Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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A Division of the Arkansas Department of Education

Unpaid Meal Charges

Dealing with Unpaid Meal Charges

Below are resources that child nutrition directors and school administrators may use when developing their unpaid meal charges policy.
Best Practices for Reducing Unpaid Meal Charges – A compilation of Best Practices gathered from school districts around the country on how to minimize meal charges and how to collect meal charges. Reducing Meal Charges Best Practices (DOCX)
Checklist for Local Charge Policy Considerations – A checklist adapted from USDA, this checklist contains items that districts should consider when developing a meal charge policy. Local Meal Charge Policy Considerations Checklist (DOCX)
Checklist for Local Charge Policy Communication Requirements – A checklist adapted from USDA, this checklist contains reminders and things to consider related to the communication requirements of the meal charge policy. Local Unpaid Meal Charge Policy (DOCX)
Sample Outstanding Balance Letter – A sample letter to notify households of an outstanding balance for meal charges. This letter can be adapted to meet the district’s needs. The sample letter is highlighted with blue for information the district should add and with yellow for instruction or other considerations. Sample Outstanding Balance Letter (DOCX)
Sample Robo Call Script for Outstanding Balance – Sample scripts for low balance, outstanding balance, and follow up outstanding balance robo calls to households. The scripts are highlighted in blue with information the district should personalize or add. Sample Robo Call Scripts (DOCX)
Sample Template for Developing a Local Meal Charge Policy – A sample template for local districts to utilize when developing the district’s meal charge policy.  The template highlighted in yellow is where the district should add district contact information, and information on how the district’s intends to handle the procedure locally.  The resource, Checklist for Local Charge Policy Considerations, on this page, is a companion to the template for policy development. Sample Meal Charge Procedure (DOCX)


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