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Meal Charge Policy

Lexington City School System

Meal Charge Administrative Procedure

Revision Effective Date: 7-1-2019

In the 2019-20 school year, Lexington City School System will be implementing a new charge policy for our cafeterias. Our Nutrition Department operates under regulations Glossary Linkset forth by the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. In order to operate in compliance with these programs, our cafeterias must offer reimbursable meals that follow nutritional guidelines set by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Our school system also complies with the Offer vs. Serve Policy for grades K thru 8. As provided in SP 46-2016, all school food authorities (SFAs) operating the federal school meal programs (National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program) must have a written and clearly communicated meal charge administrative procedure in place no later than July 1, 2017. All SFAs must have an administrative procedure in place for children participating at the reduced price or paid meal rate who either do not have money in their account or in hand to cover the cost of the meal at the time of service. SFAs are required to communicate this administrative procedure to families and school and/or district-level staff members as appropriate. SFAs should ensure the administrative procedure is communicated on an annual basis.

Families will have access to the meal charge administrative procedure via written copy of the district-wide charge administrative procedure included in student handbooks which are given to each student at the start of every school year and/or on the LCSS website”). Families of transfer students (during the year) will receive a written copy of the district-wide charge administrative procedure in the student registration packet.

Clarification of a reimbursable meal:

To explain what a full meal is in the eyes of the USDA, we need to start with the USDA rules. We receive a monetary reimbursement from the Federal Government for each meal we sell to students. (We do not receive a reimbursement for adult meals or a second full meal for a student.) In order for us to get that reimbursement we must follow the USDA guidelines. These guidelines are in conjunction with the “Offer versus Serve” program.

At lunch, we are required to “offer” students five components with each meal. Students are required to take three of those five components in order for us to count it as a “reimbursable meal”. Students are also required to take a serving of a fruit or vegetable for us to count it as a reimbursable meal. The components we offer are: Meat/Meat alternate, grain, fruit vegetable, and milk.

At breakfast we are required to offer four components to students; 1-2 ounce equivalent servings of bread/grain (a 2oz. serving counts as 2 components only at breakfast), an 8 oz. carton of milk, a ½ cup serving of fruit or vegetable, and a ½ cup serving of 100% juice. Students are required to take a 1/2C serving of fruit or vegetable for us to count it as a reimbursable meal. Reimbursable breakfast offerings include: grain, meat/meat alternate, fruit or vegetable, and milk.

At no time can a la carte' items (single item purchases), adult meals, or visitor meals can be charged to any lunch account. The new policy states that neither full paid students nor reduced pay students be allowed to charge more than one week's total of meal costs. At LCSS a full price reimbursable lunch costs a student $2.25 and a reduced price lunch costs $.40. A reimbursable breakfast costs $1.50 and a reduced price breakfast costs $.30. Full pay meal cost for one week is $18.75 and reduced pay meal cost for one week is $3.50.

Local Charge Administrative Procedure Considerations


Students who are unable to pay for their meals at the time of the meal service are allowed to charge

5 reimbursable lunches and 5 reimbursable breakfasts.

Students charging breakfast and/or lunch will receive reimbursable meals.

Charge limits

The maximum number of charges allowed for PreK-8th grades are: 1 week of reimbursable meals OR $18.75 for Full pay students and $3.50 for Reduced pay students. Once a student reaches the allowable week’s charges, he/she will no longer be allowed to charge meals and should be prepared to bring his/her meals from home until the negative balance is paid in full.

Each household may request a repayment plan that will include payment levels and due dates appropriate to a household’s particular


Please contact Jan Page, Food Service Director @ (731)968-8457 ext. 406 to establish a repayment plan.

Bad Debt

Bad debt is determined to be uncollectable, with further collection efforts for delinquent debt deemed useless or too costly. Delinquent debt will be considered as bad debt at the end of the school year charges accrued, Bad debts (debts which have been determined to be uncollectable), including losses (whether actual or estimated) arising from uncollectable accounts and other claims, are unallowable. Related collection costs, and related legal costs, arising from such debts after they have been determined to be uncollectable are also Household Notification.

Negative balance notification: The LCSS Nutrition Department will send a negative balance notification home by your student every Friday. Friday charges will not be included on this notification. To assist you in monitoring and paying for your child’s cafeteria accounts, the Lexington City School System has in place an online paying and monitoring system called MySchoolBucks. This program creates an opportunity for you to set up your own personal account where you may choose to make payments to your child's cafeteria account for a fee of $2.49 per payment or choose to use it as a monitoring tool to view your child's balance and meal purchases free of charge. You can sign up for this program by visiting or by mobile apps. Remember, payments can always be sent in an envelope directed to the nutrition department with the child’s full name and grade written on it.

Delinquent Debt

Delinquent debt is defined as overdue unpaid meal charges that are considered collectable, with efforts being made to collect them. The debt may remain on the accounting documents until it is either collected or determined to be uncollectable. The Lexington City School System has passed a new policy that will allow all enrolled students with an end of year delinquent meal debts to be rolled forward to the next school year. Whatever balance (positive or negative) your child ended the school year with is now the balance they will begin with in the new school year."

Low balance notifications will be sent home by students bi-weekly only after their account reaches a deficit of either

-$10.00 for full paid students or -$3.00 for Reduced pay students. The household’s debt will be considered delinquent when the weekly limitation is reached (-$18.75 for full pay students or -$3.50 for reduced pay students). Payments must be received within 4 days. If payments cannot be made at this time, please be prepared to send meals from home for your student and call the LCSS Nutrition Department to set up a repayment plan.

Repayment plans

unallowable (section 200.426 of subpart E).

Once delinquent meal charges are converted to bad debt, records relating to those charges must be maintained in accordance with record retention requirements in 7 CFR 210.9(b)(17) and 7 CFR 210.15(b).


A la Carte Purchasing Policy:

An a la carte purchase is an individual purchase made by the consumer.  This type purchase is made in addition to or in the place of a reimbursable meal tray.  A la carte items CANNOT be charged to a students account. Students MUST either have enough money in their meal account or money in hand along with a positive meal account balance at the time of purchase to cover the cost of any a la carte purchases.


Additional Resources

At LCSS a full price reimbursable lunch costs a student $2.25 and a reduced price lunch costs $.40. A reimbursable breakfast costs $1.50 and a reduced price breakfast costs $.30. Full pay meal cost for one week is $18.75 and reduced pay meal cost for one week is $3.50. If your financial situation is such that these payments impose a hardship on your family, please contact the LCSS Nutrition Department at (731)968-8457 ext. 406 or 699 to request an application for assistance. Applications will be available to each family the day you register your child for school. If you are not offered an application, please ask a school employee or the Nutrition Department for one. If you have trouble completing the application, please contact the LCSS Nutrition Department at (731)968-8457 ext.406 for assistance.

“In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

mail: U.S. Department ofAgriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

            Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

fax: (202)690-7442; or
“This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”