Free/Reduced Lunch Questions

  • **How does a child qualify for free and reduced-price meals?

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    Eligibility is generally based on family income, family size, and if the family has a food stamp number. The federal guidelines can be found in the free/reduced application. The identity of all students completing an application for free or reduced meals or receiving free or reduced meals is kept confidential.

     

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  • **What does the Free and Reduced Price School Meals program offer you?

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    The program offers free or reduced price breakfast and lunch to those students who are eligible. Other benefits of being eligible  MAY include:

    Fee waivers for College Entrance Exam (SAT), fee waivers for certain afterschool programs, fee waivers for applications at many colleges and universities* (*To be considered for a fee waiver, a copy of the eligibility letter mailed to households must be presented.) and your school may receive additional funding.

     

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  • **How do children get an application?

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    Applications should be completed online at : www.lunchapplication.com

    Paper applications are no longer sent home with your child. If you need a paper application you will need to visit the Catawba County Schools Central Office located at 2285 North Anderson Ave, Newton NC  28658 between the hours of 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

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  • **How often does a free/reduced application need to be completed?

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    An application must be completed each year. Only ONE application is needed per household. Please list ALL students attending schools in Catawba County on ONE application.

     

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  • **How long does it take to process an application?

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    Upon receipt of a completed application, the School Nutrition Department has ten business days to complete the processing procedure. A letter will be sent to the address on file.

     

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  • **Will parents need to pay for a child's lunch until the application is processed?

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    Yes. Parents/Guardians are responsible for any balance until the application is approved.

     

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Student Account Questions

  • **How can I make deposits to my child’s account?

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    You may pay by check or cash. Please check with your student’s school for the best way to send money. You may also pay on your student’s account by making a payment to www.k12paymentcenter.com (previously known as LunchPrepay.com). This is a secure, online site for payments made on student’s accounts with Visa or MasterCard and payments can be made anytime of the day. This fast and friendly service also allows you to view your student’s meal transactions without cost or having to make a deposit. If you are unsure about your child's account balance, please contact the school cafeteria manager.

    ** We do not accept starter checks OR 3rd party checks **

     

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  • **What happens to my child’s money at the end of the school year?

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    If your child has money left on his/her account at the end of the year, the money will be available on the first day of school the following year. Account balances follow the student from year to year.

     

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  • **What happens if my child forgets his/her lunch money?

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    The School Nutrition Program understands that situations may occur when a child forgets their lunch money and we will allow a student to charge a meal. A meal charge is defined as a short-term loan for a child to eat because the child forgot their lunch money or has lost it. The School Nutrition Program does not allow charges for snack or a la carte items.

     

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  • **Are students able to purchase extra items?

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    Students are able to purchase extra items by using cash or monies on their meal account. Students who have a negative account balance will not be allowed to purchase extra items.

     

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  • **Can parents limit their child's a la carte purchases?

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    Yes. Parents can limit access to a la carte purchases by filling out the form below and returning it to the cafeteria and it will be noted on their account. Parents may also request to the nutrition managers for a detailed report of any items purchased in the cafeteria. 

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  • **How are checks returned with insufficient funds handled?

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    In the event any check made to the school cafeteria for a student’s meal costs is returned for insufficient funds, the student’s meal account may be charged a fee of $25.00 to cover administrative costs and insufficient funds charges.  Thereafter, the school cafeteria will not accept checks for any student account that has been charged for insufficient funds. It is also our policy to not accept out of town checks or counter checks (checks without name, address or check number printed on the check). The check will be returned to the parent along with a letter stating why we did not accept the check.

     

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  • ** What if my student has money in their account and we move out of district or they graduated?

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    If the child has less than $10.00 in their account, the parent/guardian requesting the refund must present the completed form in person to the school cafeteria during normal working hours of 8:00 am - 1:00 pm.

    If the child has more than $10.00 in their account,  the parent/guardian requesting the refund must complete the form and submit the form to the school cafeteria.  A check will be written and mailed to the mailing address provided by the parent.  Please allow ten (10) working days for request to be processed.

    On occasion a parent may request money to be transfered from one sibling account to another due to graduation, student withdrawals, etc.  Please complete the "Parent Request for Refund or Transfer" form listed below and submit to the school cafeteria.  Please allow five (5) working days for request to be processed.

     

     

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Menu Questions

  • **What is the cost of a school breakfast and lunch?

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    Elementary and Middle School:

                     Breakfast: $1.35   Reduced Breakfast $.30

                     Lunch: $2.70         Reduced Lunch $.40

    High School:

                     Breakfast $1.35    Reduced Breakfast $.30

                     Lunch $2.80          Reduced Lunch $.40

    Adult Breakfast and Lunch:

                     A la Carte Pricing

     

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  • **What is "Offer versus Serve"?

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    "Offer versus Serve" lets students turn down foods they do not plan to eat. This helps reduce waste by not forcing students take food that they don’t like or won’t eat. "Offer versus Serve" gives students flexibility. Meals still meet federal nutrition standards. Students must select a certain number of food groups for a school meal. The number of food groups that are offered and the number the student can decline varies. Students must choose at least 1/2 cup fruit or vegetable in order for the meal to be counted as reimbursable by USDA.

     

    A student breakfast may include three of four items: 2 breads and/or 1 bread and 1 meat, two fruit, and a milk choice. Oftentimes, the entree is equal to two items (combination meat/grain or two grains). Students may decline any one component of the four items offered. All breakfasts must have a minimum of 1/2 C of fruit.

     

    A student lunch includes 5 menu components from the following categories: 1 meat or alternative, 2 options of vegetables and 2 choice of fruits, low or fat free milk and bread. Each student meal must contain a fruit or vegetable.  Students may decline up to two of any of the menu components offered. 

     

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  • **Where can I find the menu for my child’s school?

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    Menus are available on the Catawba County Schools website (link to menus page). You may also check your school’s website for information about the menus at their school. Menu subject to change due to weather, calendar changes, Administrative directive, equipment malfunction and/or product availability.

     

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