Charging Meals in School

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Purpose Goals:  To establish consistent meal charging and collection procedures district wide.

The goals of the procedures are:


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

  • To treat all students with respect and dignity.

  • To establish practices that 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.


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


Emergency Meal Service

The Olympia School District acknowledges that on occasion, students may forget or lose meal money. In such cases, the child’s statement of need shall be accepted and food will be made available upon a site administrative decision.  Annually, the principal, or designee, in cooperation with the Child Nutrition Supervisor, shall review procedures to provide meals to students without lunch money.


Evaluate Individual Circumstances

When a student repeatedly comes to school without a meal from home or money to participate in the school meal program, administrators should consider if circumstances in the home warrant contacting social workers or Child Protection Services.  Frequent requests may indicate the family’s need for free or reduced-priced 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-priced 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-priced meals.  (CFR 245.6 (d))


Pre-paid Meal System

The school meal accounting system is a pre-paid system.  Parents or guardians must deposit money into their child’s account before meals are served.  Payments can be made daily, weekly, monthly or annually. In addition to using cash and checks, parents can also pay online with their credit/debit cards.  It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure money is in the account or a home-prepared meal is sent to school with their child. Payments can be made at this location:  Skyward Family Access Login


Repayment for Meal Charges and Bad Checks

Every effort will be made to collect for unpaid meals.  Unpaid meal charges will result in the following:


  • A verbal reminder to the student.

  • Automated telephone call to the home and an email will be sent to the parent.

  • A statement reminder will be sent home if the parent does not have an email address.

  • A weekly report sent to the principal for negative balances $30.00 and over.

  • In case of significant delinquent payments, a letter or personal phone call will be sent from the Child Nutrition Department.


Program Limitations:

Students with negative account balances can only purchase regular breakfast and lunch meals.  A la carte (extra) items cannot be charged.  Monies received from students with negative account balances must first be used to satisfy the negative balance. No change will be given back to students with a negative account balance and any extra monies will be deposited the student’s account.