The Food & Nutrition Services Department is experiencing unprecedented issues with the supply chain. These supply chain issues are causing us to alter posted menus with little to no notice.  

The supply chain issues are caused by multiple factors including labor and material shortages across all phases of production, transportation, manufacturing and distribution.

We are working closely with our distributors and manufacturers to secure both the food and supply items needed to support our program and offer the level of service we are accustomed to providing. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

School Nutrition

Welcome to the Hardee County School Nutrition webpage!

Our Department is responsible for providing healthy and tasty meals for the students of Hardee County. Understanding that a hungry child cannot learn, our objectives are to provide school food services consistent with the nutritional needs of students and to provide school food services that contribute to the student’s educational experiences. On average we serve over 1,400 breakfasts and 3,500 lunches daily. 

Through the Federal School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, our department provides balanced breakfast, lunch and after school snacks. We also provide after school snacks at eligible schools. Our department is financially self-sufficient relying on funds from reimbursement, student payment and adult payments. 

As participant in the National School Lunch Program, our department must meet the required nutrient levels for specific age or grade groups for eight essential nutrients including calories, protein, total fat, saturated fat, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Breakfast must meet 1/4 of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and lunch must meet 1/3 of the RDA for each age/grade group. 

At least half of the grains offered through our cafeterias are whole grain and we only serve low-fat (unflavored) or fat free (unflavored or flavored) milk.

No application needed! 

We are pleased to inform you that the School District of Hardee County will continue to participate in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) for School Year 2020-2021. 

Through this program the District School Nutrition Program  provides healthy breakfasts and lunches each day at no charge for ALL students enrolled in Hardee County Schools.

Build a great tray

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food service workers at a conference

Build a great tray!!!

All students eating school lunches are encouraged to Build a GREAT Tray by taking at least 3 of 4 food items offered on the Breakfast menu and 3 of 5 food items for lunch.

Remember that one of these items for Breakfast must be 1 cup of fruit and for Lunch, it must be a fruit or vegetable.  Hardee County School Lunches provide the 5 meal components of a lunch (grain, milk, protein, fruit, and vegetable) daily. Students must take 3 components to count for a meal. Encourage your student to take all 5 components since there is no additional cost to get all 5 components!  USDA regulations require that a fruit or vegetable be on every tray. This requirement is based on the USDA Choose My Plate nutrition education promotion that includes 1/2 a plate contains fruits & vegetables, 1/4 whole grain, and 1/4 protein, & low-fat dairy to be considered healthy.

Hardee County  School Nutrition encourages students to start with a fruit or vegetable...better yet take both, choose a whole-grain item, pick a lean protein and top your meal off with a carton of milk to equal one great tray for the best school day!

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or

  2. Fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

  3. Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.



LaCheron Conway, Tammy Fitzgerald, Sara Garza

Sara Garza
Food Service Field Manager
863-773-9058   Ext: 1210

LaCheron  Conway
Food Service Director
863-773-9058   Ext:1206

Tammy  Fitzgerald
Food Service - Director's Secretary
863-773-9058   Ext:1207

Important Links

National School Lunch Program
The National School Lunch Program 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. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.

School Breakfast Program
The School Breakfast Program provides cash assistance to states to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. The Food and Nutrition service administers the SBP at the Federal level. State education agencies administer the SBP at the state level, and local school food authorities operate the Program in schools.

Smart Snacks in Schools
The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 directed the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school during the school day, including foods sold through school fundraisers. The new “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards will help schools to make the healthy choice the easy choice by offering students more of the foods and beverages we should be encouraging - whole grains, fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, lower-fat dairy - while limiting foods with too much sugar, fat and salt. These standards for snack sales are in effect from any time before school through 1 hour after school.

Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines is designed to help Americans eat a healthier diet. This edition of the Dietary Guidelines outlines how people can improve their overall eating patterns — the complete combination of foods and drinks in their diet. 

FDACS Food Nutrition and Wellness
The Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness (FNW) administers the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Afterschool Snack Program, Summer Food Service Program, Seamless Summer Option Program and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the state of Florida. The division is committed to ensuring that every child in Florida benefits from nutritious meals that foster better learning and a lifetime of good health.

Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
Improving child nutrition is the focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.The legislation authorizes funding and sets policy for USDA's core child nutrition programs: the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Summer Food Service Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act allows USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, opportunity to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children.

Living Healthy in Florida
Wellness research indicates nutrition affects a person’s learning capabilities, economic opportunities and healthcare costs. The purpose of Living Healthy in Florida is to expand access to healthy, nutritious foods — especially fresh Florida fruits and vegetables, — share knowledge and reinforce healthful behaviors to create a sustainable health ecosystem in Florida.  This FDACS Web resource provides information on healthy eating, healthy learning and healthy moving.

National Dairy Council
Dairy foods are a safe, wholesome and delicious source of essential nutrients — available at a reasonable cost. Combined, milk, cheese and yogurt contain high-quality protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin D and more, making dairy foods an important part of overall health.

NDC is committed to providing practical solutions to bring nutritious foods to people’s kitchens and lives. We are also dedicated to providing people of all ages with a variety of dairy foods to choose from to meet their lifestyle needs.

USDA Choose My Plate
MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future.  This USDA website has information to help build a healthy eating style.

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Information
A private school scholarship is available.

If your household qualifies for free or reduced-priced lunch, your students may be eligible to receive a state-supported scholarship to a private school. The program, called the, Florida Tax Credit Scholarship was created in 2001. Step Up For Students manages the program. The scholarship is based on income and not on the academic performance of the student or public school. The scholarship helps pay tuition at more than 1,500 participating private schools statewide; a separate transportation scholarship is available to attend a public school in another county. For more information, visit or call 877-735-7837, or email


The Hardee County School Nutrition Services has amended to its policy for serving meals to students under the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2022-2023 school year. All students will be served lunch and breakfast at no charge.

Letter to the Household

Public Release