Students have three choices for lunch on a daily basis.  They do not have to sign up for lunch in the morning.

The county menu provides for two hot plate items and a salad.  Some students may choose to bring their own lunch from home.  Milk, juice, water, ice cream and various snacks may also be purchased.  A price list for all items is provided for students at the beginning of each year.  If  students forget to bring money for their lunch, there are two options available to them.  If there are extra lunches they will be provided with one and charged accordingly.  If there are no extra lunches that day, they will be given juice and crackers. The cost of lunch is $2.90. Reduced priced lunches are $.40. 

The size of our cafeteria and the number of students in our classes does not permit us to allow parents to join their children for lunch. 

Student Nutrition Account Program (SNAP)

All Baltimore County Public Schools participate in the SNAP Program.  This program allows parents to deposit money into a lunch account from which students may draw.  Choices are given as to how the money can be allocated: for lunches only, for a cash account, or as a combination of the two.  Each student will be issued a debit card (which will remain in the school cafeteria) to use for purchases made in the cafeteria.  Forms to deposit money will be sent home on the first day of school.  This program has been very successful and we encourage parents to take advantage of the convenience and flexibility of this program.  Students do not have to use the card but if they forget their money they will always have money on hand to cover the cost of their noonday meal. 

There is also a program titled “My Lunch Program” that provides parents with a way to manage their child’s lunch account online.  Parents can prepay for student meals using credit/debit cards, view current account balances, set up recurring payments when the account reaches a low balance threshold, view student meal purchases, and set spending limits.  The link for that program is provided below. 

Sparks Elementary School Food Policy

Holiday Parties

Room parents are responsible for planning and organizing classroom holiday parties.  Holiday parties are typically held four times per year: Halloween, Winter Holiday, Valentines Day, and the end of the year.  Room parents will be provided a list of allergies or other health issues in the classrooms and be asked to be sensitive when planning holiday party menus.   The goal is to allow as many children to participate as possible.  A letter will be sent to the parents with children who have allergies/health issues at the beginning of the year, informing them of the holiday parties planned for the year, and giving them the option of sending in supplemental food for their children.

Homemade treats may be served at parties. However, at least one of the treat choices must be store bought, commercially prepared, and provided with a nutritional label which includes ingredients. Store bought snacks, with nutrition labels, are most helpful in preventing life threatening incidents because all ingredients are identified on the package.  This information assists parents in making good decisions for their children.


Parents may want to send in a treat to celebrate their child’s birthday. Please be aware that we celebrate many birthdays in this building and that means many sugar-filled snacks are brought into the building. If a parent wants to send in a treat (and that’s always optional), we suggest some alternatives such as fruit cups, small packages of goldfish, pretzels, or popcorn, Teddy Grahams, Gogurts, or non-food items such as pencils, stickers, erasers, or glue sticks.

The following guidelines for birthday treats will be followed:

All treats will be served either with lunch or in the afternoon.
All treats must be distributed by the teacher. No food is to be distributed in the building except under the supervision of a teacher.
If at all possible, parents should inform the teacher a day or two ahead of time if he/she plans to bring in a treat. Birthday treats should be brought to school by 9:00 am. After 9:00, please leave the treats in the office.
Even if goods are home baked, nutritional information can be provided by sending in the label from the mix or a copy of the recipe. We encourage parents to provide that information.

Temperature Sensitive Foods

The serving of any potentially hazardous foods, such as any food requiring hot or cold temperature control, cannot be brought to school by unlicensed individuals or facilities and be served to students at school sponsored functions.  This comes from the State Dept. of Health regulation (COMAR 10.15.03).

Pizza may be served in the school but only if it is delivered to the school by the pizza company.