Montezuma-Cortez Schools: Meal Charge Policy

I.                PURPOSE/POLICY:

The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent meal account procedures throughout the district. Unpaid charges place a financial strain on the food service department.  The goals of this policy are:

·         To treat all students with dignity in the serving line regarding meal accounts


·         To support positive situations with district staff, district business policies, students and parent/guardian to the maximum extent possible


·           To establish policies that are age appropriate


·         To encourage parent/guardian to assume the responsibility of meal payments and to promote self-responsibility of the student


·           To establish a consistent district policy regarding charges and collection of charges.



The Nutrition Service Department: Responsible for maintaining charge records and notifying the school district of outstanding balances.


The School District: Responsible for notifying the student’s parent/guardian with written documentation.


The Parent/Guardian:  Immediate payment.


1.      Student groups:

a)      Elementary students: will be allowed to charge a maximum of 3 meals (for the reimbursable meal only).

(1)   These meals will include only menu items part of the reimbursable meal.

(2)   After the balance exceeds the threshold, the student may be given a designated menu alternate1. Sample:

Cheese sandwich + veggie sticks + fruit + milk2

b)      Middle school students: will be allowed to charge a maximum of 3 meals. After this threshold is reached, no additional charges will be accepted.

c)      High school students:  will not be allowed to charge meals.

2.      No charges will be allowed for ala Carte foods and beverages.

3.      Students with negative balances will be contacted by the Nutrition Services Department. This will be done either as a written letter, electronic e-mail, or phone call to the household.


1 Designated Menu Alternate: Meets the nutritional qualifications of a reimbursable meal (2 oz meat/meat alternate, at least one serving bread/grains, ½ cup serving fruits/vegetable, and 8 oz 1% fluid milk.)

2 Nutritional value of this sample menu: 565 calories, 25 grams protein, 2.5 mg iron, 700 mg. calcium, 890 IU Vitamin A, 55 mg. Vitamin C.


4.      For departmental record-keeping, the district should be notified monthly of all negative balances.

5.      In the middle of May, all charging will be cut off:

a)      Parents/Guardians will be sent a written request for “Payment in Full”. (The deposit requests will be mailed home.)

b)      All charges not paid before the end of the school year will be carried forward into the next school year.

c)      Graduating seniors must pay all charges in full if for any reason they have a negative balance.

6.      If a financial hardship is suspected, families will be encouraged to apply for free/reduced meals anytime during the school year.

7.      As advised by the state agency, negative balances should not incur against the food service revolving account.