South Dakota schools serve cereal for lunch after parents don't pay

Rapid City Area Schools is trying to collect $8,000 in outstanding debt from unpaid school meals.

RAPID CITY, S.D.—Rapid City students whose parents haven't paid their school food bills will have to settle for a bowl of cereal and a carton of milk for lunch if they don't bring food from home for the rest of the school year.

With school closing next Thursday, Rapid City Area Schools is trying to collect approximately $8,000 in outstanding meal debt owed by parents. Those who do not pay up will either have to send their children to school with lunch or have them eat cereal instead of the regular hot lunch.

An automatic calling system at Valley View Elementary School mistakenly notified parents over the weekend that their children would not be served the alternative meal — which is usually a cheese sandwich but will be cereal this time — until additional money is deposited in the student's account.

The district moved to correct that error on Tuesday. "We do not allow and do not want students to miss a meal," Superintendent Tim Mitchell stressed Tuesday. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
ucmc model

With a budget and timeline in place, and the support of the university behind them, the foodservice team at the University of Chicago Medical Center was ready to get rolling with the renovation of one of its patient services kitchens. The facility, which services the hospital’s Center for Care and Discovery and Comer Children’s Hospital, was tripling in size to serve two additional patient floors, to the tune of $9 million. But that didn’t mean immediately jumping in with steel and screws.

“First, we cut out scaled pieces of paper and moved things around,” says Elizabeth Lockwood,...

Ideas and Innovation
granola bars

Where possible, we make grab-and-go items reimbursable. For example, if we’re serving a fruit and milk smoothie, we let students take a granola bar or other grain component to make it count as a meal.

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.

FSD Resources