Unpaid Meal Policy

Policy No. 5138

Unpaid Meal Policy 


Lunch Credit Limits


In order to provide students and parents in the Cranston School District with the best possible service and accountability surrounding school lunch, the following procedures regarding student lunch account balances will be implemented.


1.     Both the Cranston School District and the Food Service Vendor 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.

2.     The Cranston School District and the Food Service Vendor encourage parents to pre-pay meals for their children thereby eliminating situations that could develop during lunchtime over money owed. Pre-payments for lunch can be made via check or through the website. Cash payments will continue to be accepted at each school, however, payments made through or via check are preferred for better accountability.

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

4.     Once a student has charged five (5) meals (middle\high school $16.25 & elementary $12.50) and no payment has been received, that student will receive a lunch consisting of a sunny butter 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.

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 weekly list of negative account balance of more than ten dollars (-$10) will be forwarded to each principal by the Food Service Vendor. Payment reminders will be communicated directly to adults over the phone or through an email. Reminders can be sent home as long as it is to all families. Families will have ten (10) days upon receiving notification to pay or make arrangements to pay outstanding student balances.

7.     Only appropriate officials trained on the USDA’s confidentially requirements who have a need to access a child’s account balance or eligibility information will be permitted to request payment from families with unpaid meal charges.

8.     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 the individual schools as well on the district’s website: Free/reduced applications will also become a part of all paperwork provided to families of students transferring into

Cranston School District. While the Food Service Vendor strongly encourages families to apply for free/reduced meal benefits, the final application responsibility lies with the parents.

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

10.  Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their students’ 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 letters to parents as their students draw down from their accounts. To register, parents can go directly to the website.

11.  At the end of the school year, the uncollected meal charges must be paid to the Food Service fund from some other funding source. Funds will be designated during the budget processes for these anticipated costs.

12.  Parents are expected to pay the final bill at the end of the school year. No amounts will be carried over.


Adopted: 8/21/17 (Resolution No. 17-08-31)                            CRANSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

                                                                                          CRANSTON, RI

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