Charge Policy for 2017-18 FAQ’s

Q:            Why has the charge policy been changed?

A:             Effective 7/1/17, USDA requires all School Food Authorities operating the NSLP (National School Lunch Program) and/or School Breakfast Program, to have a written and clearly communicated meal charge procedure in place.  After revisiting our previous charge policy, changes were made to ensure all parents concerns were answered.


Q:            What is the main change in the charge policy?

A:             The main change is that parents have to “Opt In” in order for their child/children to be able to charge.  Many parents have expressed the concern that their child was allowed to charge a meal when they either sent a lunch from home or sent money for lunch that was used for unapproved purchases.  Parents are responsible for their charges and felt they were double spending.


Q:            What grades are allowed to charge after “Opting In”?

A:             Pre K through grade 8 will be allowed to charge meals after the “Opt In” letter is received.


Q:            Can grades 9 – 12 “Opt In” to charge?

A:             Grades 9 – 12 cannot “Opt In” to charge.  It is felt that this age student is able to manage their budgets and balances.  In addition, there will be no alternate meal provided for those who don’t have available funds.  Adult meals and ala carte items cannot be charged.


Q:            How do I “Opt In” for charges in Pre K – 8 grade?

A:             The “Opt In” form will be in the student handbook, as well as online on the Wilson County web site.  All students will be set to “No Charges” and will not be able to charge until the “Opt In” letter is received by the cafeteria manager or School Nutrition office.


Q:            Do I send a form in for each child?

A:             No, you can send one form in and list all students in your household on it.


Q:            What do I need to do if my children are on the Free or Reduced lunch program?

A:             Students on the Free/Reduced lunch program will be able to eat for 30 calendar days on their eligibility from 2016-17 in order to have time to reapply for benefits. If your child/children qualify for the program, it is not necessary to send in the “Opt In” form.


Q:            When is the earliest I can send in the “Opt In” letter?

A:             Parents can send the “Opt In” letter any time after July 1st of each school year.  It can be emailed to, faxed to 615-443-5099 or returned to the Cafeteria manager when school is in session.


Q:            For grades Pre K – 8, what is the charge limit?

A:             Grades Pre K – 8 can charge up to $10.00 for full price students and $2.00 for Reduced price students.  If the meal they need to purchase would put the student over the limit, they will not be able to charge.  Students who reach the $10.00/$2.00 (reduced) limit will be able to receive one (1) alternate meal at no charge per nine weeks.  After the one alternate meal, the child will need to bring their lunch from home until the charges are paid in full.


Q:            How will I know when my child’s account is in the negative?

A:             Parents will receive an automated call each day that their child’s account is in the negative.  In addition, any account between $.01 and $5.00 will receive a “low balance” courtesy call each Friday.  The cafeteria manager will monitor accounts daily and let the teacher know if a student is over the charge limit.


Q:            What does an alternate meal consist of?

A:             Breakfast will include toast and white milk.  Lunch will include a sunbutter sandwich and white milk.


Q:            How can I put money on my child’s account?

A:             There are numerous ways to put money on an account.  Go to and set up an account for your child.  You can set a minimum amount so that when it’s reached, you will be notified by email.  Check or cash can be sent to school with your child as well.  We now have a mobile app for School Café for I Phones and androids.  It is free through the App store.  Payments can be made through the app.  In an emergency, debit/credit card payments may be processed by calling the School Nutrition office at 615-453-7308.  A 5% processing fee will be added on both School Café and the School Nutriton office for credit/debit card processing.


Q:            Who do I call if I have questions on School Café?

A:             You can call Dana Worley at 615-453-7294 or Cybersoft at 866-442-6030.