Last week members of the Plymouth School Board were updated on the negative lunch account balances for the 2022-23 school year. 

Amy Kraszyk, Director of Food Services addressed school board members and told them that at the end of the school year, there is a negative balance of $10,709.47.  She said, “Students with a negative balance were 128 which is less than 1% of our total enrollment.” 

Kraszyk explained that school year 2022-23 was the first year that COVID waivers were revoked and the first time in 2 years that families went back to paid lunches.  She said, “While most families were aware of the change back to normal, others weren’t and did not complete an updated free/reduced application.” 

Per the corporation’s Meal Charge Policy, students with a negative balance in their account are granted a reimbursable meal, however, they may not purchase extra or ala-carte items.  The director explained that they still have to track the “sale” of the meal for the state reporting process which includes breakfast and lunch. 

The corporation’s policy allows the lunch clerks to ask the older students if they have lunch money while the secretaries and administration also assist by phone calls, emails, and letters to families throughout the school year to resolve the debt issue.

Kraszyk said some of the negative account balances are as low as $20.  Her plan is to offer parents one last opportunity to reconcile the meal account balances through the schools.  If the corporation can’t resolve the debt with the family or they do not respond then the corporation will be forced to go to another form using a collection agency or small claims court.