The Forest City Community School District has begun to see a higher than normal debt in its school lunch program. At a recent school board meeting, the issue was brought before the board as to what needs to be done to collect from parents of students, the money that is owed for lunches served at school. Students will go through the line and use credits in order to pay for lunch later. Superintendent Darwin Lehmann stated that the board and the district are evaluating the situation.
The district has to take action to recoup credited lunch monies The district must comply with federal standards on nutritional levels in both the purchasing and preparation of the food. These and other costs are accounted for in the price of school lunch to students. Now some students are beginning to pile up their debt by not paying for their lunch.
Sometimes these notifications go unanswered by parents or guardians. As a result, the district has had to take additional steps.
All of these problems can be avoided if parents and guardians take initial steps through a highly confidential three-page application process that may pay all or part of the lunch each time the student goes through the lunch line.
Unlike the times when the parents were students and had to produce a colored punch card going through lunch lines, Forest City students merely enter in a code specific to them into a machine that determines the cost of the lunch. This keeps the situation completely confidential and eliminates embarrassment for the student.
The application process has been made simple and quick according to Lehmann.
Students who have a debt already incurred will still be responsible to pay it off. Lehmann stated that they are working with parents on easy payment plans while immediately getting students on the free or discounted lunch program.