Griffin Spalding County School System Meal Payment Policy
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Meal Payment ProceduresTop of Page

It is the intent of the Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education to provide an opportunity for each child to eat a nutritious breakfast and/or lunch during the school day.  It is also the policy of the GSCS Board of Education to comply with all federal program regulations pertaining to the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.  The School Nutrition Program is setup as an enterprise fund, and the food service operation is self-supporting.  The program must rely on meal payments and federal/state reimbursements to fund the entire nutrition budget.  

Charging breakfast and/or lunch is for emergencies only and should not be considered as an option on a routine basis.  It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to provide the means for their child to be properly fed and ready to learn.  In order to do this they should:  provide the money for the child or children to purchase a school meal, complete the free/reduced meal application to determine if they are eligible for free or reduced price meals, or send a meal from home. 

Students and staff are encouraged to deposit money into their meal accounts regularly in order that a draft of funds may be made on the account as meals are purchased. Student account status may be checked online or by contacting the school cafeteria office.  Students will receive a verbal notification that their balance is approaching zero.  Parents will be notified by letter, email, or phone call when balance approaches zero and if students have a negative balance.

Students must have cash in hand, funds on their account, or be benefit eligible prior to entering the lunch line. If a student does not have funds or benefits in their account and wishes to receive a meal, arrangements must be made prior to receiving a meal. Students without funds should go to the school office to receive instructions on obtaining funds to pay for their meal. Options include, but are not limited to: contacting the parent to bring a meal or funds for school meal or loaning funds to student for meal. Funds borrowed from the school office for school meals when students do not have funds, must be promptly repaid to the school account in a prompt manner. 

Elementary StudentsTop of Page

Elementary students without adequate funds to purchase school meals may be allowed up to $10 of charges on their account.  Once a student reaches the $10 negative account limit, a substitute meal will be provided.  The cost of a substitute meal is $.75, and the meal consists of a cheese sandwich, juice or milk, and one serving of a fruit or vegetable. Students may charge up to two substitute meals.

Middle and High School StudentsTop of Page

Meal charges will not be allowed at the middle school and high school level. 

Supplemental sale items cannot be charged.  If a parent does not wish for students to purchase supplemental items from their meal account, a signed parent form should be given to the nutrition manager. 

AdultsTop of Page

School staff may charge only one meal at a time.  Payment for the charged meal must be paid before receiving the next meal. As a courtesy to new hires, they will be allowed to charge meals during the time prior to receiving their first paycheck.  Their account must be paid in full upon receipt of first paycheck. 

All adults are encouraged to prepay for meals.  Any adult who is not on the School Nutrition payroll must pay the full cost of the meal or foods consumed.  The meal portion for adult meals will be the same size as provided for the oldest student in the system.

During the month of May, no charges will be allowed for any GSCS student or staff member.

Account NoticesTop of Page

Please provide money for your student’s meals each day or prepay for meals in advance.  Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their student’s meal account through our online meal account app.  ( This service can be used regardless of whether you use online payment option. The app allows parents to receive notices when a student account falls below a set amount.  Parents are recommended to use the app to set a Low Balance Alert ($5 or lower is suggests) using the links on the page to receive an email reminder when funds a low.  Parents may also use the app to make payments using a debit or credit card for a small service fee.

The school nutrition office will send home account notices and make contact with parent/guardians by phone and/or email on a weekly basis.  It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to assure that the school has the most current phone, address, and email information. 

The school principal will be notified in writing of outstanding student accounts on a regular basis.  The school principal will work with the nutrition manager to collect any unpaid charges to the Child Nutrition Program.  If parents are not being responsible in providing meals or payments for students, principals may contact school social workers or the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS) for assistance as needed.

Students who repeatedly abuse the payment policy may not be allowed to charge in the future.  Returned checks will result in a “cash-only” payment schedule.  A fee will be charged for all returned checks.  Returned checks are handled by a check collection agency. 

Changes in StatusTop of Page

All student accounts must be paid prior to a student withdrawing from the system or transferring to another school within the system. 

All staff accounts must be paid prior to leaving the system or transferring to another site within the system.

At any time during the school year, if a family income decreases, an application for free or reduced price meals may be completed to determine eligibility.

Provision 2 SchoolsTop of Page

Students enrolled in schools operating under Special Provision 2 may receive breakfast and lunch at no charge regardless of family income.  Single items such a milk, extra servings, or a la carte items must be paid for.  These items may not be charged. 
Griffin-Spalding County Schools
Revised: 6/6/2017
Date Adopted: 6/7/2016