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Meal Charge/Prohibition Against Meal Shaming Policy

The Board of Education recognizes the importance of good nutrition and the impact on student learning. The Board recognizes that, on occasion, students may not have enough funds to pay for a meal. To ensure that students do not go hungry, but also to promote responsible student behavior and minimize the fiscal burden to the district, the Board will allow students who do not have enough funds to “charge” the cost of meals to be paid back at a later date subject to the terms in this policy.

  • The Goshen CSD strongly encourages all families to apply for free and reduced meals, if the parent/guardian feels they may be even close to qualifying. A copy of the free and reduced price lunch application is available online and included in the center of the calendar.
  • All students: will be able to charge meals when needed. The food service department will send letters/text messages to parents/guardians to the student’s home, to the address on file, to inform parents/guardians that their student has charged meal(s). Students will receive the meal of the day as stated on the menu. Once students exceed the $35 level, then the food service director will send a certified letter to the parent/guardian.
  • The District will utilize an automated message system to inform parents of excessive charges in addition to other methods.
  • Only complete meals are permitted to be charged. A la carte items such as ice cream may not be charged. Adults are not allowed to charge as per New York State Education Department regulations.
  • The District’s point-of-sale system will track all charges and payments; the system will generate letters emailed to the parent/guardian mailed to the address on record.
  • Meals may be paid in advance via MySchoolBucks (www.myschoolbucks.com) or with a check payable to Cafeteria Fund. Further details about Food Services are available under the Departments & Services tab on www.gcsny.org.
  • Refunds for withdrawn and graduating students: a written or e-mailed request for a refund of any money remaining in their account must be submitted. Upon written or e-mailed request, parents/guardians of students who are graduating at the end of the year may transfer the remaining funds to a sibling’s account or permit the use of the funds to offset unpaid balances.
  • Unclaimed Funds must be requested within one school year. Unclaimed funds will then become the property of the Goshen CSD Food Service Program.
  • The USDA, through the New York State Department of Education, has an expectation that if the district allows meals to be charged, it is responsible for those balances to be paid off on an annual basis from nonfederal funds.

Unpaid meal charges will be addressed directly with the student’s parent or guardian who is responsible for providing funds for meal purchases; discreet notifications of zero or deficit balances will be sent at appropriate intervals during the school year. Weekly letters will be mailed home to the address on file to inform parents/guardians that their student has charged meals and has a deficit balance. The notification may include a repayment schedule when necessary, but will not charge any interest or fees related to meals charged during the grace period. District administration will further consider the benefits of attempted collections and the costs that would be expended in collection attempts.