each school food preparation and service site for applying HACCP principles. The written plan must include methods for documenting menu items in the appropriate HACCP process category; documenting critical control points of food production; monitoring; establishing and documenting corrective actions; record keeping; and reviewing and revising the overall food safety program.”
SERV Safe Certification:
The Food Employee Certification Act requires at least one supervisory employee per establishment to become certified in food safety and sanitation. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture established food employee certification approved training programs in the area. The initial certification is for five (5 years). Re-certification is every five years thereafter. The Capital Area Intermediate Unit currently has four (4) certified employees. They are the food services manager, head cook, and cafeteria workers.
USDA published practical, science-based nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold to children at school during the school day. The standards, required by the Healthy, Hunter-Free Kids Act, were named "Smart Snacks in Schools". Students across the country are now offered healthier school meals with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The "Smart Snacks in Schools" standards will build on those healthy advancements and ensure that children are only offered tasty and nutritious foods during the school day. Hill Top Academy food services staff has been working hard to instill healthy habits in our students.
"Smart Snacks in School" regulations group food into three distinct categories, each with their own set of standards: Entrees (pizza, sandwiches, etc.) cannot contain more than 350 calories or 480 milligrams (mg.) of sodium; Sides (soups, cheese sticks, fries, etc.) cannot contain more than 200 calories or 200 mg. of sodium; Beverages have strict nutrient and serving size limitations based on age groups. All three categories include further nutritional regulations for total fat, saturated fat, trans fat and sugars.
Other Sources to Learn about Food and Nutrition