Deer Lakes

School District

Food Services

Food Service Debt Collection

 
The Deer Lakes School District aims to provide nutritious and appetizing meals to students each day. The District recognizes that good nutrition is vital to students’ health, their mental and physical growth, and their readiness to participate and learn at school. The food service program operates in conjunction with federal and state school nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.
 
It is the district’s goal that the food service program be operated in a manner that is financially self-sufficient on an operational basis, with allowances for capital expenditures (e.g., facilities and capital equipment.) Unpaid meal charges place a large financial burden on the food service program and account for more than $25,000.00 owed to the Deer Lakes’ Food Services Department
 
As a result, the Deer Lakes School District will begin utilizing Creditech, a debt collection agency, for negative student meal accounts. Accounts that are more than $50 in debt will be turned over to Creditech for collection starting June 9th, 2022. Any debts collected through Creditech will be charged an additional 18% service fee; however, if the debt is paid off directly to the school district by June 8th, 2022, there will be no additional service charge. Attempted payments to the school district after June 8th cannot be accepted and our online payment system will be shutdown.
 
Reimbursable meals will never be denied based on account status, eligibility or any other factor. The District will continue to follow federal law and district policies in regard to student meal procedures. 
 
Why is Deer Lakes School District taking this step?
 
This money directly impacts our educational programs when general funds must cover for delinquent student balances.
 
What about students and families who may qualify for free meals?
 
In response to Covid-19, Congress enacted waivers that allowed all student meals to be free. These waivers are set to expire June 30th, 2022. This means that the 2022-2023 school year will return to normal operating standards and meals will no longer be free unless the free/reduced application is completed and accepted. Applications for the free/reduced meals for the 2022-2023 school year will be accepted starting July1st, 2022 and we strongly encourage all who may be eligible to apply. Applications will be provided once available and shall be found on the district’s website under the Food Service Section.
 
How can I make a payment on my child’s meal account?
 
Payments can be submitted online via www.Schoolcafe.com/deerlakes. Cash/check can be sent to each school’s cafeteria. Please address checks to Deer Lakes Food Service and include your student’s name and PIN number.

Deer Lakes FREE Meals

  As of May 1st, 2021, Deer Lakes enrolled students will be receiving FREE reimbursable meals (breakfast and lunch) until JULY 30TH, 2022.  Ala Carte purchases and extra item purchases WILL NOT be reimbursed on a students account. Please see the infographic below for an explanation of what the USDA classifies as a MINIMUM  "free reimbursable meal". We strongly encourage all students and families to participate in this program.

Should you have any questions or comments, please reach out via email to [email protected]

Free and Reduced Application:

SchoolCafe provides an easy, convenient and confidential application for free and reduced meals. Click on the attached link to apply online. You may apply for the new school year beginning on July 1.  For a paper application, please call the Food Service Department.

Attached below is the annual letter for Free and Reduced Meals. Many eligible families never take advantage of this federal program. Also, please know that you may apply at any time, as situations can and do change.  Finally, the entire process is completely confidential.

About the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or no-cost lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1946.

About 7.1 million children participated in the NSLP in its first year. Since then, the program has reached millions of children nationwide: 1970: 22.4 million children; 1980: 26.6 million children; 1990: 21.1 million children; 2000: 27.3 million children; 2010: 31.8 million children; and 2016: 30.4 million children.

NSLP Fact Sheet

Downloadable Menus

Contact Food Services:

Jacob Douglas






Jacob Douglas
Director of Food Service
163 East Union Road
Cheswick, PA 15024
Phone: 724.265.5300 Ext. 2114
Email:  [email protected]
 

Christine A. Girty
Secretary, Food Services
Phone: 724.265.5300 Ext. 1254
Email: [email protected]

SchoolCafe


Deer Lake School District families are encouraged to utilize SchoolCafe - a FREE tool to manage their children's meal accounts. SchoolCafe is available online and as an app from the AppStore and Google Play.

  • access your child's purchase history
  • monitor account balances
  • receive low balance alerts
  • make online payments
  • set up automatic payments any time your student's account falls below your pre-determined limit

Please note that there is a small convenience fee for online payments. To avoid the convenience fee, families can make meal payments via check (Deer Lakes Food Service) or cash at any time. Payments can be dropped off in the respective school office. Be sure to place payment in an envelope clearly marked “Deer Lakes Food Service ” with the child’s name, amount and parent contact information in the event of any questions. If the payment is for more than one student, indicate how the money should be split (for example, Johnny = $10.00 and Sally=$15.00). Payment can be made in any amount to best suit a family’s budget.

To create your SchoolCafe account, you will need your child's Student ID #. For assistance with Student ID #s, please contact your child's school office.