The MES Cooking Kitchen
Montclair Elementary School is proud to feature a Cooking Kitchen serving lunches that have been freshly prepared on site!
It started as a pilot program with the support of OUSD, Principal Bloom, the MES PTA and some dedicated parent volunteers. After a lot of hard work, we believe it is here to stay. Here are some of the highlights:
- The first freshly prepared lunch was served on January 18, 2014
- Meals were previously 100% prepackaged and now are only 20% prepackaged and now they’re 50% freshly prepared too
- Our cafeteria went from serving an average of 56 lunches/day to over 300
- Free breakfast has been available for all MES students since September 9, 2013
- Free snacks for all after school programs on MES campus
- Every Thursday is “California Thursday”, where the lunch features ingredients sourced entirely from California!
- Monday’s are meatless and there are vegetarian options each day!
- Meals include a salad bar everyday!
- New recipes continue to be added but Posole con Pescado, Kung Pao Chicken and Italian Chicken with Basil Parmesan Rice are a few tasty menu items students have enjoyed in the past year.
- Garden to Cafeteria program- students harvest produce from the school garden to be served in the cafeteria that day! Local and fresh!
OUSD has been making great strides in improving the quality and taste of school lunches! Meals now feature 100% whole grain products, antibiotic-free, humanely raised chicken, and local, seasonal and organic produce as much as possible. For more information about the great work they are doing and for menus check out the nutrition services department on the website at ousd.org. There is also a quick link to meal menus on this site, look for Elementary Cooking Kitchen Lunch.
More efficient food service lines with finger ID:
To help MES improve efficiency, OUSD allowed us to pilot a biometrics program which utilizes the unique “measurements of human characteristics” using a finger scanner to correlate to the student’s school ID number. This is NOT FINGERPRINTING and cannot be used to store or find a student’s fingerprint. It does, however, eliminate the chance of a student mistakenly using another students ID to buy lunch and eliminates the issue of frequently lost student ID cards.
We will continue the use of the biometrics system this year. Enrollment, meaning the finger scanning process, will begin within the first couple of weeks of school. Returning students are already in the system. Should you have questions about the biometrics system, the school office has a letter with more details or you can contact the company, Educational Biometric Technology, at www.fingerid.net or
Online payments for lunches coming soon! Stay tuned!
Kindergarteners receive lunch at no cost for the first month of school, through September 25th! So there’s no need to buy a new lunch box.
If you may qualify for free or reduced price lunch, you can pick up an application from the school office or sign up online at ousd.org, go to the Nutrition Services section.
Lunches are $2.50 and include the salad bar and milk (if they want it).
Until online payments begin, we encourage making lunch payments into your student’s account rather than daily payments, if possible, as it helps the lunch lines move faster. Payments of cash or check (made out to “OUSD”, with your child’s name in the memo) can be delivered directly to the cafeteria which is open by 7:00AM each morning or to the school office which is opened until 4:00pm each day. If you bring cash, be sure it is in an envelope with your child’s name on it.