Karen Trousdell staff photo
Karen Trousdell
Director of Food Service


(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)


The Ross Local Schools' food service department proudly provides meal service to 2,800+ students and employees in our district. Our food department supports the USDA dietary guidelines, "My Plate". This mandates incorporating more whole grains, reducing fats, sugar, and sodium content.


A complete lunch consists of five components- grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and milk. Under the National School Lunch guidelines, students must choose three of the five food components and one must be a fruit or vegetable.

Please encourage your child to take full advantage of all the offerings that make a lunch. 

Make it a meal, it's the best deal!


Our Mission: Good Nutrition  

To provide our students and staff with healthy, nutritious meals. We accomplish our goal by providing quality, healthy, delicious, and nutritious foods. We encourage customers to try new foods and use the cafeterias as a learning tool for a lifetime of healthy eating.


Charge Procedure

Beginning in the school year (SY) 2017-2018, and each year thereafter, the meal charge policy must be communicated in writing to all households at the start of each school year and to households transferring to the school during the school year.

The Food Services Department meal charge procedure goals:

  • To treat all students with dignity in the serving line regarding meal accounts;
  • To support positive situations with district staff, district business policies, students, and parents to the maximum extent possible;
  • To establish policies that are age-appropriate;
  • To encourage parents to assume responsibility for meal payments and to promote student self-responsibility;
  • To establish a consistent department procedure regarding meal charges and the collection of charges.


  • 1st Step- students will be told to remind parents to send in money
  • 2nd Step-parent will be notified
  • 3rd Step-parents will be mailed a reminder and a free and reduced-price meal application if needed
  • 4th Step- parents will be contacted by the Food Supervisor


As a reminder, you may prepay for a student’s lunch by sending in cash or check(blue or black ink only).  You can also go to and set up an account with your student(s) school ID.  Debit and Credit cards are accepted on the Payschools system.  There will be a convenience fee.  Once the account is set up, parents can then access the history of their student(s) purchases.


How to Pay for Meals

  • Ross Local Schools cafeterias use a computer-based cash register system that provides quick and secure access to student information, such as free meal eligibility and allergies.
  • Regardless of payment method, when students purchase items, they will enter their student ID number.
  • When the ID is entered, the student's name, picture, and other detailed information appear on the screen of the cash register.
  • Each child has his or her own ID number. You can remain confident that every student has a unique ID number and all ID numbers remain secure. 


Meal Payment Options 

A parent can place money onto a student's account at Pay School Central ( Students may also bring in cash or check (Blue or Black ink ONLY) to the lunchroom to add to their lunch account. 

 ***We encourage parents to pay online so funds can be pre-loaded to the student's account well before their arrival at lunchtime.***

Pay School Central offers the following features:

  • Payments on Pay School Central can be made by with a debit card or credit card
  • Allows the ability to set up automatic recurring payments along with being notified via email when account balance runs low on the student's lunch account
  • Report features that provide history on all purchases and balances
  • A credit card transaction fee of 3.9% will be charged for processing the funds if funds are loaded online
  • If payment is made by check, a fee of $1.75 will be applied per transaction
  • Through registering for Pay For It and creating an account you can gain access to a variety of reports (account balances, history of food purchases, etc.). You will not be charged a fee for accessing reports on the Pay For It system. 

Manage Lunch AccountComplete your free or reduced lunch application online


Food Allergies 

Our cafeterias provide current ingredient information available from our food suppliers for the most common allergens identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish). We understand each of our students has individual needs when consuming food and drinks outside of their home, especially those with food allergies.

We provide food allergy information to students so they can make safe food selections. However, normal kitchen operations may involve some shared cooking and preparation areas, equipment, and utensils. Keep in mind possibility exists for food items to come in contact with other food products, including other allergens. 

Please alert the schools if your child has a food allergy. You need to provide documentation must be provided, such as a note from a physician stating the allergen and any substitutions they feel are necessary.  These forms are available from each school's nurse or cafeteria manager.

Tips for Healthy Living

  • Have fun- Figure out which activities you like best. If basketball and soccer aren't for you... try karate, kickball, dancing, or even a game of hide & seek! Ask your parents and friends to join you in your favorite activities.
  • Move- Try to have no more than 2 hours each day of "screen time". This includes TV, computer games, video games, and handhelds.
  • Variety- You may have one favorite food, but the best choice is to eat a variety! When you eat different foods, you're more likely to get the nutrients your body needs. Try some new foods, and retry some old ones you didn't seem to like before. When you get older, your taste buds can change. The foods you didn't enjoy before can become your favorite food later in life. Shoot for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Drink water and milk- Did you know cold water is the #1 thirst quencher? Your cafeteria offers milk choices for an important reason. Growing children need calcium to produce strong bones. Milk is an excellent source of calcium. Try to limit sugary drinks, like sodas and fruit punches. 
  • Mom & dad can help too- They can stock the kitchen with healthy foods and plan fun activities to get the whole family moving. Share your ideas with them and soon your whole family could be fit and be having more fun together.


Enjoy Healthy Living!

Manage Lunch Account

Complete your free or reduced lunch application onlineManage Lunch Account