South Whittier School District
Meal Charging Policy
The South Whittier School District recognizes the important link between proper nutrition and academic success. The purpose of this policy is to establish a consistent district procedure for charging meals when students do not have money to pay, preventing meal charges, and ensuring eligible children are certified for free and reduced-price school meals.
Because hunger is an impediment to learning, no child shall be denied a school meal because of an inability to pay. Children will be served a meal that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition standards for school meals.
Since school districts rely on funding in order to meet the needs of all students, collecting unpaid meal debt is important to the financial health of the South Whittier School District and its programs. All communication regarding unpaid meal debt will be directed to parents or guardians. Notifications will be sent to households by US Postal mail every 10 days reminding parents/guardians that their support is needed to remove their student’s meal debt.
In order to assist families in preventing meal debt charges, South Whittier School District will do its best to insure that all eligible families are certified for free or reduced-price school meals, the Food Services Department will:
- Provide all households with school meal applications prior to the start of the school year
and/or include instructions for completing online school meal applications;
- Provide school meal applications in the primary language of the parent or guardian and
- Provide assistance with completing an application for any household requesting assistance;
- Utilize data provided by the state or school district officials to certify eligible children without an application; and
- Assure that any child for which the District is not able to obtain a completed meal application, but becomes aware of their eligibility for free or reduced price meals shall be certified based on an application submitted by the appropriate school official, as permitted by USDA
For households that cannot afford to pay their school meal debt charges, the school district will work with families to establish a payment plan.