Negative Meal Account

Student Negative Meal Account Policy

We understand that there are times when a student will not have money to pay for their meal.  We also understand that a hungry student is less likely to perform well in the classroom.  Therefore, parents will be permitted to charge student meals.  Students at all grade levels are eligible for meal charges.  Charging is permitted for a complete meal only; as a result, snacks and beverages are prohibited.

  • All students will be allowed to charge a complete meal regardless of the amount of their negative account balance.
  • Students who qualify for free meals will not be denied a complete meal even if they have accrued a negative balance on their account.
  • Students will not be made to work for their meals or to work to settle any unpaid meal charges.In addition, students will not be labeled or identified in any other way if they cannot pay for a meal or have an unpaid meal charge.
  • Students who charge will receive a complete meal.

Parents and guardians are required to promptly repay all outstanding student meal charges.  They will be notified of negative account balances through means such as:

  • Automated negative account balance phone calls.(Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s school office to make certain that phone numbers are current).
  • email notification.(Parents will need to visit the website to setup an account.This notification service is free of charge to parents.Parents may also download the app on their Smartphone).
  • Negative account letters will be sent home.

When a negative account balance exceeds $15.00, the following measures will be taken: 

  • Food & Nutrition Services will attempt to contact the parent or guardian by phone.
  • A collection letter will be mailed to the parent or guardian requesting payment within ten business days in order to avoid turning the unpaid debt over to the City for collection of the amount and any applicable fees.
  • If the requested debt payment is not satisfied by the due date, the entire outstanding balance and any current meal charges will be turned over to the City for collection.In addition, the City may charge a collection fee.

Households with questions or needing assistance may contact the Food & Nutrition Services at 757-925-5789 or by email to