3 Ways to Reduce End-of-Year Lunch Debt

At the end of the school year, uncollected lunch debt can put schools in a difficult situation. The balance between feeding hungry students and maintaining financial stability while also following district guidelines is crucial. Luckily, there are ways to help reduce this problem. Following these guidelines along with the help of Meals Plus can help you end your school year right.

1.  Make sure eligible students take advantage of free and reduced-price meals.

The start of the school year can strongly impact how your cafeteria finishes out the year. Communication with parents is crucial, and the sooner you can start the better! Create a summer outreach plan to encourage early application submission so kids have reimbursable meals from the first day of school. Moving this process online can also increase completed applications while making the processing easier for schools. With LunchApplication the free and reduced application process is easy and accessible for parents while integrating with the Meals Plus Free and Reduced program to accurately update eligibility.

2.  Encourage meal prepayment with alternative methods.

Another online solution for optimizing parent accessibility is offering an online payment system. With K12PaymentCenter, the process of loading money onto student accounts is simplified by allowing credit and debit card payments whenever they want. This automatically integrates with the Meals Plus POS so balance and activity are always updated.

3.  Remind parents when money is owed.

Being proactive in keeping parents informed about their student’s account can make a huge difference in decreasing outstanding balances. K12PaymentCenter not only allows parents to view account balances and what students are buying but also sends balance notifications via email and text, so they are always in the loop. Soon parents will even be able to do all of this from the convenience of their smartphone. Be on the lookout soon for K12PaymentCenter to hit the app store!

The key to reducing unpaid meal charges is being proactive, and communicating clearly. With Meals Plus, these steps can be taken in a simple, automated way making things easier for parents and cafeteria staff.  For more guidelines on overcoming the unpaid meal challenge, check out the USDA Food and Nutrition Service guide.

Regents School of Austin (TX) Made Lunchtime Easier By Switching to Meals Plus

Before switching to Meals Plus, Regents School of Austin (TX) was having major issues with their point of sale system. It was difficult to use, technical support was slow, and parents couldn’t view what their children were purchasing. When their previous vendor informed them of some big changes that would require a lot of parent and district involvement, Regents decided to switch to the easier-to-use Meals Plus system.

Regents School of Austin

Lunch lines are moving faster now at Regents due to the many improvements made by switching to Meals Plus. The keypad is far more accurate and confidential, making it quicker for students to enter in their numbers. The custom color-coded menu groups make it easier for the volunteers to see, allowing the lunch line to flow with ease.  Their reports are also now much easier to run since the switch. Regents also applauds Meals Plus’ technical support stating, ”Meals Plus’ support team is fantastic.”

Not only does Regents School of Austin think highly of Meals Plus, but their previous point of sale system’s vendor does too! After being informed that Regents was switching to Meals Plus, they replied, “If it was anyone else, I would say you would be back. But with Meals Plus, I know we will never see you again,” knowing Regents would remain happy with Meals Plus cafeteria management system.

For more information on Meals Plus or to request a free 30 day trial, contact us today!lunchroom_Software_for_k-12