Meal Account Procedure for Unpaid Balances

Verona Area School District Unpaid Meal Charges Procedure

Purpose: To establish guidelines for handling unpaid meal charges for students and staff food service accounts.

Regulation: Unpaid meal charge procedures will be defined to provide consistent and acceptable procedures for parents, staff, and students.

Procedures for Student Accounts:

1. Parents will be notified weekly via email if they are below $10.00 in their food service account. Parents may set a higher threshold for notification if they desire, but may not lower the threshold. Parents may opt to contact our office to receive low balance notifications by postal mail and/or text message vs. email.
2. When an account reaches negative $12 or more, parents are notified by mail (1st notice) asking them to make a payment within 7 calendar days. If no payment is received, an application for Free and Reduced School Meals will be mailed out along with a 2nd notice indicating payment is needed within 7 calendar days or the student’s meal account may be frozen. Child Nutrition Services will work with the family toward a payment solution.
3. If no payment is received within 7 calendar days the parent is notified by a phone call and given another 3-day grace period to make a payment. If the parent indicates they are unable to make a payment we will suggest sending a cold lunch with their student. The account information is then passed on to the social workers prior to the account being frozen.
4. If no payment is received after the 3-day period, and the social worker has not notified us of a hardship, the meal account is then frozen
5. Reduced meal accounts will only be frozen at the discretion of the Child Nutrition Services Director

Payment Solutions:
Child Nutrition Services will work with families to pay their unpaid meal charges. We will set up individualized payment plans and use other techniques to keep student accounts open. Techniques include, but are not limited to, donation, matching funds, meal assistance applications, and weekly payment plans.
Debit/Credit payments may be made online through E-Funds for Schools. Cash and checks are accepted at each school or at the Child Nutrition Service Office.

Frozen Lunch Accounts:
If the payment plan is not successful, social workers, head cooks, parents and students will be notified when the school lunch account has been frozen before the student enters the lunch line.

If the student does not bring a cold lunch from home and the account is frozen, food service will provide the student a bagged lunch consisting of a turkey and cheese sandwich, fruit, and milk. This is offered to all students as an alternate meal. Elementary level student meal accounts are never frozen due to a negative meal account balance. Elementary students may continue to receive breakfast and lunch regardless of the status of their meal account. At the high school and middle school level, the student may receive the alternate meal in the school office, or the kitchen at their school, whichever they prefer. The alternate lunch will not be charged to the parent or claimed for reimbursement but paid for by non-federal sources.

Middle and High school students must have a positive balance to purchase a la carte items.

Unpaid Meal Charges:
Unpaid meal charges will remain in the student’s account from year to year until they graduate from the District.
Students are required to pay off unpaid meal charges before participation in the graduation ceremony.

Procedures for Staff:

Staff will be made aware of overdue accounts by automated email weekly.
Staff can check their balances in the meal line, through Wordware, or by calling the Child Nutrition Services office.

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