Student Nutrition

Breakfast and Lunch Service

Cafeterias will operate at 50% - 66% capacity (unless changed by ADH) as feasible to account for physical distancing during meal times. Alternative locations such as classrooms or larger seminar rooms may be utilized to support physical distancing as well as staggered lunchtimes.

The format for meals might look different at elementary and secondary levels. The PCSSD Student Nutrition Department is considering various options to ensure physical distancing and safe eating environments. Those precautions include but are not limited to the following:

  • Staggering meal times
  • Grab and Go meals
  • Addressing food allergies
  • No self-service
  • No microwaves

The student nutrition teams at each school will enhance health standards to ensure the cafeteria and all food management is sanitary for students and staff.

  • Develop a procedure for money exchange
  • Hand sanitizer throughout the cafeteria
  • Time to clean and disinfect between serving periods
  • Use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Adhere to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Arkansas Department of Education Student Nutrition Unit, and Center of Disease Control (CDC) guidelines


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released several waivers since COVID-19 first impacted the US. These food-specific waivers help student nutrition departments within the schools help students and families in various ways. In June, USDA announced the extension of multiple coronavirus emergency feeding waivers through the end of the 2020-2021 school year, a move requested by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and school nutrition professionals. The extension will allow school meal programs to continue grab-and-go meal pickup for distance learners, serve meals to students in the classroom or adjust meal service in the event of sudden COVID-19 school closures through the next school year.
PCSSD is hopeful that the USDA will issue a waiver that allows for an option of universal free meals in the upcoming school year. If that waiver is offered, PCSSD will apply for it.
For a full list of Arkansas waivers with USDA, visit their website.