Iowa district's new charging policy nearly halves lunch debt

Payment deadlines and notifications help recover debt.

Sept.  20—A new meal charging policy in the Southeast Polk Community School District, in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, has helped nearly cut the debt in half in the food services department.

The district’s revamped policy shines light on the range and variance of effect of policies in metro school districts that battle similar issues when it comes to charging meals and enforcing debt repayment to district food and nutrition departments. SEP officials say they believe they have found a viable policy for their future.

Director of Food and Nutrition Services Kathy Nervig said students and parents have responded well to a new meal charging system that looks significantly different than the former policy, which had led to more than $40,000 of unpaid lunch debt in the district.