Food Services

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We want to make sure you enjoy your breakfast & lunch safely

  • All refrigerated items should be kept cold, under 41 degrees
  • All frozen food should be kept frozen until ready to heat
  • Discard any items after 5 days
  • All food is fully cooked but you may choose to microwave some items if you do please:
    • remove all wrapping and use microwave safe dish
    • lunch and breakfast items such as breakfast sandwiches have heating instructions and should be heated until internal temperature of 165 degrees


Wilmington Food Services will continue to put forward best efforts to feed our students during this time and will be preparing bagged breakfasts and lunches out of our kitchen at Wilmington High School. These meals will be available for any students, regardless of which school you attend in the District, and will be prepared in our safe and sanitary environment by Wilmington staff.

You may pick up all breakfast and lunches outside the Events Entrance at WHS (off of Adams Street) every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. We ask you pull your vehicle up to the curb, pop your car trunk or hatch and we will gladly place the meals inside your vehicle.

Please email any questions to Mary Palen, Administrator of Food Services at

This is available to all students, including students attending other schools outside the district, residing in Wilmington.

If you have any questions, please call Mary Palen at 978-694-6064 or contact me via email

Thank you,

Mary Palen
Administrator of Food Services
Wilmington Public Schools

P-EBT Program Available

The P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer) initiative will allow more families to receive assistance for food for students. Please see the attached flyers for more information.
P-EBT Flyer
P-EBT - What You Need To Know

Food Service Staff Directory

Click the More icon to the far right to reveal web site and Twitter links for staff members that have a web page or Twitter accounts.

Food Services

Mission Statement

The mission of the Wilmington School Food Service Program is to serve adequate and nutritious foods that support academic success and encourage lifelong healthy eating patterns.


The Wilmington School Food Service Program consists of eight on-site kitchens - two kindergartens, four elementary, one middle school and one high school. The Food Service Administrator's Office is located at Wilmington High School.

The Food Service Program currently serves lunches at all school and provides before/after school feeding for the CARES program at the two kindergartens and four elementary schools. We strive to meet the needs of all students, both nutritionally and socially, by serving meals in a welcoming, pleasant atmosphere.

The School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. Congress created the NSLP after an investigation into the health of young men rejected in the World War II draft revealed a connection between physical deficiencies and childhood malnutrition. Congress enacted the 1946 National School Lunch Act as a “measure of national security, to safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation's children.” Our school lunch program complies with the United States Department of Agriculture's food based menu-planning system and nutrient standards, providing meals that meet 1/3 of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for calories, as well as required levels of other key nutrients, including fat, saturated fat, protein, vitamin A & C, iron, and calcium. Hot lunches are served daily in all the schools. Students may choose from a variety of lunch options including alternate meals at all grade levels. The high school has more choices including a salad bar and a pizza line. The middle and the high schools also have a snack bar with a wide variety of approved snack items.

School Lunch Online Pre-Payment Program

2019 - 2020 Letter to Parents/Guardians

With current national attention being focused on children's health and wellness issues, Wilmington School Food Service is excited to provide parents a convenient, easy and secure online pre-payment service to deposit money into your child's school meal account at any time. This service also provides parents the ability to view their child's account balance through a web site called

Also, parents will have the ability to print out a copy of their child's eating history report. This history report will show you all dates and purchases he/she has made at lunch within the past thirty days. Please understand, this system will allow you to view it if they purchased lunch, but not specifically what they purchased.

Click here for instructions on using the Pre-Payment site,

Things to know:

  • If you have more than one child in the District you can handle all online pre-payments from the same online account.
  • Payments may be made through an existing PayPal account or with a major credit or debit card.
  • In order to use the online pre-payment service, a small convenience fee for each transaction will be assessed to cover the bank fees. The convenience fee is $2.49 per deposit transaction (this is subject to change). Parents placing money into multiple meal accounts will only be assessed the $2.49 fee once per deposit transaction. Wilmington Public Schools will not profit from the use of this site.
  • You will not be able to view your child's history at the time of signup. This option will be available after a full day of school from the time you register.

We are very excited to offer these new services, and are confident this new system will benefit you, your child and our District. However, if you choose not to take advantage of the online prepayment service you may continue to make advance payments via check, which should be made payable to the Wilmington Food Service. Please write your child's full name on the check.

If you have any questions about these new services, please feel free to contact my office at 978-694-6064.

Meal Components and Nutrient Information

There are meal components and quantities that must be offered to all students. We are required to serve foods that meet very strict dietary specifications, including limited the amount of sodium in foods, decreasing the number of calories and saturated fats, serving foods that are made with whole grains, and offering an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables on our menu.

Offer Versus Serve

Students in grades K-12 have the opportunity to select the items they would like to eat. This is called “offer versus serve”. Offer versus Serve was created to reduce plate waste and allow students to select foods they intend to eat. Under OvS a student is able to refuse two of the five food components offered to them at lunch, but they must take either a fruit or vegetable selection. The five food components that must be offered at lunch include: meat/meat alternate, grains that are whole grain rich, vegetable, fruit, and milk. They are able to refuse one of the four food items offered to them at breakfast under OvS, but also take a fruit or vegetable. The answer is we must make sure the students are selecting enough food to fulfill the requirements to meet the nutrient standards set forth in the federal meal programs. We also must make sure each student is taking a meal that meets the regulatory guidelines under OvS.

Our cafeteria staff has been very proactive with these nutrition initiatives and has been providing students with a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

Breakfast Is Available Before Classes Begin For Students 6-12

Did you know that breakfast is available for all students at school every morning? Studies show that a hungry student doesn't learn as well as a student who has started their day off with a healthy breakfast. Hungry students' attention spans are less than those students who are full and ready to learn. So, encourage your student to stop in the cafeteria for breakfast before they go off to their classroom.

Senior Citizen Lunch Program

As a partner in community wellness, the Food Service Department offers the Senior Citizen home-delivered and congregate meals program, currently located at the West Intermediate School. For more details, please contact the Food Service Office at (978) 694-6064 or the Senior Center at (978) 657-7595.

Meal Prices*

PreK - Grade 5 = $2.40

Grades 6 - 12 = $2.65 - $2.85

Milk = $0.60

*Lunch includes: main dish or alternative choice, vegetable, fruit/juice and milk

Click here to download a PDF of the price list.

Free and Reduced Lunch

Free and Reduced Lunches

Free and reduced lunches are available for eligible students; both generally require the household to fill out a school meals application. If you think your household may qualify, please contact the Food Service Office at 978.694.6064 for more information and application forms.

Application 2019-2020

Application Directions

Parent Letter 2019-2020

Department Operating Status

Wilmington School Food Service Department is a self-supporting department within the School Department. All food and equipment purchases, most maintenance, all salaries including the Director and Secretary are paid from the Foodservice revolving account. Revenues obtained are used solely for the support and improvement of the School Food Service Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for the employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination complaint form, found on line at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send you completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjunction, 1400 Independence Ave., S. W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9420, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Cafe Wildcat

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email:
This institution is an equal opportunity provider