Beginning May 17, students won’t be allowed to incur more debt or go into a negative balance on their lunch accounts. Students who can’t pay will receive a sack lunch, which the district calls a “Safety Net” meal.
Food service managers say they continually contact families with a negative meal balance, but as they head toward the end of the school year they need to take further steps to receive payment for outstanding balances. The meal program operates independently of the General Fund.
“We are very sensitive to keeping this change from impacting students and the ability for them to receive a meal,” said Barbara Lloyd, Food Service Director. “It is a delicate balance, yet not something we can ignore. Our bottom line needs to balance as well.”
The district made headlines in 2008 when it revised its meal policy because it was losing so much money.