The goal of the Portland Public Schools is to provide students with healthy meals each day. However, unpaid charges place a large financial burden on the Food Service Department. While the USDA Child Nutrition Program does not require that a student who pays regular priced meals, be served a meal without payment, the Portland Public Schools provides this service as a courtesy those students in the event that they forget or lose their lunch money.
In USDA Memo Code SP46-2016, the federal government requires Food Service Authorities to create a procedure to provide oversight and accountability for the collection of outstanding meal balances.
The Portland Schools Food Service Department will follow the procedures below to set standards within the department consistent with the realization that students may sometimes forget their meal monies. We operate within a structure that teaches responsibility and strive to operate a service which is financially responsible. It is the goal of the department that all student balances remain in the positive. As a courtesy, a low balance notice will be sent to households at a positive $9.00.
With no regards to balance amount, students will be served menued meals, and those meals will be charged to their accounts.
If students’ balances fall into the negative, school messenger and email notification will commence immediately. School messenger will send notification on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and at the elementary level, paper notification will be sent home once a week via backpack.
If there is no response from families, after an elementary student has charged five (5) meals or a secondary student has charged three (3) meals, school administration will commence collection procedures.
The collection procedures will be initiated with the Food Service Director, followed by the Executive Director of Budget and Finance, and then to the Superintendent.
- Withdrawn Students may submit a written request for a refund of any monies remaining in their account. An e-mail request is acceptable. Requests must be made with 60 days of the student transfer, and must be made within the current school year.
- There will be no refunds for graduating students at the end of the year. Balances may be transferred to another student account with written request, prior to the end of the fiscal year.
Balances owed at the end of the year
- Account Balances may be checked at any time by logging into Paypams.com, by checking into Infinite Campus, or checking with the cafeteria staff at your student’s school.
- All negative balances must be settled at the end of the school year. By June 1 st , households will be notified if they have a negative balance. Any balance below zero will be expected to be paid in full.
- The USDA considers bad debt, debt that can no longer be collected, a non-allowable expense. Food Services is not allowed to carry that forward, therefore any bad debt at the time of graduation will be billed to the general fund, and removed from the food service account.
Positive Balances may be carried forward on your student’s account. Any unclaimed funds become property of the Portland Public Schools Food Service Department