Meal Charge Policy

  • Effective Date: 7/1/2017

    As provided in SP 46-2016, all school food authorities (SFAs) operating the federal school meal programs (National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program) must have a written and clearly communicated meal charge administrative procedure in place no later than July 1, 2017. All SFAs must have an administrative procedure in place for children participating at the reduced price or paid meal rate that either do not have money in their account or in hand to cover the cost of the meal at the time of service. SFAs are required to communicate that administrative procedure to families and school and/or district-level staff members as appropriate. SFAs should ensure the administrative procedure is communicated on an annual basis.

    Families will have access to the meal charge administrative procedure via a written copy of the district-wide charge administrative procedure that is included in student handbooks or packets that are given to each student at the start of each school year. Families of transfer students (during the year) will receive a written copy of the district-wide charge administrative procedure in their student handbook as well.

    Household Notification

    Low balance notification: Automated robo calls will be made every Friday for anyone whose account balance is between $.01 to $5.00. Zero balance accounts will not receive a call. This is a courtesy reminder call only.

    Negative balance notification: Automated robo calls will be made daily for anyone whose account is in the negative. Anyone getting close to the charge limit will receive an email notification if an email address is provided in Skyward.

    Delinquent Debt

    Delinquent debt is defined as overdue unpaid meal charges that are considered collectible, with efforts being made to collect them. The debt may remain on the accounting documents until it is either collected or determined to be uncollectible.

    The household’s debt will be delinquent for 14 days before the SFA requests payment. Families that fail to repay the debt will be unable to participate in the breakfast and lunch program. In addition, report cards will be held until the debt has been fully paid. Attempts will be made by the School Nutrition department to collect all debts owed. To pay a debt or for further information, contact Velva Gray at 615-444-3282, ext. 7308.

    Repayment plans

    Each household may request a repayment plan that will include payment levels and due dates appropriate to a household’s particular circumstances. Please contact Velva Gray at 615-444-3282, ext. 7308 for establishing a repayment plan.

    Bad Debt

    Bad debt is determined to be uncollectible, with further collection efforts for delinquent debt deemed useless or too costly. Delinquent debt will be considered as bad debt after June 30th of the current school year.

    • Bad debts (debts which have been determined to be uncollectible), including losses (whether actual or estimated) arising from uncollectible accounts and other claims, are unallowable. Related collection costs, and related legal costs, arising from such debts after they have been determined to be uncollectible are also unallowable (section 200.426 of subpart E).
    • Bad debt must be written off as an operating loss after June 30th; the nonprofit school food service account (NSFSA) resources may not be used to cover the costs related to the bad debt. Wilson County Schools General Purpose Fund will pay for any bad debt owed after June 30th.
    • Once delinquent meal charges are converted to bad debt, records relating to those charges must be maintained in accordance with record retention requirements in 7 CFR 210.9(b)(17) and 7 CFR 210.15(b).

    Additional Resources

    Families may find assistance with applying for free or reduced price schools meals by contacting Velva Gray, Wilson County School Nutrition office, at 615-444-3282, ext. 7308.

    In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

    Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form Instructions, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

    1. mail:
      S. Department of Agriculture
      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
      1400 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
    2. fax:
      (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
    3. email:

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Charge Policy FAQ

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

    Students on the Free/Reduced lunch program will be able to eat for 30 calendar days on their eligibility from the prior year in order to have time to reapply for benefits.

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

    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.

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

    There are numerous ways to put money on an account.  Go to School Café 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 free iOs and Android mobile app for School Café.  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 Nutrition office for credit/debit card processing.

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

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