USDA Policy Memorandum SP 46-2016 requires all School Food Authorities operating federal school meal programs to have a written and clearly communicated policy to address unpaid meal charges by July 1, 2017.
Parents/guardians who cannot afford to pay for the cost of their children’s meals may fill out an application for free or reduced priced meals in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition program regulations.
Insufficient Student Accounts
- Parents will be notified by a sealed note (at the end of the school week) for each student if they are delinquent in their payments.
- Parents will be notified when their balance reaches $-12.75 or five days past from payment owed. Parents are expected to pay in full or contact the school to set up a payment plan. If after the second attempt payment is not made, parents will be required to apply to the National School Lunch Program for Free and Reduced lunch.
- If a student account reaches $-20.00 with no payment arrangements in place, the student will be served an alternate lunch of a Peanut Butter Sandwich, Fruit, and Milk for $1.50, charged to the student account.
- In accordance with USDA regulations, students receiving free meal benefits cannot be denied a meal for any reason, including failure to maintain funds in their lunch account. Also, paid and reduced eligible students must also be provided a meal if they have the cash to pay for a current day’s meal, even if their lunch account includes a delinquent amount.