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Meal Charge Policy

It is the responsibility of parents or guardians to ensure their child has available funds in their school meal account.  Online payments are a safe and secure way to make payments for meal accounts.

Food Service account activity can be checked any time on the Skyward system under Family Access. Parents or guardians can also subscribe to a low balance alert email notification from Skyward when their student’s account balance reaches $6.00.   Students in middle and elementary school will receive a note to take home to their parents when their account is low on funds. High school students will receive a verbal notification when their account is low on funds. If you do not know your Skyward login information, please contact your school office.

Students with a zero or negative meal account balance who purchase breakfast and/or lunch will be charged for their meals.

Communication Process

When a student’s meal account balance has reached the negative status, the following will occur:

-$.01 to -$25 

  • Daily robo calls home to parent/guardian.
  • Automated letter and free/reduced lunch application including Letter to Households addressed to parent/guardian will be mailed or emailed home weekly once account is over -$15.00.

-$25 to -$50

  • Telephone call will be made by principal, assistant principal or school counselor to the parent/guardian to determine if there are household issues that may prevent the student from having sufficient funds for school meals. Appropriate assistance will be offered.
  • Daily robo calls will continue.
  • Automated letter, free/reduced application and Letter to Households mailed or emailed home from school addressed to the parent/guardian of the student weekly.

Over -$50

  • Negative account balances over -$50.00 will be escalated to the Business Office.
  • A formal letter requesting payment in full will be sent home with a copy of the students Food Service Statement along with a free & reduced lunch application and Letter to Households.
  • Daily robo calls will continue.
  • Weekly letters mailed or emailed home from school addressed to the parent/guardian of the student will continue.

All charged meal balances will remain on a student’s account until they have been paid.

End of School Year Negative Food Service Balance Collection Process

A statement will be mailed to the parent/guardian of all students with balances equal to or greater than -$35.00 at the end of the school year requesting immediate payment. If payment arrangements are not made within 30 days, the negative account balance will be sent to collections. Balances under -$35.00 will roll over to the next school year.

Any K-12 student with a negative food service balance who is no longer enrolled in La Center School District will have a grace period of 30 days from the withdrawal date to pay the amount due before the account is sent to collections regardless of the dollar amount. Graduating seniors with a negative balance will not receive their diploma until the account has been paid.


SP 46-2016 USDA-Unpaid Meal Charges:  Local Meal Charge Policies

HB 2610 Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights

28A.235.270 RCW Free or reduced-price meals – School prohibitions

3520 – Student Fees, Fines, Charges

6700 – Nutrition, Health and Physical Fitness

La Center School District

Adopted: June 27, 2017; Revised July 24, 2018,  May 28, 2019