Male student eating a meal at a table.

Food services

Phone: 518-475-6644 | Fax: 518-475-6644
1 Arbor Drive, Albany, NY 12210

Lisa Finkenbinder

School Lunch Director

Because many of our families struggle economically, the City School District of Albany participates in a federal program that allows each of students to receive breakfast and lunch for free each day.

Learn more here.

Did you know that students who are well nourished are shown to have increased problem-solving abilities, better memory, stronger verbal fluency and more creativity?

That is a key reason why the City School District of Albany makes every effort to provide students with nutritious and tasty meals during the hours they are in school. This includes breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and, in some schools, an after-school snack serving during extended-day programs.

Whitsons Culinary Group, the City School District of Albany's food-service provider, provides a complete listing of nutritional information and allergen information for all the items on our school menus.

Learn more from Whitson's Nutri-Cafe.

Food allergies can be life-threatening. To minimize the chance of accidental exposure to a food that may trigger an allergic reaction, the district's new food-service provider posts "right to know" information in every school cafeteria. The information -- kept in a binder -- lists ingredients in school food that are common causes of food allergies. They include:

  • Milk and milk products
  • Egg and egg products
  • Peanut and peanut products
  • Tree nut and tree nut products
  • Soy and soy products
  • Fish and fish products
  • Shellfish and shellfish products

The binder does not list manufacturers who also may process allergens (like peanuts) in other products they produce. However, Whitson's requires its manufacturers to have practices in place that minimize the possibility accidental contamination from other products during the manufacturing process.

Any student with a severe food allergy should NOT assume that a food is safe to eat and should always ask before eating cafeteria food. That student's parent or guardian should contact the food-service manager to discuss dietary needs and restrictions. Product specifications are subject to change and manufacturers are not required by law to provide updated ingredient declarations to Whitson's.

Food Services serves turkey-based cold cuts. The bologna, ham and salami are made from turkey; no pork products are added. Hot dogs are 100 percent beef. When pork is served we will offer a turkey equivalent as an alternate. When we serve real ham or hots with pork it will be reflected as such on the menu.

All hamburger and hot dog buns also are 100 percent whole grain.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, theUSDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rightsactivity 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.