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Code No. 710.4




In accordance with state and federal law, the River Valley CSD adopts the following policy to ensure school district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations regarding meal charges. The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, prevent the overt identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintain the financial integrity of the nonprofit school nutrition program. 


Payment of Meals:


Students have use of a meal account. When the balance reaches $0.00 a student may charge no more than $10.00 to this account. When an account reaches this limit, a student shall not be allowed to charge further meals or a la carte items until the negative account balance is paid. They may purchase with cash, if they so choose. Families may pay at the administrative offices.


Students who qualify for free meals shall never be denied a reimbursable meal, even if they have accrued a negative balance from previous purchases. Students with outstanding meal charge debt, in excess of $10.00, shall be allowed to purchase a meal if the student pays for the meal when it is received. The school district may provide an alternate meal that meets federal and state requirements to students who have charged the maximum allowance to the student account and cannot pay out of pocket for a meal.


Employees may use a charge account for meals, but may charge no more than $10.00 to this account. When an account reaches this limit, an employee shall not be allowed to charge further meals or a la carte items until the negative account balance is paid.


Negative Account Balances

The school district will make reasonable efforts to notify families when meal account balances are low. Additionally, the school district will make reasonable efforts to collect unpaid meal charges classified as delinquent debt. The school district will coordinate communications with families to resolve the matter of unpaid charges. Families will be notified of an outstanding negative balance once the negative balance reaches $1.00 Families will be notified by automated notification system.  Negative balances of more than $10.00, not paid prior to end of the month will be turned over to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee for collection. Options may include:  collection agencies, small claims court, or any other legal method permitted by law. 



Code No. 710.4

Page 2 of 2





Communication of the Policy 

The policy and supporting information regarding meal charges shall be provided in writing to:

  • All households at or before the start of each school year; 
  • Students and families who transfer into the district, at time of transfer; and
  • All staff responsible for enforcing any aspect of the policy.  


Records of how and when the policy and supporting information was communicated to households and staff will be retained. 


The superintendent may develop an administrative process to implement this policy. 



Legal Reference:          42 U.S.C. §§ 1751 et seq. 

                                    7 C.F.R. §§ 210 et seq. 

U.S. Dep’t of Agric., SP 46-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies (2016). 

U.S. Dep’t of Agric., SP 47-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments (2016). 

U.S. Dep’t of Agric., SP 57-2016, Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A (2016). 

                                    Iowa Code 283A. 

                                    281 I.A.C. 58.


Cross Reference:         710.1   School Food Program

                                    710.2   Free or Reduced Cost Meals Eligibility 

                                    710.3   Vending Machine




Approved   08/14/2017                       Reviewed                    Revised