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Child Nutrition Department Shares Students Meals Update

Posted July 2

Download Full Parent Letter in English or Español

Depositing Funds on Student Meal Accounts:

The cafeteria serving lines are automated and all student information is in the computer.   This makes it easy for parents to deposit money in their child’s BANK-A-MEAL account for meals and a la carte foods.  As students “purchase” meals that amount is debited from that account.  We also offer pre-payment from debit and credit cards using the My School Bucks website.

How Bank-A-Meal works:

Put a check or cash in the BANK-A-MEAL envelope.  Fill in the requested information. If two or more of your children are at the same school and you want to divide the money between those children be sure to list the names of all your children at that school.  Be sure to use a separate envelope for students at different schools.

The envelope should be brought back to school and given to the cashier for deposit into the account. The best time to do this is at breakfast time so that it would be in the account by lunch.  The cashier will use the information on the envelope to deposit the money into the account.

The money in the account can only be spent in the cafeteria. Only when a purchase is made will money be deducted from the account. This is a personal account and no one else should be given permission to use it.

When an account gets low, a new BANK-A-MEAL envelope will be sent home for a deposit to be sent.  If the account is out of money in an elementary school, your child will be allowed to charge 5 meals, after that they will receive an alternate meal for 3 days only, so that no student will go hungry. Secondary students will be allowed to charge 3 meals, after that they will receive an alternate meal for 3 days only, again so not student will go hungry. Students at either level will not be allowed to charge any a la carte items.

Elementary schools do sell a la carte items (water, ice cream, etc) that the students are able to purchase.  If you do not want your child to purchase a la carte items, you can ask the cafeteria manger to block these sales on your child’s account. 

Money remaining in any account at the end of the school year can remain in the account for the next school year, or parents may write a note requesting that the money be refunded.  Money will be transferred from school to school within the school district.

The students on the free & reduced lunch program may deposit money into their account for a la carte, snack or extra foods.  

The BANK-A-MEAL programs at the secondary schools work the same with the exception that personal ID numbers are used to access their accounts. Students should memorize their number and not allow anyone else to use their number.  

There are three charges allowed in the secondary schools for a plate meal.

If you need information concerning your child’s account, please contact the Child Nutrition Manager at the school.  A report can be printed upon request for any account after serving time each day.              

How myschoolbucks.com works:

You may add payments directly to your children’s lunch account using your Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card.  You can access this web site from work or home when you cannot go to the school to deposit money into your child’s account.   You will need your student’s school ID number and exact spelling of your student’s name as it appears on the district enrollment. You may also track your children’s account balance using this secure web site.  Visit the My School Bucks website for more information.

Unpaid Meal Policy

CHARGING POLICY

Elementary:

  • 1st Occurrence: Students may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 2nd Occurrence: Students may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 3rd Occurrence: Students may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 4th Occurrence: Student may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 5th Occurrence: Student may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 6th Occurrence: Student will be given an alternate meal tray, consisting of a Sun Butter & Jelly sandwich, with all of fruits & vegetable sides and milk.

For example, if a student charges breakfast and lunch one day, breakfast then lunch the next day, then breakfast again the next day, that would make the five occurrences. For lunch on the third day, the student would receive an alternate meal tray.

The total dollar amount the student can charge will be determined by multiplying the cost of an elementary lunch times five. Parents are still responsible for any charges and the charges will follow the student if they are in our district.

Secondary:

  • 1st Occurrence: Students may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 2nd Occurrence: Students may charge a full regular menu meal.
  • 3rd Occurrence: Students may charge a full regular menu meal
  • 4th Occurrence: Students will receive an alternate meal tray consisting of a Sun Butter & Jelly sandwich, with all the fruit & vegetable sides, with milk.

The total dollar amount the student can charge will be equal to the cost of two secondary lunches.

PARENT OUTREACH

Calls or texts to parents go out twice a week by our automated call system. The calls are on Wednesday and Sunday, weekly for low (.01-4.99) and negative balances. The calls go out around 5 p.m.  

Parents can also sign up for low balance emails on the My School Bucks website.  

Managers will go above and beyond in trying to help students avoid an alternate meal.

  • Elementary - Each morning when the manager arrives at work, he/she will print out a negative balance report, track who pays in the morning, and work with the teachers to reach out to parents before lunch.
  • Secondary - Students are notified at the register if they are low or are going into the negative so they can remind their parents to add money.

If a student receives excessive alternate meals and the parent is unresponsive, the Child Nutrition Manager will reach out to the counselor at the school for assistance. 

Parents will be notified about the charging policy each year through three different channels, the Bank-a-Meal letter, when the notification about free/reduced-price meals are sent home, and on the EMS ISD website. 

Please contact the Child Nutrition Office at (817) 232-0880 if you have any questions or concerns.