TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services

“Where Local is our Focal”

Welcome to the Food & Nutrition Services department of the Traverse City Area Public Schools district. We are very proud of our operations and take pride in offering nutritious and delicious meals every day. We encourage input from all of our customers, so feel free to contact TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services Director Tom Freitas at 231.933.1911 with any ideas, suggestions or comments. We look forward to making your dining experience enjoyable.

Our Mission

The mission of TCAPS’ Food and Nutrition Services is to improve the health of students by providing flavorful and nutritious meals at an affordable cost. Our goals are to provide service to the school, to enhance the educational environment, and have a positive impact on the community.  

TCAPS Wellness Policy

Local Harvest of the Month

October Harvest: Apples

It’s apple time of year in Northwest Michigan!  In TCAPS’ cafeterias, we will be serving as many fresh Michigan apples as we have available to purchase. If you would like to pick or buy fresh apples locally, External Linkvisit the Michigan Apple Tours website to find farms and markets in the area. 

Apple Recipes

External LinkView Apples Recipes from the Michigan Apple Committee

2016-17 School Year News

Ten Cent Program to Continue at TCAPS

School Meals Include More Local Fruit & Vegetables

This year is a very exciting year for us. For the last three years, TCAPS has piloted a local fruit and vegetable program where the district has received 10 cents per meal for each meal that includes local fruits or vegetables. This program was funded through The Groundworks Center and TBAISD who used money from local donations.

Last year, we asked Senator Booher to write a bill that would help fund/expand the program. Thanks to his efforts, $250,000 in state appropriations was included in this year's final State Aid budget to help fund this program through a competitive grant process. TCAPS applied for the grant and will receive $48,500 to spend on Michigan fruits and vegetables. External LinkRead the MDE News Pelease to learn more about the Ten Cent Program.

Other Great News in Food Service

New Food Service Equipment for Two Schools

Through a $22,400 MDE Equipment Grant, TCAPS will be able to provide needed equipment at Traverse Heights Elementary School and Traverse City High School. 

Healthy Vending Machines Pilot Expands

TCAPS is pleased to report the reimbursable vending machine pilot program implemented at Central High School last year was a great success. Two new vending machines will be added to West Senior High School this year. See the section below titled "New Vending Machines Offer Healthy Alternatives."

Elementary Schools to Offer Lunch on Half Days

TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services will offer half-day lunch at all TCAPS elementary buildings on every half-day school day this year.

We have a lot of other innovations being rolled out and we look forward to making your dining experience fun and wholesome. Please take the time to view school menus and feel free to join us for breakfast and lunch. 

New Vending Machines Offer Healthy Alternatives

Having access to healthy food items and meals outside of the normal cafeteria operating hours just got a little bit easier. TCAPS has installed two new vending machines in the cafeteria at both Central High School and West Senior High School as part of a pilot program. The vending machines contain healthy food items that meet the same federal nutrition regulations as all other food sold in the school cafeteria. Sample items include: salads, yogurt, sandwiches, fruit, granola bars, etc.

Students and staff can purchase snack items as well as meals qualifying under the Federal Free and Reduced Price School Meals Program using either cash or their meal accounts. For students who qualify for free/reduced meals, the purchase would count towards their daily meal allowance.


Food & Nutrition Services – Green Efforts

TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services takes great pride in minimizing our environmental footprint in Traverse City. In our buildings using disposables, 95% of the plates and bowls are biodegradable. We will continue to strive for 100% biodegradable product usage. All of our buildings are contracted with a waste management company who sorts and recycles all of our waste. We are committed to the continuous greening of our schools.

Bringing Local Foods to Our Schools

TCAPS participates in the “External LinkCultivate Michigan” program, an effort to bring more local foods to institutions. Our goal is to purchase 20% of our food products from the state of Michigan by 2020. We are currently partnering with Cherry Capital Foods, Gordon Food Service, and individual growers to achieve this goal.

Gordon Food Service also has a program focusing on local food purchases, called “External LinkNear Buy“.  View listings of Michigan produced foods and products purchased by TCAPS:

cultivate-michigan-logo_0           Cherry-Capital-Foods-logo-500x352

     gordon-food-logo-125                                     near-buy

Local Food Partners

TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services is proud to be working with local food vendors this year.  We would like to recognize these area businesses and look forward to future partnerships.

Cherry Capital Foodsmaxbauersnorthern-naturalstone-house-breadthe redheadsprairie farmsPepsi-logofarm to freezerFood Rescuelouies-meat

goodwill logo

Local Equipment Repair and Supply Partners

stafford smith

grand traverse refrigerationhobart

TCAPS & Oryana “Cooking With Kids” at the Northwest MI Fair

TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services and Oryana partner up each year at the NWMI Fair for “Cooking with Kids.” Kids and families will enjoy free, healthy food demos and tastings. Take a look at this quick video of our day cooking with kids from a past year.

Anti-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, 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 rights activity 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: External, 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:

  • Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  • Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  • Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.