Meal Charge Policy

To ensure students receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day the District shall maintain a meal charge program that minimizes identification of children with insufficient funds to pay for school meals and maintain the financial integrity of the district food service fund account. Further, the District shall abide by program regulation 7 CFR 245.5 by providing parents and guardians of all children who attend the school in the District information regarding the availability of reimbursable school meals and must be provided, in writing, information about applying for free or reduced price meals. The District will promote activities to involve students and parents or guardians in the school meal programs and inform families about the availability of all District meal programs. The District shall include students, families, and the school community in establishing and developing a communication plan for the District's meal charge policy that complements the public announcement of meal eligibility requirements in 7 CFR 245.5 and is consistent with the involvement required in 7 CFR 210.12.

The District provides the following regarding meal charges:

A. For all types of reimbursable meals, students in grades up to and including eighth (8th) grade are allowed to charge up to three (3) meals.

B. A student in grades up to and including eighth (8th) grade who has reached the limit of three (3) charged meals will be provided an alternative meal.

C. Students in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) may not charge meals.

D. No lunch charges will be allowed under any circumstances during the last ten (10) days of the school year.

At least one (1) advance written warning communication shall be given to the student and parent/guardian prior to providing additional meals beyond the conditions established by the District. The written communication shall explain the procedure should the student not have sufficient funds to pay for a meal. The District shall make a reasonable effort to collect unpaid meal charges classified as delinquent debt. The District shall ensure that efforts to collect delinquent debt do not have a negative impact on the student involved. Such efforts shall focus primarily on the parents or guardians responsible for providing for the student's funds for meals.

When the District determines that collection efforts for delinquent debt are useless or too costly, the debt must be reclassified as "bad debt" as defined in 2 CFR 200. 426. Bad debt must be written off as operating loss. However, "bad debt" must be restored using nonfederal funds. Delinquent meal charges that are converted to "bad debt" must be recorded and maintained in accordance with record retention requirements in 7 CFR 210.9(b)(17) and 7 CFR 210.15(b).