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Chawanakee USD  |  AR  3551  Business and Noninstructional Operations

Food Service Operations/Cafeteria Fund   

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Payments for Meals

With the exception of students who are eligible to receive meals at no cost, students may pay on a per-meal basis or may submit payments in advance. The Superintendent or designee shall maintain a system for accurately recording payments received and tracking meals provided to each student.

(cf. 3550 - Food Service/Child Nutrition Program)

(cf. 3552 - Summer Meal Program)

(cf. 3553 - Free and Reduced Price Meals)

(cf. 3555 - Nutrition Program Compliance)

At the beginning of the school year, and whenever a student enrolls during the school year, parents/guardians shall be notified of the district's meal payment policies and be encouraged to prepay for meals whenever possible. The Superintendent or designee shall communicate the district's meal payment policies through multiple methods, including, but not limited to:

1. Explaining the meal charge policy within registration materials provided to parents/guardians at the start of the school year

2. Including the policy in print versions of student handbooks, if provided to parents/guardians annually

3. Providing the policy whenever parents/guardians are notified regarding the application process for free and reduced-price meals, such as in the distribution of applications at the start of the school year

4. Posting the policy on the district's web site

5. Establishing a system to notify parents/guardians when a student's meal payment account has a low or negative balance

(cf. 1113 - District and School Web Sites)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

Any payments made to a student's food service account shall, if not used within the school year, be carried over into the next school year or be refunded to the student's parents/guardians.

Unpaid and Delinquent Meal Charges

No later than 10 days after a student's school meal account has reached a negative balance, the Superintendent or designee shall so notify the student's parent/guardian. Before sending this notification, the district shall exhaust all options and methods to directly certify the student for free or reduced-price meals. If the district is not able to directly certify the student, the notice to the parent/guardian shall include a paper copy of, or an electronic link to, an application for free or reduced-price meals and the Superintendent or designee shall contact the parent/guardian to encourage submission of the application. (Education Code 49557.5)

The district may attempt to collect unpaid school meal fees from a parent/guardian, but shall not use a debt collector. (Education Code 49557.5)

The Superintendent or designee may enter into an agreement with a student's parent/guardian for payment of the student's unpaid meal charge balance over a period of time. As necessary, the repayment plan may allow the unrecovered or delinquent debt to carry over into the next fiscal year.

The district shall not direct any action toward a student to collect unpaid school meal fees. (Education Code 49557.5)

The district's efforts to collect debt shall be consistent with district policies and procedures, California Department of Education (CDE) guidance, and 2 CFR 200.426. The district shall not spend more than the actual debt owed in efforts to recover unpaid meal charges.

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain records of the efforts made to collect unpaid meal charges and, if applicable, financial documentation showing when the unpaid meal balance has become an operating loss.

Reimbursement Claims

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain records of the number of meals served each day by school site and by category of free, reduced-price, and full-price meals. The Superintendent or designee shall submit reimbursement claims for school meals to CDE using the online Child Nutrition Information and Payment System.

Donation of Leftover Food

To minimize waste and reduce food insecurity, the district may provide sharing tables where students and staff may return appropriate unused cafeteria food items to be made available to students during the course of a regular school meal time. If food on the sharing tables is not taken by a student, the school cafeteria may donate the food to a food bank or any other nonprofit charitable organization. (Health and Safety Code 114079)

Food that may be donated includes prepackaged, nonpotentially hazardous food with the packaging still intact and in good condition, whole uncut produce, unopened bags of sliced fruit, unopened containers of milk that are immediately stored in a cooling bin maintained at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and perishable prepackaged food if it is placed in a proper temperature-controlled environment. The preparation, safety, and donation of food shall be consistent with Health and Safety Code 113980. (Health and Safety Code 114079)

Cafeteria Fund

All proceeds from food sales and other services offered by the cafeteria shall be deposited in the cafeteria fund as provided by law. The income and expenditures of any cafeteria revolving account established by the Governing Board shall be recorded as income and expenditures of the cafeteria fund. (Education Code 38090, 38091)

(cf. 3100 - Budget)

(cf. 3300 - Expenditures and Purchases)

The cafeteria fund shall be used only for those expenditures authorized by the Board as necessary for the operation of school cafeterias in accordance with Education Code 38100-38103, 2 CFR Part 200 Appendix VII, and the California School Accounting Manual.

Any charges to, or transfers from, a food service program shall be dated and accompanied by a written explanation of the expenditure's purpose and basis. (Education Code 38101)

(cf. 3110 - Transfer of Funds)

Indirect costs charged to the food service program shall be based on either the district's prior year indirect cost rate or the statewide average approved indirect cost rate for the second prior fiscal year, whichever is less. (Education Code 38101)

Net cash resources in the nonprofit school food service shall not exceed three months average expenditures. (2 CFR 220.14)

U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that foods received through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are handled, stored, and distributed in facilities which: (7 CFR 250.14)

1. Are sanitary and free from rodent, bird, insect, and other animal infestation

2. Safeguard foods against theft, spoilage, and other loss

3. Maintain foods at proper storage temperatures

4. Store foods off the floor in a manner to allow for adequate ventilation

5. Take other protective measures as may be necessary

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain inventories of USDA foods in accordance with 7 CFR 250.59 and CDE procedures, and shall ensure that foods are used before their expiration dates.

USDA donated foods shall be used in school lunches as far as practicable. USDA foods also may be used in other nonprofit food service activities, including, but not limited to, school breakfasts or other meals, a la carte foods sold to students, meals served to adults directly involved in the operation and administration of the food service and to other school staff, and training in nutrition, health, food service, or general home economics instruction for students, provided that any revenues from such activities accrue to the district's nonprofit food service account. (7 CFR 250.59)


approved: May 8, 2018 North Fork, California