Child Nutrition Policies

All meals are served with the intent to aid our students to be fit, healthy, and ready to learn. Our menus are developed and processed through a computerized nutrient analysis, to ensure federal, state and local rules are being followed. The Child Nutrition department shall serve only those foods which are components of the Federal USDA school meal patterns and such additional foods as necessary to meet the calorie requirements of the age group beings served. With the exception of milk products a student may purchase individual components of the meal, only if the full meal unit is being purchased. Students who bring a meal from home may purchase milk products only. Breakfast and lunch will be prepared and served to anyone in all schools. Free water is available in every cafeteria, but bottled water will be available for purchase.

“OFFER VS. SERVE”

“Offer vs. Serve” helps in reducing plate waste and food costs. “Offer vs. Serve” is practiced in all Prentiss County Schools to all students. Students are offered all food components at each meal service. They may choose all food components, but they must choose and be served at least three of the food components for his/her meal to be reimbursable. At least one of those three choices must be a fruit or vegetable. Any student served, MUST have a fruit or vegetable on their tray to be a reimbursable meal. If they do not, they will be requested to pick one up.

MEAL APPLICATIONS

Letters and applications are sent to all parents/guardians at the beginning of the year and to all new students throughout the school year or at the request of parent/guardian. These applications will be completed and immediately (preferably next day) returned to the cafeteria. Upon receiving, the child nutrition employee designee/ and/or director will determine eligibility and a notification letter will be sent to household. If at any time during the school year, the household income decreases or the household members increase, families may reapply for meal benefits. If a student moves from school to school within the Prentiss County School District, then their meal application may be transferred with the student; however, the school may send another application home with the new student if they have moved and different circumstances apply.

PAYING FOR MEALS

The district’s Point of Sale Program allows customers to have an individual account. One may deposit any amount of money at any time in their account. It will be subtracted according to meals bought and extra sales purchased. Any account money not spent will be carried forward until it is used. Students who do not choose the advance payment option will pay as they go through the line, but will still have an account that will keep up with meal purchases. No meal payment shall be combined with any other school fee or activity. If paying by check, a separate check to the cafeteria for meal payments will need to be written. If a check or cash is given to the cafeteria cashier, it will be put into the person’s meal account.

MEAL CHARGES

Charging a meal is a courtesy extended to students and adults for meals only in the event they forget or lose their lunch or breakfast money. Repetitive charges are subject to review and action by administration. Because the Mississippi Department of Education states that no child (student) may be refused a meal, a student may be allowed to charge meals on their accounts if they do not have money. Additionally, because our staff/faculty regularly eats in our school cafeterias, and because they sometimes do not have their purses or checkbooks physically with them in the cafeteria, we will allow adults to charge meals, as long as their balances are paid within the month. No extra food will be charged at any time. Only meals may be charged.

PROCEDURES FOR COLLECTING CHARGES

  • Verbal Confirmation: When a customer has no money left on their account, they will be verbally told from the cashier that they are out of money and they need to bring additional money for the next day’s meals. They will be given a verbal notice each day the account is in deficit.
  • Paper Confirmation: After a customer has a charge of more than $5.00, they will be given a credit letter from the cashier with the total balance owed that is sent home with the student. Parents/Adults will continue to receive written notifications from the cafeteria indefinitely until charges are paid. Monies owed are expected to be repaid to the cafeteria by the next day and certainly within the week. A new meal application will be enclosed with the 3rd notice.
  • Phone Confirmation: In addition to letters sent home, the manager or director may call the household to let them know they owe charges on their cafeteria account. Calls are generally sent via the district’s “All Call” program. Calls will be sent a minimum of two (2) times.
  • Principal Confirmation: After the above methods have been tried, and if there is no response, the manager will go the school principal with accounts that have been uncollectable. The principal will make the effort to contact the home and collect charges owed.
  • Superintendent Confirmation: After all the above efforts have been made to reach a household and/or when the amount is reaching a significant amount ($50 or more) or the amount has not been paid within the month (for Adults) and if there has been no response from the household, the Child Nutrition Director will go to the Superintendent with certified letters to mail to homes that still owe money.
  • School Board Confirmation: If parents/guardians or employees still refuse to pay and do not attempt to make payment, then those accounts will be issued to the Board of Education for further action to be taken at the upcoming monthly board meeting. Actions may include and are not limited to small claims court, collection agency, reprimand, or garnishing of check.Allowing charges to continuously accumulate can lead to tremendous deficits for the school nutrition program and is unfair to the households that do pay for their meals. Therefore, the district reserves the right to revoke the charging privilege of adults if it becomes excessively abused. IT IS THE PARENT’S AND EMPLOYEE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MONITOR THEIR CHILDREN’S AND THEIR OWN ACCOUNT BALANCE.

