Meal Charge Policy
When a student meal charge creates a negative balance, prompt repayment is expected. To bring the meal account up to date, families can make deposits online, send cash or check to school with the student’s full name on the memo line (checks made payable to Utica Community Schools). By establishing an account through the food service link on the district website, families/parents can monitor balances and receive low balance email alerts on their students’ account. Students who pay for meals may only charge (have a negative account balance) up to five (5) meals (breakfast and/or lunch). If a student has a zero or negative account balance, they will not be allowed to make any a la carte or beverage purchases. After the fifth charge occurrence, students will not be able to make purchases of any kind in the cafeteria using their meal accounts. Instead, students will be offered a regular meal (alternate meal).
Alternate meals are provided at no charge and include all the components federally required to qualify for a reimbursable meal. Alternate meals will continue to be offered while the negative balance is being resolved.
For elementary school households, auto-messages from the school regarding negative/low balances are initiated weekly each Thursday (by email if provided or letter sent home).
When an account balance is low or negative, cashiers will share that information with the student in a respectful, age-appropriate manner.