Food Service

Food Service Protocols for Capital Region BOCES’ School Facilities

The following protocols apply to food service in distribution throughout Capital Region BOCES school facilities. As every facility has different circumstances regarding available food services as required by various programs, protocols will be applicable from a site-based perspective based on program requirements. All components of the Capital Region BOCES’ food service program are in compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.

Questions about the food service program or your child’s participation in the food service program should be directed to Chad Mead, School Lunch Director at

General Guidelines

School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely, if it is part of their regular school day program. 

Food Service Staff

  • All staff will be trained on district policies and protocols regarding  health and safety. Review and retraining will be provided as necessary.
  • All staff are required to complete the daily health screening tool prior to reporting to work.
  • If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately notify their supervisor, and seek medical attention. 
  • All staff will wear an approved face covering, single use gloves and a disposable apron (as appropriate) when serving, handling or delivering food
  • Only program staff, custodial staff, and other approved personnel are permitted to enter food service program areas. 

Meals Onsite

  • Students will be required to perform hand hygiene before and after eating, and this will be promoted by teachers administrators and support staff in classrooms and prior to entering the food service area on a daily basis.
  • Protocol will include hand hygiene in classroom or community bathrooms by cohort prior to entering the food service area.
  • Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating as long as they are appropriately socially distanced. 
  • The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household, and this will be promoted by teachers administrators and support staff in classrooms and prior to entering the food service area on a daily basis.
  • The special feeding needs of students with severe disabilities whose safety and sanitation needs at mealtimes may differ from those of their peers, and teachers of these programs will coordinate food service protocols directly with the school principal.
  • High-touch surfaces including tables, chairs, carts used in transportation, and point-of-service touch pads will be routinely cleaned and disinfected.
  • A predetermined number of students will be permitted in the food service line to maintain at least six feet of social distance. Entry and exit will be monitored by school staff. Furthermore, Capital Region BOCES will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in the school cafeteria.
  • Disposable products will be used to the extent possible (i.e. trays, silverware, etc.)
  • Food items that are available for students to personally retrieve (i.e. fruits, grab and go items) will be covered.
  • The serving area, eating area and related spaces will be cleaned after each service.
  • Meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between students.
  • Staff will be provided with student food allergy information and will follow standard protocols to ensure the safety of all students.  

Meals Offsite or During Remote Learning

  • Meals for students learning offsite and during remote learning are available through the student’s home district.
  • In the event the home district does not offer meals during offsite or remote learning, please contact Susan Frank at 518-464-5133.