Policy for Lunch Payments and Collections

Open Classroom Payment and Collections Policy 2017


  1. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their child has money in his or her family meal account. It is school district policy that any meal a child eats is paid for prior to or during that meal service.
  2. The parent must provide a current email address and phone to receive prompt notification of school meal account balances, or make additional contact arrangements for billing notices with the kitchen office. The kitchen office is adjacent to the school cafeteria. You can also contact the kitchen office at: 801.578.8225 or email to andrea.winbauer@slcschools.org.
  3. Meals can be paid for electronically using the OC website.  The link for online payments with a credit card is: http://ocslc.org/about/lunch-room/lunch-payments/

Or, you may pay at the school with cash or check. Payments for students will be accepted at the school office, or kitchen office, or in the lunch line.  

  1. If for any reason a check was returned, including insufficient funds, personal checks will no longer be accepted from those parents.
  2. All payments should clearly indicate the student’s family account to which the funds should be credited, and the dollar amount to be credited to the family account.
  3. If a student qualifies for free or reduced price meals, no payments are due for the daily reimbursable meal. However, charges incurred prior to qualifying for free or reduced price meals still must be paid by the responsible family member. Payment plans can be arranged in the kitchen office. Payment is required for all added meals purchased for the day, regardless of free or reduced price lunch qualification.
  4. OC Lunch will credit meal payments from parents to student’s family accounts before the meal period. Payments for purchase of the current day’s meal will be applied first, and payment to past due account balances second.
  5. The child nutrition program at OC is subject to federally mandated cost principles. These state that bad debts, including losses from uncollectable accounts and related collection and legal costs are not allowable. Schools must use all reasonable collection efforts, including the use of a collection agency, to ensure that parents pay for their student’s school meals. Any debt to the OC Lunch Program that is incurred by the loss of meal payments must be paid for from funds allotted to the Open Classroom School Education Funds, as per federal mandate.



  1. Schools must identify student family accounts that do not have adequate balances to pay for student meals. Each week, OC Lunch Program will run a negative balance report for all accounts. The OC Principal and district administrators will receive any report of -$10.00 or more per account. A copy of this report will also be maintained in the kitchen office.
  2. Parents will be notified with a billing email when their student’s meal account has a negative balance. Billing email and phone notifications will be sent daily with balance of -$10.00 or more until the account has been replenished. Hard copies of these letters and a free and reduced price lunch application are sent home with students weekly if the negative meal account balance is -$10.00 or more. Parents will also be contacted by phone from OC Lunch and the OC Principal in the case of continued delinquent meal accounts. All notification attempts will be documented. If not paid within an additional week, a billing letter will be sent to your home address. After a fourth billing letter, your balance due and account information will be forwarded to a collection agency.
  3. Account statement notifications will be emailed Monday morning and Thursday afternoon to all OC parents to inform them of their current lunch account balance status. Parents who wish to opt out of email notifications can do so by contacting andrea.winbauer@slcschools.org, or calling 801.578.8225.
  4. If a student repeatedly has no money in the family meal account, and no meals are sent from home for the student, school administrators and child nutrition staff will consider the circumstances in the home and may contact the district student services department and/or child protective services.
  5. Parents are responsible for all collection fees attributable to OC’s reasonable efforts to collect overdue meal account balances, including any fees associated with the use of a collection agency.



  1. OC Lunch offers meals and beverage cart to all parents, teachers, and staff. Any meal or beverage must be paid for in full when they receive it on the day and time of purchase. It is the adult’s responsibility to ensure they have sufficient funds in hand or on account to make any purchase. Receipt of items ‘on account’ are not accepted.
  2. Any adult who accrues a negative balance will be notified immediately and daily by email until payment is made. All purchases and funds are for the maintenance of the child nutrition program at Open Classroom and are considered serious debt on the part of the adult.
  3. If the adult’s purchases are delinquent for more than one week, the school may do any or all of the following actions:

— directly call the adult from the child nutrition office and from the OC principal to require prompt payment for money owed to the child nutrition program,

— submit their name and account information to a collection agency,

— charge an overdrawn account fee for any adult purchases delinquent past one week. Fees are a flat charge of $5 per week plus 5% of the overdrawn amount on the account.

  1. OC Lunch may choose to require prepayment in the main office for all purchases from any adult that consistently maintains a negative account balance or delinquent account.



  1. The child nutrition staff will not publicly notify students if an account balance is delinquent, and will not subject a student to harassment or embarrassment. No student will be turned away from a reimbursable meal if the student’s account is inadequate to pay for a meal. Parents are responsible for all meal payments and will be notified that the school will use all available collection efforts to pay for the provided meals.
  2. There will be no segregation or discrimination against any student because of eligibility for free or reduced price meals, or inability to pay the full price of the meal. Names of students receiving free/reduced price will not be published, posted or announced, and there will be no overt identification of any such students. No student may be denied a meal benefit by school employees as a disciplinary action.
  3. No person shall on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, or income be excluded from participation in, or denied benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under any child nutrition program.



  1. If a student graduates or withdraws from the school for any reason, parents must submit a written or email request to the office for a refund of any money remaining in their child’s family meal account. The school district will then mail a refund check to your home address.
  2. Any unused balance at the end of the school year may be rolled over to the next school year if your child and/or any siblings will be attending OC the following year. In case of loss of data at the school, parents are responsible for keeping your final balance statement at the end of school to confirm the credit amount in your account for the start of the next school year.


In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.