Our School Nutrition program is the pinnacle of nutritional integrity and team-oriented service that positively influences students’ lives.
Meal components, as well as a la carte items, are selected so that the nutritional integrity of the program may be maintained at its current high level.
Operating Budget: $43,000,000
Purchased Food Budget: 16,000,000
Student Enrollment: 90,000
Lunches Served Daily:55,000
Breakfasts Served Daily: 25,000
A La Carte Lunch Equivalents Daily: 8,500
Cafeteria Sites: 104
All items are purchased through the competitive bid process. Bid specifications are submitted by the School Nutrition department to the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department prepares the bids according to School Board Policy, State Board Rules, Florida Statues and Federal Law. The Purchasing Department solicits bids, sets time frames and opens bids. Bidders must have an approved application on file in the Purchasing Department prior to receiving an invitation to bid. Bid items are purchased only from vendors who have been awarded items for the appropriate bid cycle. A vendor application may be obtained by calling 863-534-0573 or
School Nutrition Bids are divided into two categories. The first category is direct delivery. Foods are ordered by School Nutrition managers and delivered directly to school cafeterias. The second category is Central Warehouse or Stock items. Foods and supplies are delivered to the School Board Warehouse in Bartow and then warehouse staff members deliver to school sites.
Items that are Bid as Direct Delivery
Items that are Bid as Stock or Central Warehouse Delivery
All food items are pre-approved and then tested by students. A Request for Review of New Food Item Form must be completed so that products may be pre-approved by the School Nutrition Staff. Food items must meet the Polk County Schools Wellness Policy Guidelines.
Contact Jenna Kaczmarski at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Request for Review of New Food Item Form. The review form must be completed and submitted with nutritional and specification information before a student test can be done.
After the item has been approved, the School Nutrition staff will arrange for a student taste test. Food items are prepared and served by School Nutrition employees. Vendors, brokers or manufacturer’s representatives are not permitted to attend the taste test.
Items to be tested must be delivered in a full case, standard pack with approved label attached. Items to be tested should be delivered to: Polk County Schools Warehouse & Distribution Center, 965 Highway 60 East, Bartow, FL 33830, Attn: Greg White, 863-534-0905 or 863-534-0908. Food samples will not be accepted at the district office. Unsolicited samples will be donated to a local food charity.
Approved items will be noted on the official bid document.
After the bid has been awarded, food items may be selected for testing at an independent laboratory to verify nutritional information. Food items that do not meet nutritional requirements or nutritional claims of documentation will be removed from the approved brands list.
Food items may be selected for quality checks. Foods that do not meet the quality and grade specified in the bid document will be picked up and replaced at the bidder’s expense.
Chemicals, paper supplies, small equipment and uniforms are evaluated annually.
Large equipment must be approved by the School Nutrition Department with input from the Maintenance Department.
Polk County Schools participate in approved promotional activities.