No-credit meal policy takes root in Mass. district

The policy allows the district to seek payments from parents while still providing lunches.

June 11—The North Adams (Mass.) School Committee believes it has found a way to collect more than $20,000 in delinquent meal accounts without bringing children into the equation.

Beginning in September, the district will enact a no-credit meal policy, allowing the district to seek payments from parents and at the same time provide lunches to children with negative account balances without stigmatizing them socially.

Food Services Director Cory Nicholas said the policy will provide students with insufficient account funds with the alternative breakfast or lunch offering, which is available daily to any student who doesn't want the daily entree. The alternative offerings are of the same nutritional quality but replace the daily entree with a "commodity" item, which costs the district less. Examples provided included: Cereal with toast, fruit of the day and milk for breakfast, and a ham or turkey sandwich with fruit, the vegetable of the day and milk for lunch.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
unsung heroes graphic

Febin Bellamy, a senior at Georgetown University, is the founder of Unsung Heroes, a nonprofit that features service workers on college campuses in man-on-the-street-style Facebook interviews. This year, Bellamy is working with a dozen schools to launch their own chapters of the storytelling platform. Here’s what he’s learned about staff shoutouts.

Q: Why did you decide to start Unsung Heroes?

A: One day I started a conversation with a custodial worker in the business school that I would see all the time. I learned that we had a lot of similarities; for instance, we both wanted to...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources