Shelton's Meal Charging Procedures

Meal Charging Procedures

Shelton School District Meal Charging Procedures

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure compliance with federal reporting requirements for the USDA Child Nutrition Program while preventing escalating unpaid meal debts. A copy of this procedure will be provided to all parents at the beginning of each school year, as well as to parents of new students entering the District during the year. A copy of the procedure can also be found on the Shelton School district website at 

Food Service Department: 
The goal of Shelton School District is to provide students with healthy meals each day. While the USDA Child Nutrition Program does not require that students not eligible for free or reduced meals be served a meal without payment, the Shelton School District believes that all hungry children should be fed. To ensure that hungry children are fed, Food Services cashiers will not deny any student a lunch that meets USDA requirements for a reimbursable meal, regardless of the balance on their food service account. The cashier will not single-out students who cannot pay by asking them to tell their parents to send money, by requiring that they work for their meal, or by any other method. The cashier may ask if the student has brought money. 

Parent / Guardian Responsibility: 
A food service account is automatically set up for each student as soon as they enroll in the District. Meals need to be pre-paid by adding funds to the account. It is the responsibility of each student’s parent or legal guardian to ensure that they have enough funds in their food service account to cover the cost of their student’s meals. Funds may be added by sending a check or cash to the student’s school, or payments may be made online through Family Access. Please note that a service fee is charged when the online payment method is used. 

If there is not enough money in the student’s account to cover the cost of a lunch, credit will be extended to that student in order to receive a reimbursable meal. Credit will not be extended to cover the cost of: a la carte items such as juice or milk, single entrees, or second meals.  Students receiving free or reduced meal benefits may only receive one breakfast and one lunch meal each day. A second meal will be charged to all students at the full cost of the meal, and there must be adequate funds on the student’s account to cover the cost of the second meal or a la carte item. 

Parents are encouraged to regularly monitor their student’s meal activity in order to avoid accumulating excessive charges. Parents may contact the Food Service office (360-426-2533) at any time if they wish to inquire about balances or to block their student’s account in order to prevent the charging of a la carte items or single entrees. A full reimbursable meal will never be denied to any student unless a parent/guardian specifically requests that the account be blocked.

Unpaid meal charges place a large financial burden on our Food Services Department. The food service office will notify parents as early as possible, and at regular intervals, of negative food service balances. The District will communicate with parents and guardians via telephone, letter, and emails. If a financial hardship exists, families are encouraged to apply for free or reduced meal benefits for their child. 

The Food Services Department will work with principals, school counselors, and/or teachers to understand the child and parent’s situation and work with families on a case-by-case basis.

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP):

Our district is currently operating Community Eligibility Provision.  This program allows the district to provide meals free of charge for students. The parent/guardian will be responsible for any charges accumulated prior to the district operating CEP or the family having a free/reduced application on file.

Parents of withdrawn or graduating students may request a refund of any balance remaining in their account by contacting the Food Service Office via telephone, email or US mail. If a student has siblings enrolled in the District, a parent or guardian may transfer funds between the students’ account at any time. Parents may also request to have any remaining balance transferred to a District-held donation account in order to assist other parents to pay for their meal charges. Requests for refunds must be received within 90 days following withdrawal or graduation or the unclaimed funds will become the property of Shelton School District and deposited in the donation account. If students receiving free or reduced meal benefits leave the District with positive balances on their account, every attempt will be made to refund those funds to the parents.

If you have any questions or concerns please call the Food Service Department at (360) 426-2533.

Adopted June 29, 2023

  • 700 S. First St., Shelton, WA 98584
  • p: 360-426-1687
  • f: 360-427-8610

NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT: Shelton School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

Title IX Coordinator: Tabitha Whiting, Executive Dir. of Human Resources; 700 S. First Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-1687; Email: [email protected]

Section 504/ADA Coordinator: Ivy Kardes, Director of Special Services; 700 S. First Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-2151; Email: [email protected]

Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator: Tabitha Whiting, Executive Dir. of Human Resources; 700 S. First Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-1687; Email: [email protected]

Gender Inclusive School Coordinator: Rich Squire, Safety and Security Manager; 700 S. 1st Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-6322; Email: [email protected]

You can report discrimination and discriminatory harassment to any school staff member or to the district's Civil Rights Coordinator, listed above. You also have the right to file a complaint.

For a copy of your district’s nondiscrimination policy and procedure, contact your school or district office or view Policy and Procedure 3210 online here: Policy & Procedure - Shelton School District

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