SCHOOL MEAL CHARGES: NEGATIVE BALANCE PROCEDURES FOR THE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
In order to provide students and parents in the Smithfield School Department with the best possible service, clarity, and accountability surrounding the school lunch program, the following procedures regarding student lunch account balances will be implemented effective August 28, 2012:
- The Smithfield School Lunch Program encourages parents to pre-pay meals for their children, thereby eliminating situations that could develop during lunchtime over negative balances. Pre-payments for lunch and breakfast can now be made through the www.MySchoolBucks.com website. Cash and check payments (payable to Smithfield School Lunch Program) will continue to be accepted at each school; however, payments made through MySchoolBucks.com or by check are preferred.
- Students wanting a lunch and not having money to purchase a lunch will be allowed to charge a lunch, with repayment expected within two (2) school days.
- Once a student has charged a total of $10 with no repayment, that student will receive a lunch consisting of a Sunnybutter & jelly sandwich OR a cheese sandwich, fruit or vegetable, and milk in place of a hot lunch. Sunnybutter is a sunflower seed butter that is processed at a nut-free facility. This meal maintains the USDA standards surrounding reimbursable meals and will be charged at full price to the student’s account; students should not go through the interior lunch line but should proceed directly to the cashier if they are not eligible to charge any more lunches.
- Students may charge their accounts only for a reimbursable meal or milk – students will not be permitted to charge a la carte items.
- A bi-weekly list of negative account balances of more than $10 will be forwarded to each principal by the Smithfield School Lunch Program. The Food Service Office will send letters bi-weekly to parents of elementary school students whose balances exceed $10.00. Once the balance notification has been sent out, parents will have ten (10) days to pay or make arrangements to pay outstanding student balances. Student accounts with balances higher than negative twenty dollars (-$20) for which payment arrangements have not been made are subject to closure by the Smithfield School Department. Both principals and parents will be notified of any account closures.
- Parents are strongly encouraged to submit free/reduced hot lunch application forms yearly as well as when their household information or income changes. Applications can be submitted at any time and are available during registration or through the Smithfield School Lunch Program and individual schools, as well as on the district’s website: www.smithfield-ps.org. Free/reduced applications will also become a part of all paperwork provided to families of students transferring into the Smithfield School Department. While the Smithfield School Lunch Program strongly encourages families to apply for free/reduced meal benefits, the final application responsibility lies with the parents.
- In extreme hardship situations, the building administrator may authorize a one-time exception to the charge policy by providing the student with a signed authorization form to be presented to the cashier at lunch.
- Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their students’ breakfast/lunch account activity through the MySchoolBucks.com online system. This system can be used to confirm payments have been received, make payments, and monitor account activity. MySchoolBucks.com also has the ability to automatically send out balance alerts to parents as their students draw down from their accounts. To register, parents go directly to www.MySchoolBucks.com or follow the link through the Smithfield School Department website www.smithfield-ps.org.
- The Smithfield School Lunch Program is committed to providing meals to students who choose to participate in the program. However, there is a responsibility on the part of the students and parents to satisfy all financial obligations to the lunch program in a timely manner.
ADOPTED: August 20, 2012
REVISED: October 3, 2016, August 7, 2017