Parents could face bill collection under new district policy

Virginia Beach’s new unpaid lunch policy, if approved, would send bill collectors after unpaid accounts.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.—Parents who don't pay school lunch bills in Virginia Beach could soon face serious consequences.

The school board will vote on a policy change that would allow city collectors to target parents racking up school lunch debt.
“The reality is that parents are responsible. Now, it is a better system to make sure that’s happening,” school board member Joel McDonald said.

Current school lunch policy: The board seeks to encourage families to pay whatever they reasonably can toward the price of the meal.

Proposed policy change: Parents/legal guardians are responsible for payment of the paid or reduced cost of the meal. The school division will submit all uncollected balances to the City of Virginia Beach for collection.

According to school board member Dan Edwards, school leaders have collected lunch debt in the past, but they need to officially change the policy. He explained turning bills over to city collectors is a last resort.  Parents who don’t pay will get warnings and school officials will try to work out payments with them.

School officials said since unpaid lunch bills are carried over, the city will submit payment notices to guardians of students who owe more than $20 – regardless of what year that amount stems from.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
pizza toppings

When the FoodService Director editors first started tossing around the idea of an “influencers” issue, our minds immediately turned to, well, foodservice directors. After all, so much of the learning in this industry is a peer-to-peer experience, and it’s your influence that inspires the content in every single issue of this magazine.

Then we imagined the massive infighting that would occur if we tried to whittle ourselves down to a list of just 20 influential operators and thought better of it. There’s already enough arguing for us to do about which pizza toppings are best (...

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

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.

FSD Resources