Offer vs. Serve
Offer versus Serve (OVS) is a system designed to decrease food waste and give students greater flexibility in choosing what to eat for school breakfast or lunch.
A food component is one of five food groups that comprise reimbursable lunches. These are meats/meat alternates; grains; fruits; vegetables; and fluid milk. Schools must always offer all five food components in at least the minimum required quantities.
General OVS Requirements for Lunch:
- Students must take at least three components in the required quantities.
- One selection must be at least 1/2 cup (total) from either the fruit or vegetable component.
- Depending on the planned menu, the student may need to select more than one food item to have the minimum quantity needed for a component to be credited.
- The meal must be priced as a unit. That is, a student who takes 3, 4, or 5 food items, or smaller portions of some items, pays the same price.
Use of OVS in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP):
- OVS must be available for students at senior high schools (as defined by the State educational agency).
- OVS is optional at middle and elementary schools (as defined by the State education agency).
- OVS is not allowed for the NSLP snack service.
- OVS is optional for summer meals offered by school food authorities (SFAs) through the Seamless Summer Option of the NSLP.
The meal pattern for lunches consists of five food components:
- Meats/meat alternates (m/ma) and
- Fluid milk
The age/grade groups for lunches are:
Under OVS, all students, at any grade level, must select:
- At least 3 of 5 food components AND
- One of the choices selected must be at least a 1/2 cup of the fruit or vegetable component or a 1/2 cup total serving of both fruit and vegetable. If 1/2 cup of fruit is selected, the student must select the full required daily serving of the vegetable component for it to be counted as meeting that component.
Key Points about Offer v. Serve:
- Students can make food selections, and will more likely eat what they select.
- Students may refuse any food item.
- Students may take any combination.
- Combination foods count as more than 1 food item.
- Parents and other adults teach kids -- by example -- to make healthful choices.
- We encourage students to select all foods offered.
- Policy for extra portions at extra cost is unaffected by OVS.
What You Can Do
Your children are in process of learning to make food choices and may need help in choosing what they eat. We encourage you to review the school menu with your child to help them decide what to select.
More Nutritional Information from ISD 622
Nutritional information regarding the meals served can be found by clicking on Nutritional Information on the left-column of this web page.
We strive to offer healthy food choices and limit fat content so 30 percent or less of the calories come from fat.