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Negative Balance Procedures For The School Lunch Program

Policy Title: Negative Balance Procedures Policy #: 3270
For The School Lunch Program

Policy Category: Student Page 1 of 2

Date Adopted: 8/20/12 Revisions:

In order to provide students and parents in the Smithfield School Department with the best possible
service, clarity, and accountability surrounding the school lunch program, the following procedures
regarding student lunch account balances will be implemented effective August 28,

1. The Smithfield School Department and ARAMARK Food Service encourage parents to pre-pay meals
for their children, thereby eliminating situations that could develop during lunchtime over
negative balances. Pre-payments for lunch and breakfast can now be made through the website. Cash and check payments will continue to be accepted at each
school; however, payments made through or by check are preferred.

2. Students wanting a lunch and not having money to purchase a lunch will be allowed to charge a
lunch, with repayment expected within two (2) school days.

3. A maximum of three (3) hot lunches will be allowed to be charged prior to
implementation of the Sunnybutter & Jelly sandwich OR cheese sandwich replacement policy.
(Sunnybutter is a sunflower seed butter that is processed at a nut-free facility.)

4. Once a student has charged a total of three (3) lunches with no repayment, that student will
receive a lunch consisting of a Sunnybutter & Jelly sandwich OR a cheese sandwich, fruit, and milk
in place of a hot lunch. This meal maintains the USDA standards surrounding reimbursable meals and
will be charged at full price to the student’s account; students should not go through the interior
lunch line but should proceed directly to the cashier if they are not eligible to charge any more

5. Students may charge their accounts only for a reimbursable meal or milk – students will not be
permitted to charge a la carte items.

6. A bi-weekly list of negative account balances of more than $10 will be forwarded to each
principal by ARAMARK. The Food Service Office will send letters bi-weekly to parents of elementary
school students whose balances exceed $10.00. Once balance notification has been sent out, parents
will have ten (10) days to pay or make arrangements to pay outstanding student balances. Student
accounts with balances higher than negative twenty dollars (-$20) for which payment arrangements
have not been made are subject to closure by the Smithfield School Department. Both principals and
parents will be notified of any
account closures.
Policy Title: Negative Balance Procedures Policy #: 3270
For The School Lunch Program

Policy Category: Student Page 2 of 2

Date Adopted: 8/20/12 Revisions:
7. Parents are strongly encouraged to submit free/reduced hot lunch application forms yearly as
well as when their household information or income changes. Applications can be submitted at any
time and are available during registration or through ARAMARK and individual schools as well as
on the district’s website: Free/reduced applications will also become a
part of all paperwork provided to families of students transferring into the Smithfield
School Department. While ARAMARK strongly encourages families to apply for free/reduced meal
benefits, the final application responsibility lies with the parents.

8. In extreme hardship situations the building administrator may authorize a one-time exception to
the charge policy by providing the student with a signed authorization form to be presented to the
cashier at lunch.

9. Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their students’ breakfast/lunch account
activity through the online system. This system can be used to confirm payments
have been received, make payments, and monitor account activity. also has the
ability to automatically send out balance alerts to parents as their students draw down from their
accounts. To register, parents go directly to or follow the link through the
Smithfield School Department website

10. Both the Smithfield School Department and ARAMARK are committed to providing meals to students
who choose to participate in the program. However, there is a responsibility on the part of the
students and parents to satisfy all financial obligations to
the lunch program in a timely manner.