CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS IN THE SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAM
Schools participating in the National School Breakfast and School Lunch Programs are required to make reasonable accommodations for children who are unable to eat the school meals because of a disability that restricts their diet. For the school to make substitutions or modifications, the request must be supported by a written statement from a Pennsylvania state medical authority. A state medical authority in Pennsylvania includes a licensed physician, physician assistant, certified registered nurse practitioner, or dentist.
In order to make these modifications, schools must have a written Medical Plan of Care Statement on file with the school that is signed by one of the above state medical authorities. Please see the link below to download the Medical Plan of Care Form to have completed if requesting a food substitution. Please read page 1 and 2 of the Medical Plan of Care Form carefully before having it completed.
By law, the written medical statement must include the following information:
An explanation of how the child's physical or mental impairment restricts the child's diet;
- An explanation of what must be done to accommodate the child; and
- The food or foods to be omitted and recommended alternatives, if appropriate.
If any of these areas are missing from the Medical Plan of Care, we will not be able to make a substitution until you provide it.
Parents should notify the school of any food allergy, disability, or special dietary need that a child has. A Medical Statement must be completed by a PA state medical authority and provided to the school nurse and school food services before any substitutions or modifications can be made. Parents are asked to keep a healthy line of communication with the school. If there are any changes related to the special dietary need, notify the school and provide an updated Medical Statement from your physician. The Plan should be updated each new school year with the school nurse and school food services. Please call the Food Service Department if you should have any questions. 717.334.6254, ext. 1204.