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Office of Child Nutrition
Post Office Box 718 ● Newberry, SC  29108
Phone (803) 321-2612 ● Fax (803) 321-2614

School District of Newberry County Schools Charge Policy

Student Meal Accounts  

All cafeteria purchases should be prepaid before meal service. The district offers a variety of methods for parents/legal guardians to fund their students’ meal accounts including online payments at and payments are accepted at the school cafeteria.

Charged Meals

Elementary and middle school students may charge up to $10.00 for meals. Any student on paid or reduced status with an unpaid balance of $10.00 will be served a courtesy meal until the balance is paid in full. Students with free meal status with an unpaid balance will always receive a USDA approved meal. (Free meal status is not retroactive and any unpaid balance on account must be paid in full).

High school students are allowed to charge one meal.

Adults are not allowed to charge on cafeteria accounts.

Principals may establish accounts for which they from time to time provide meals for their guests.

A student who charges a meal may not charge any á la carte items or additional items that would result in a cost above and beyond the base meal cost. Parents/legal guardians will receive at least one written notification prior to a student being denied the ability to charge meals.

Food service employees and each building principal will work together to prevent meal charges from accumulating. Negative balances that remain will be carried forward to the following school year.

The policy will be communicated at the beginning of every school year, will be included in all Student Handbooks, and will be visible on the district web page.

Courtesy Meals

Once a student has received the maximum number of charged meals, he/she will be provided with a courtesy meal consisting of grilled cheese sandwich, juice and milk. Students will NOT be charged for Courtesy meals. In order to safeguard the dignity and confidentiality of students, reasonable efforts must be used to avoid calling attention to a student’s unpaid balances and/or inability to pay.

No student will be denied a courtesy meal. If a student comes to school with no lunch and no money on an ongoing basis, food service employees or other mandated reporters will report this information to the building principal as this may be a sign of abuse or neglect, and the proper authorities will be contacted.

Modifications will be made to courtesy meals to ensure that any students with medically documented special dietary needs are provided with appropriate accommodations.

Unpaid Balances

Students with unpaid balances will not be denied a meal if they have money in hand for a meal on a given day.

The food service manager and other school personnel will coordinate communications to parents/legal guardians to resolve unpaid balances in meal accounts. Negative balance letters shall be sent home weekly via the student. Once a month the negative balance letters shall be mailed home to the parents. The district will use an automated messaging system to call parents weekly if they have provided a phone number to notify them of any outstanding balances for their child/children.

Parents/legal guardians are encouraged to discuss payment arrangements with the food service manager and building principal. In establishing the terms of repayment plans, the district will assess each household’s particular circumstances and will consider factors including, but not limited to, family size, employment status, family member medical circumstances. Negative balances must be paid in full by the last instructional day of the school year. Negative balances will be turned over to the Director of Child Nutrition to initiate formal collection efforts, up to and including legal action if appropriate, to recover the costs for unpaid meal charges.


Withdrawn and graduating students may request in writing any money remaining in their account. An email request is also acceptable. Refunds will be mailed to the parent/guardian address within ten to fourteen days of request. Parent/Guardians may also choose to transfer a balance to a sibling’s account with a written request.

Unclaimed Funds

Refunds must be requested within one school year. Unclaimed funds will then become the property of the School District of Newberry County Office of Child Nutrition.

Dissemination of procedures

At the beginning of each school year, the information contained in this administrative rule and any associated procedures will be shared with administrators, principals, school food service professionals, and other district stakeholders charged with duties related to the school food services program. Parents/Legal guardians and students will be notified in writing of this rule and any associated procedures at the beginning of the year, upon transferring into the district, or upon transferring into a new school within the district. 

Adopted: June 26, 2017