CREC Food Service Program Information

EMERGENCY COVID-19 Meal Site Information:

Emergency Meal Programs: The State Department of Education is authorizing two distinct categories of COVID-19 Emergency Meal Programs in accordance with federal requirements: LINK: 1) COVID-19 Emergency Meal Program Limited to Students Attending School in Specific Districts. School districts on this list are only authorized to serve meals to students attending their schools, and any other child age 18 years or younger residing in the same household; LINK: 2) COVID-19 Community-wide Emergency Meal Program for Children. Any child age 18 years or younger can receive meal(s) at any meal service and distribution sites in these towns/cities. They do not have to be a resident or attend school in these towns/cities. Check these links often as more locations continue to be added.

Meal Programs/Sponsorship: 

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. CREC also offers breakfast, after-school snack programs, and summer meals in some schools. CREC Food Services ensures that all meals served meet age-appropriate nutritional guidelines and that all federal, state, and local regulations are being met. CREC is the sponsor for meal programs in most locations; however, some CREC sites are sponsored by other School Food Authorities. Coordination of meal programs among the different sponsors and towns is handled by the Food Service Program Coordinator. Please contact the Food Service Program Coordinator if you have questions about sponsorship. 

Free and Reduced Priced Meals: 

State approved family meal applications are prepared and distributed to parents at the beginning of each school year. Some students that qualify for free meals due to their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps) are automatically eligible for free meals if their data is submitted to CREC from the Department of Social Services. Meal eligibility isFood Service determined for the entire school year and carries forward for 30 operating days into the next school year unless new meal application information is submitted. School secretaries’ process the meal applications based on the Federal guidelines and are the determining officials in CREC sponsored programs. Verification of the meal application information submitted via a sample of households qualified for free or reduced meals must begin on Oct. 1 of each year, and parents must provide documentation/proof of their application information by November 15th if selected. 

Payment for Meals: 

Students not qualified for free meals must pay for their meals at either the reduced or full price based on their eligibility status. Meal prices are determined by the Magnet School Office and Operations Department. Online prepayments are available to parents in many CREC sponsored schools at the website, or through the non-CREC sponsored town online payment portals. Look under the “For Parents and Students” section for your school at the website for more meal program and payment information. Parents/students may also pay at the school, but prepayments are highly preferred. Parents that do not provide payments for their child’s meals should send meals from home with their child. Although credit for meals may be offered, it is not required by the State, and funding for unpaid meals cannot come out of any school lunch account funds.

Click HERE for CREC's Meal Charging Policy.

Menus and specific meal program information for individual schools:

Menus, meal application information, meal payment information, and some policies are different for most schools, depending on whether CREC or another town is sponsoring the meal program. It is important that you go directly to your child’s school website at and look under the “For Parents & Students” section in the left panel, and then select “Menus & Meal Program Info” to get accurate information and instructions that is specific for each school.

Contact Information:

Jeff Sidewater
Food Services Program Coordinator
Operations Department
CREC (Capitol Region Education Council)
111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 
O: 860-509-3774 |F: 860-524-4001 
Email: /

Christine E. Wallace, SNS
Food Services Program Assistant
Capitol Region Education Council
111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 

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