Resource | Technical Assistance & Guidance
Unpaid Meal Charges

The goal of the school meal programs is to provide nutritious meals to children during the school day. Children may receive breakfast and lunch at no cost to them if they are categorically eligible for free meals or if they qualify for free meals based on federal poverty guidelines. Sometimes, however, children who do not qualify based on these standards would like a breakfast or lunch, but do not have money in their account or in-hand to cover the cost of the meal at the time of the meal service.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Charge Policy Requirement

No later than July 1, 2017, all school food authorities (SFAs) operating National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Program must have a written policy in place to address situations where children participating at the reduced price or paid rate do not have money to cover the cost of a meal at the time of the meal service. SFAs have discretion in developing the specifics of their policies, and FNS expects charge policies will vary based on local circumstances and available resources. This webinar provides an overview of the local charge policy requirement and shares best practices for successful policy development.