Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools




170 Chestnut Street,
Amherst MA 01002

Policy JQA: Food Services Collections

Home 5 Policy JQA: Food Services Collections

1. Purpose

 The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent meal account procedures through the district. Unpaid meal charges place a financial burden on the food service department which results in a financial strain on the general operating budget. The goals of this policy are:


2. Scope of Responsibility

The Food Service Department: Responsible for maintaining charge records and notifying the school district of outstanding balances. The food service department is also responsible for notifying the student’s parent/guardians of low or outstanding balances.

The School District: Responsible for ensuring that all students have access to a meal each and every day, creating a line of communication between families and the food service department, and supporting the food service department in collection activities.

The Parent/Guardian: Payment of charged meals.


3. Administration

  • To establish a consistent district policy regarding charges and collection of charges
  • To treat all students equitably and with dignity in the serving line regarding meal accounts
  • To support positive situations between district staff, students, and parent/guardians to the maximum extent possible.
  • To encourage parent/guardians to assume the responsibility of meal payments
  • All students will receive a regular lunch each and every day regardless of overdue balance.
  • All efforts to collect overdue lunch balances will be directed at parents/guardians and will occur away from the cafeteria. Students will not be notified of balances unless they ask.


Balances Owed

  • The food service department will email monthly notices to parent/guardians of low or outstanding balances. In addition, notices will be mailed home at least three times a year. The food service department will work proactively with parents/guardians to keep them informed of their students’ balances.
  • The ARPS Family Center will be available upon request to act as a liaison between parents/guardians and the food service department.
  • The school district will take into account individual circumstances that may affect the parent/guardian’s ability to pay. Balances owed may be partially or entirely waived at the discretion of the superintendent or his/her designee.
  • Prior to the end of the school year, parents/guardians must make arrangements with the school district (food service department) to fully or partially pay, or waive, outstanding balances.


Remaining Balances

All seniors will receive a notice in May of remaining funds in their lunch account and may elect to transfer those funds to a sibling’s account or receive a refund. All refund requests must be submitted to the Food Service Department and then forwarded to the Business Office for payment.


Unclaimed Funds

All refunds must be requested within one year of graduation. Unclaimed funds will then become the property of the Food Service Department.



Region—June 13, 2017