School cafeterias serve millions of meals to students each day. And as the end of the school year approaches, so does the uneasy task of collecting unpaid student meal balances.
Recently, much media attention has been focused on school cafeterias and the (seemingly) controversial methods used when students cannot pay for their meal. Cafeteria staff have an obligation to balance feeding hungry kids, maintaining financial stability, and following district guidelines. Occasionally, something has to give.
As food costs continue to climb and many families struggle to make ends meet, school districts across the country continue to see a rise in unpaid meal charges. In SNA's State of School Nutrition 2014 survey, nearly 71% of schools reported that their meal program had unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2012-13 school year.