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, 2023. 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, 2023, 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 have expired on 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.