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701.45 Meal Charge

The Ankeny School District provides well-balanced and nutritious breakfasts and lunches each day.  Ankeny Schools believes that for students to experience maximum learning, students need nutritious food.  As parents have an expectation of the district to provide these services, it is important that parents ensure they are paying for these services in a timely manner.  The following protocols have been put in place to assure that Ankeny Nutrition Services may continue to provide quality services to all students.

Payment of Meals:

  • Payments to lunch accounts can be made through the District’s lunch/fee payment system (see nutrition web page for more information).
  • Kindergarten through seventh grade students may bring cash or checks to the building secretary.  Cash and checks will NOT be accepted at the cash register at these grade levels.
  • Eighth through twelfth grade students may either add money to their lunch accounts by giving cash or checks to the building secretary or bringing cash or checks to the cashiers.

Meal Charging:

  • Student meals may always be purchased if:
  • A student has qualified for free meals under the USDA school meals eligibility criteria. (See Free/reduced price meal eligibility tab on our web page)
  • A student brings cash to pay for their meal. *Note-Any change due from the purchase of a meal paid with cash will be deposited into the students lunch account. I.e.: A student purchases a meal that costs $2.85 and the student gives the cashier $3.00. The extra $.15 will be applied towards that student’s lunch account and no change will be given.
  • Students that fail to have account balances may charge meals under the following parameters:
    • Students will be served a full regular meal (breakfast or lunch).
      • A regular breakfast meal includes one protein, one grain, choice of fruit and one milk.
      • A regular lunch meal includes one protein, one grain, two vegetables, two fruits and one milk.
    • Once a student’s account has reached the equivalent of zero, no a la carte items may be purchased. This includes individual cartons of milk and juice.
  • Visiting Adults:
  • Adults wanting to eat a meal with a child at school, may purchase a meal the following ways:
    • Use their child’s lunch account, providing there is a positive account balance and enough money in their child’s account to cover the cost of the adult meal.
    • The visiting adult has cash to pay for the meal. *Note:  Any change due from the purchase of a meal with cash will be deposited into the students lunch account.


  • Once a staff person’s account has reached one negative meal, they will not be allowed to purchase any food.
  • No a la carte options will be sold to any staff with a zero ($0) or less account balance.

Meal Balance Notifications:

  • Cashiers will make reasonable efforts to verbally notify students (Grades 6-12) and staff at the register once their account balance has dropped below $10.00.
  • Families may set up low balance notifications through the school district’s designated software.  See Nutrition web page for more information.
  • An email will be sent to each family notifying them of their students’ account balance once it reaches $5.00.
  • Phone calls will be made to homes once an account balance has gone the equivalent of negative -$10.00.  This will only take place at the secondary buildings. (Grades 6-12)
  • A letter and a Free and Reduced Price Meals application will be sent to each home that has a student with an account balance of negative -$10.00.  The letter will inform the parent/guardian of these options:
    • Set up an agreed upon payment plan for the payment of lunches or
    • Send the student to school with a sack lunch or
    • Complete and submit the Free and Reduced Price Meal application.
  • When the account reaches -$50.00 the parent will receive written communication from the school asking the parent/guardian if they want access to paid student lunch account funds for the student to use until the parent is equipped to again start paying for lunches.
  • If the parent/guardian asks for access to funds, the maximum meal charge debt that will accrue per student is $50 per semester. If the parent/guardian does not apply for access, the meal charge debt will continue to accrue.
  • Fee billing statements of all unpaid account balances are sent to families three (3) times per year.  Following unsuccessful collection of unpaid account balances, parents/guardians may be subject to having unpaid accounts forwarded to an outside collections agency.
  • Unpaid lunch balances will carry over from year to year.  As a student prepares to graduate the balance will be reflected in the total bill owed to the District and it will be expected to be paid in full.

Communication of this Policy:

Records of how and when the policy and supporting information was communicated to households and staff will be retained.

The policy and supporting information regarding meal charges shall be provided in writing to:

  • All households at or before the start of each school year;
  • Students and families who transfer into the district, at time of transfer; and
  • All staff responsible for enforcing any aspect of the policy.

The Superintendent/designee is responsible for reviewing the policy and promulgating rules for the administration of the policy.

October 16, 2017