Resource | Policy Memos | SP29-2017
2017 Edition: Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge: Proven Strategies from Our Nation’s Schools

This is the 2017 Edition of Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge: Proven Strategies from Our Nation’s Schools. This best practice guide is designed to support State agencies and local program operators in their efforts to find workable solutions to the challenge of unpaid meal charges. This edition incorporates clarifications requested by State agencies and FNS Regional Offices. Changes are highlighted throughout the guide.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP23-2017
Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&As

This Question and Answer memorandum is designed to provide an overview of policies related to unpaid meal charges and to address common questions the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has received from state agencies, school food authorities, and local program operators. The Q&A includes questions related to the local charge policy requirement, student eligibility for free or reduced price meals, payment options for families, alternate meals, and debt collections.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP51-2016
Ensuring Year-long Eligibility in the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The purpose of this memorandum is to strongly encourage local educational agencies (LEAs) to accept eligibility determinations from a transferring student’s former LEA to minimize disruptions in meal benefits for low-income students and avoid student debt resulting from unpaid meal charges. While most students will change schools at least once between kindergarten and 12th grade, data from the Department of Education show that low-income students change schools more often than their peers. School changes can be disruptive to learning, but ensuring that students do not have a break in their access to free and reduced price meals can help ensure students and families make a successful transition.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP47-2016
Unpaid Meal Charges: Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments

There has been confusion about how unpaid meal charges must be handled when all collection efforts have been exhausted. To help address these situations, this memorandum clarifies the processes of designating delinquent debt that has been determined to be uncollectable as bad debt and obtaining assistance to offset bad debt losses.

Resource | Policy Memos | SP46-2016
Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies

The purpose of this memorandum is to address the need for school food authorities participating in the Food and Nutrition Service National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program to institute and clearly communicate a meal charge policy, which would include, if applicable, the availability of alternate meals.