Meal Charge Policy

  • PURPOSE: To establish consistent meal charging and collection procedures districtwide.

    THE GOALS OF THIS POLICY ARE:

    • To maintain a positive experience for students during meal service.

    • To treat all students with dignity and respect.Meal Charge Policy

    • To establish practices which are age-appropriate.

    • To minimize meal charges and encourage parents to pre-pay for all meals.

    • To promote parents' responsibility for meal payments and self-responsibility of the student.

    Payment in advance for meals enables the District to achieve these goals.

    PRE-PAYMENT SYSTEM

    Each actively enrolled child or adult staff has a food service account in Mosaic, our point of sale system. Parents/guardians and adult staff are encouraged to deposit money into their child's account or his or her account before meals are served. Payments can be made daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. In addition to using cash and checks, parents and adult staff can also pay online with their credit/debit cards at mvschoolbucks.com. Parents and adult staff can open an account by entering their District ID number, and birthdate. It is the parent and adult staff's responsibility to make sure that money is in the account.

    CHARGING OF MEALS

    Charging of meals is not encouraged. The Califomia Department of Education (CDE) acknowledges that on occasion, students or adult staff may forget or lose meal money. When the child or adult staff reaches the $15.00 charge limit, the food service account will not be charged further and the student will be given a meal.  Students will not be refused meals.   A friendly, verbal reminder will be given to the student or adult staff to bring money. If the student's account continues to be delinquent, the Director of Food Service will call the parent/guardian and communicate with the school office.

    EVALUATE INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES

    When a student repeatedly comes to school without a meal from home or money to participate in the school meal program, school administrators should consider if circumstances in the home warrant contacting social workers or Child Protective Services.  Frequent requests may indicate the family's need for free or reduced-price meals. If for any reason, parents decline to complete an eligibility application and the principal is aware that the student is eligible for free or reduced-price meals, the principal may complete an application on behalf of the student. Written justification must be made on the application as to the reason the student should be receiving free or reduced-price meals. (7 CFR 245.6 (d))

    REPAYMENT FOR CHARGES AND BAD DEBT

    Federal guidelines prohibit the food service department from writing off bad debts as a result of charged meals. Every effort will be made to collect for unpaid charges. Unpaid meal charges will result in the following:

    • A friendly verbal reminder to student
    • A weekly report sent to the principal
    • A bi-weekly charge letter reminder sent home with student or mailed to parent or guardian.
    • In case of significant delinquent payments, a phone call and/or email will be sent to the parent/guardian from the food service department and the school office personnel.

    PROGRAM LIMITATIONS

    Paid students with negative account balances can purchase regular breakfast/lunch meals, and A la carte (extra) items up to $15.00. Monies received from students or adult staff with negative account balances must first be the exact amount of money for the items to be purchased or used to satisfy the negative balance. No change will be given back to students or adult staff with negative account balances and any extra monies will be deposited into the student's account.

    Free and reduced students will not be able to negatively charge on their food service accounts. They can purchase a la carte items with their food service account money or cash or check at the point of sale.

    All meals eaten before a Free and Reduced-Price application is processed and approved are the responsibility of the parent/guardian and must be paid for as required by law.

    At the end of the school year, the amount of uncollected meal charges will roll over into the next school year. Uncollected meal charges should be handled the same as other school debt in accordance with administrative procedures.

    NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agrieulture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, olTices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form. (AD-3027) found online at:

    https://www.ascr.usda.gov/filing-discrimination-complaint-usda-customer and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

    (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

    (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

    "This institution is an equal opportunity provider."