BCBE Child Nutrition Program Charged Meal Policy

  • Revised 8/16/2022 

    Policy #967: 

    The goal of Baldwin County Public Schools’ Child Nutrition Program (CNP) is to provide students with nutritious meals each school day. CNP also must comply with all federal and state program regulations, including bad debt. Unpaid meal charges are considered delinquent debt and the Child Nutrition Program may not legally absorb unpaid, charged meals. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing funds for student meals. All students, Pre-K through 12, will not be denied one reimbursable breakfast and/or one reimbursable lunch each day. For grades 4-12, a reimbursable meal may include an alternative meal at the principal’s discretion. Second-student meals, adult meals, a la carte, and extra items are prohibited from being charged. Before the end of each school year, all charges must be paid either by the parent/guardian, student, or locally acquired non-public funds made available from the school office. 

    Parents/guardians will be notified daily by an automated system via text/email/phone when the child charges one meal ($2.00 for breakfast and or $3.00 for lunch). A designated CNP or school employee will begin the formal process of contacting parents/guardians to obtain funds for meals or request that the parent/guardian complete a meal benefit application once the negative balance exceeds ten dollars. During the month of May, parents may be contacted daily for any amount owed in order to collect funds before school ends. 

    If parents/guardians need financial assistance paying for school meals, they are encouraged to apply for free and reduced-price meals. Meal benefit applications are available online at http://www.myschoolapps.com and paper applications are available at the school office or CNP Central Office. Completing this application for free and reduced-price meals only takes a few minutes to and can be done at any time throughout the school year. 

    Parents/guardians are encouraged to take advantage of the www.myschoolbucks.com online pre-payment system thus eliminating situations that could develop during meal time because of failure to bring money to school. Through this secure website/mobile app, parents/guardians can view meal account balances, and cafeteria purchases, make payments, and receive low balance notifications. Please be sure to add money to the student’s meal account and not the school store/invoice account. 

    The Child Nutrition Program central office and local school cafeterias will maintain records of bad debts and efforts/methods to collect them. These records will be maintained per USDA record retention requirements.