• Final Confirmation: If charges are still owed at the end of the school year and EVERY method possible has been done to collect the charge, the school district maintenance fund will reimburse the district’s child nutrition fund of any charges that may still be owed. This allows the child nutrition program to remain debt free which is in compliance with the federal program laws.

CAFETERIA – RETURNED CHECKS

The banks notify the child nutrition department when personal checks deposited have insufficient funds available. The department will try to reissue the check through the bank first. If not collectible, the cafeteria manager, cashier or director will notify the issuer of the check by letter and/or by telephone. It is the parent/guardian’s immediate responsibility to send the cash to the cafeteria/central office to cover the insufficient check amount. When the cash is sent, then the original returned check will be sent back to the parent/guardian. If the check amount is not cleared then the matter will be turned over to the Superintendent and the Board of Education for further action.

CASH REFUNDS

Cash refunds will be made only when a student withdraws from the Prentiss County School District. If a student transfers from one Prentiss County school to another Prentiss County school; their account balance (whether positive or negative) will be transferred with them. All requests for cash refunds will be made in writing to the school cafeteria or the central Child Nutrition.

MEAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS/CARDS

Students will be assigned an account number, which will follow them from kindergarten through 12th grade, as long as they attend in thePrentiss County School District. We may issue cards at any time of the school year with a child’s account number. The account number assigned is a non-identifiable meal status number. No one can identify a child to be free, reduced or paid based on their account number. Students may either show their card or verbally tell the cashier their number so their account may be accessed.

BEVERAGES OR FOOD BROUGHT IN CAFETERIA

Any beverages or food brought into the cafeteria must be in unmarked, covered containers that do not leak, such as a thermos or any container deemed appropriate by the principal and/or the child nutrition director. Because of safety, no cans or glass containers will be allowed inside the cafeteria.

SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS

Medical statements are required for any student who requires meal/food substitutions or exchanges. The medical statement, signed by a licensed physician must include: a description of the disability preventing the child from eating the regular school meal, and the prescribing specific substitution(s) needed. For students who are non-disabled and are unable to consume a food item because of medical or other special dietary needs; such substitutions may be made when supported by a statement signed by a recognized medical authority. The supporting statement shall include: (1. an indication that the medical or other special dietary needs restrict the child’s diet (2. the food/s to be omitted from the child’s diet and the food/s that may be substituted if needed. This medical statement should cover those students who have food intolerances or allergies but do not have life-threatening reactions (anaphylactic reactions) which exposed to the food(s) to which they are allergic. The school, cafeteria and child nutrition director must have a copy of all signed medical statements for the safety of these students. Please contact the child nutrition director, 662-728-1550 ext. 305 at the Office of the Superintendent with any questions regarding special dietary needs.

COMPETITIVE FOOD REGULATION RULE

No food items will be sold on the school campus for one (1) hour before the start of any meal service period. The MS Department of Education policy is interpreted as follows: No food is to be sold on campus for one hour before breakfast or one hour before lunch and until the end of either serving period. Any food may be sold after breakfast, until up to one hour before lunch, and any time after the end of the last lunch period.

MEAL PRICES

Student Breakfast Paid Price: $1.50
Student Breakfast Reduced Price: $.30
Student Lunch Paid Price: $2.50
Student Lunch Reduced Price: $.40
Adult Breakfast Price: $2.00
Adult Lunch Price: $3.00