EFCA Non-Payment for School Meals

File: EFCA



The School Committee believes that children should be adequately nourished during the school day and that a family’s non-payment for school-provided meals shall not penalize or stigmatize the student.

In the event that a family does not pay for meals provided by the school, the Administration may take reasonable corrective action with the parents/guardians to obtain such payment. The School Committee supports actions that are exclusively focused on adults. Actions deemed acceptable include written communication, phone communication, request for meeting with principal/staff, and other efforts to engage the family that do not intentionally create public stigma. However, in the event that the Principal determines that there is blatant disregard or refusal to pay, the Principal is authorized to take legal action to recoup unpaid costs and appropriate damages, if necessary. All children should receive the same meal offerings regardless of payment. Any funds that are not recouped will be funded by annual school budget appropriations.

The School Committee recognizes that from time to time, families face financial hardship. The Principal may exercise her/his judgment in developing alternative payment plans based upon case-specific facts and circumstances. The Principal will work with the Cafeteria Director to ensure that families are aware of and able to complete application for free and reduced school meal program, throughout the school year.

The Administration shall develop guidelines regarding non-payment of school lunches that include specific information about lack of payment and corresponding actions. These guidelines shall be included in the Annual Family Handbook and distributed with information about school lunches at the beginning of each school year.

SOURCE:       Shutesbury School Committee          


First reading: 06-17-10

Second reading, first vote: 07-19-10

Final vote: 07-19-10

Reviewed by Shutesbury Policy Committee:  02-17-22