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Charge Policy

Union Public Schools encourages all students to eat a healthy, nutritious meal and it is the goal of the Child Nutrition Department to provide an appealing meal to all Union students.  Students have the option to purchase meals or students who qualify are encouraged to complete an online application for free or reduced meals.  For convenience and privacy, online applications are available at  

For those students whose families do qualify, meals are provided for free or at a reduced price.  Prior to any meals being served free or at a reduced price, a current, approved application must be on file in the Child Nutrition office.  New applications must be completed each school year and students will be expected to pay for meals received until an application is approved.  Any charges incurred prior to an application being approved is considered delinquent debt and must be paid by the student or student’s family. However, children who were eligible to receive free or reduced price meals on the last day of school the previous year may eat as a free or reduced price student for the first 30 days of school.  After that, if a new application is not received and approved, the student will need to pay for their meals.    

For paying students, each student has an account into which money may be deposited.  At mealtime, each student enters their account number, and the cost of one meal is deducted at the point of service.  Students also have the option to bring money to pay for a meal. Meal accounts are not to be considered charge accounts. Money must be deposited on a regular basis if the student is expected to eat in the cafeteria.  Credit cards may be used to pay for meals online at  There is a small charge to use credit cards for meal payments.  Parents may set up automated email messages for low balance notification and for inquiries about balances on the student’s account by setting up an account at

The district recognizes there are occasions when a student may need to charge a meal due to a variety of circumstances.  If charges continue to accumulate, families will be encouraged to complete a free and reduced price meal application form.  Repayment of the delinquent debt/charges may be paid off all at once, or may be made in smaller payments until the debt is paid in full.  Any charges remaining on the student’s account at the end of the school year will be transferred into the next school year, and remaining years, until the debt is paid or reclassified as bad debt by the district.


Below are the procedures on how charges will be handled and if applicable how alternative meals will be provided at the school sites. 

Pre-K through 8th Grade Students

Students who have a negative account balance equal to one or two meals will receive a verbal notice and the student will be served a regular meal charged against his/her account.

Students who have a negative balance equal to or greater than three meals will be given a verbal notice and the child nutrition manager will contact the parent/guardian by phone, email and/or by letter.  The Child Nutrition Department office staff may be asked to assist with making contact if the manager is unsuccessful.  Families will be encouraged to apply for free and reduced price meals and may be provided an application for that purpose.  The student will be served a regular lunch or breakfast meal up through the seventh charged meal.  After a student has accumulated the equivalent of seven unpaid charges he/she will be served an alternative meal.  For breakfast, students may receive an alternative meal of cereal, fruit or juice, and non-flavored milk. For lunch, students may receive an alternative meal consisting of a sandwich or entrée, fruit, vegetable, and non-flavored milk.  Students will receive an alternative meal until payment is received, including partial payment, or upon approval for a free or reduced meal price.  However, as previously stated, any delinquent debt must be repaid. The child nutrition manager will attempt to make arrangements for a student to receive an alternative meal in a manner which will reduce the possibility of embarrassing the student.

9th Grade through High School Students

Students will be allowed to charge one meal purchase to their account and receive a regular meal.  Verbal notice will be given to the student.  Limited alternative meals will be available for students with more than one charged meal if deemed appropriate by the Principal or Cafeteria Manager. Students will not be allowed to charge milk or a la carte items. 

Adult Customers – all locations

Teachers, Administrative Staff, Parents, and any other adult will not be allowed to charge meal purchases to their account