Meal Charge Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent meal account procedures throughout the district and to find a balance between the solvency of the food service program and the nutritional needs of students.


  • To ensure that all students have a healthy meal and that no child goes hungry.
  • To treat all students with dignity and confidentiality.
  • To support positive, clear, and consistent communication among food service staff, administrators, students, and parent(s)/guardians(s).
  • To encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to assume the responsibility of meal payments and to promote self-responsibility of the student
  • To establish fair and consistent practices regarding cafeteria charges and the collection of charges.


  1. Students may pay for meals or food items each day with cash.
  2. Students may use the point-of-sale food system to purchase meals or food items.
  3. In the event that a student does not have cash or sufficient funds in his/her account, students will be permitted to charge lunches according to the following guidelines.
  4. Students will not be permitted to charge or buy A La Carte items with a negative account balance.
  5. Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be sent a letter by the food service provider when negative balances reach $10.00.
  6. The school district will contact parent(s)/guardians by phone when negative balances reach $15.00
  7. As part of the collection process, a NSLP free/reduced meal application may be sent home.
  8. If the parent/guardian application for NSLP free meal status is approved, then the balance owed for unpaid meals will be forgiven.  If the application for NSLP reduced meals status is approved, then the balance will be recalculated with the reduced meal rate.
  9. Negative account balances at the end of the school year will be transferred over to the following school year.
  10. Any student requiring a lunch due to medical reasons will not be denied access to a reimbursable lunch.  The determination must be made and documented by a licensed physician or the district nurse.
  11. A $35.00 processing fee shall be charged against a student account in the event a check is returned for non-sufficient funds.  If a family issues more than one (1) check per year that is returned for insufficient funds, the district will only accept payments in cash.
  12. Families suffering financial hardships and struggling to satisfy cafeteria balances are strongly encouraged to contact the school principal to establish a payment plan.
  13. Nothing is this policy shall require the school district to replace stolen or lost student cash for meal purchases for reduced or full price meals.
  14. The Superintendent or designee, in cooperation with the Food Service Director, is authorized to create regulations for implementation of this policy.

 Please call the Union Area Business Office with any questions regarding this policy or cafeteria balances: 724-658-4775.