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Meal Charge Policy

It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to ensure their child has available funds in their
school meal account. Online payments are a safe and secure way to make payments for meal
accounts. Please ask your school office for account login information.

Students in middle and elementary school will receive a note to take home to their parents when
their account is low on funds. High school students will receive a verbal notification when their
account is low on funds.

When students do not have enough funds to pay for a school meal, students will be allowed to
charge meals to their account.

Communications regarding negative lunch accounts for students under the age of fifteen may
only be directed to the student’s parent or guardian. Parents will be called or emailed when
students have a zero or negative balance.

If a student has not paid for five or more previous meals, the school will determine if the student
is categorically eligible for free meals, make at least 2 attempts to contact the parent or guardian
to submit an application for free or reduced meals, or offer any other appropriate assistance.

Families will continue to be notified of an outstanding negative balance. The negative balance
will remain on a student’s account until paid. Negative balances not paid prior to the end of the
school year will be considered delinquent debt and will be turned over to the superintendent or
designee for collection. The District will make reasonable, discrete efforts to collect delinquent
(overdue) unpaid meal charges, which is an allowable use of National School Food Service
Account (NSFSA) funds, and will coordinate communications with families to resolve the
charges. Options may include collection agencies, small claims court or any other collection
method permitted by law and consistent with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

References:

SP 46-2016 USDA-Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies
6700 – Nutrition, Health and Physical Fitness
HB 2610 Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights
28A.235 RCW

 

La Center School District
Adopted: June 27, 2017; Revised July 24, 2018

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