“Do They Really Dump the Tray of Food in the Trash?”

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“Do They Really Dump the Tray of Food in the Trash?”

We have had several inquires about the school lunch policy concerning what happens if a child has an outstanding balance and they can’t pay for the lunch. Someone asked us, “Do they really dump the tray of food in the trash?”

Read the story and watch the video and you will find out the answer.
Chairperson Kathy Jones responded to the debt by saying,

“I don’t feel a lot of it is that they (students who owe meal money) can’t afford it; they’re just getting away with it (not paying for meals).”

During last week’s Board of Education Workshop, Mrs. Linda Waters delivered the financial report for April 2011.

“Little by little,” she said, “we’re climbing out of the hole.”

Waters said that

“Our net worth increased significantly,”

with expenditures $34,000 under revenues in April. Regarding outstanding debt, though, the issue of unpaid meals became the focus of discussion. According to the report, $5000 to $6000 is still owed for meals, the bulk of which is tied to the high school. In her report, Mrs. Waters noted that the debt rolls over each year. Chairperson Kathy Jones responded to the debt by saying,

“I don’t feel a lot of it is that they (students who owe meal money) can’t afford it; they’re just getting away with it (not paying for meals).”

Waters agreed:

“There’s means if you need to have a free meal or reduced cards meal; we have that; we offer that help and assistance.”

Waters commented that sending students to school with cash to pay their outstanding debt is not a good idea, implying the money rarely makes it to school to pay the debt. Here, Waters offered the solution: utilizing the e-funds hyperlink for school services located on the food and nutrition section of the Gilmer County School website (click here to pay school lunch balance).

“It’s so much easier,” she said, “to just go on the e-funds”

(click here to pay school lunch balance). By clicking on the e-funds hyperlink on the Gilmer County School website, parents can easily put money in their child’s account, Mrs. Waters explained. When asked if they received a lot of participation on the e-funds account, Mrs. Waters said,

“We do get quite a bit; I think this past month it was close to $10,000”

In her report, Mrs. Waters noted that the Federal Government is changing the requirements for free and reduced lunch eligibility next year. The new eligibility requirements automatically enroll all foster children and children who receive foods-stamps for free and reduced school lunches.
According to Mrs. Waters and the Board, outstanding balances from this year will roll over to next year. This means that, starting at the beginning of next school year, students with outstanding meal-plan balances will not be served. Parents: be sure to check free and reduced-lunch eligibility for next year.
Is not paying your child’s outstanding meal balance child neglect?
Watch, as Mrs. Waters Presents Food Services Report.

Mrs. Waters Presents BOE with End of April Financial Report: Is Not Paying Your Child’s Meal Account Child Neglect? from Fetch on Vimeo.

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