Food Service Debt Policy

USDA Policy Memorandum SP 46-2016 requires all School Food Authorities (SFAs) operating federal school meal programs to have a written and clearly communicated policy. Below is our current policy.

The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs provide children with nutritious meals during the school day.  Leland Public School’s goal is to allow children to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, minimize identification of children with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintain the financial integrity of the nonprofit school food service account.

Leland Public School encourages all parents and guardians to apply for Free/Reduced meals at or by filling out a paper application (paper applications will be sent out at the beginning of the school year. They are also available in the lobby of the school, or by request at any time). 

Parents/Guardians who are reduced or full pay are encouraged to pre pay for student meals by sending cash or check directly to the office or cafeteria. Payments by card can be made at  

When balances are owed and accounts are delinquent, letters will be mailed home as a reminder.  If payment is still not received after two weeks, the Food Service Director will make phone calls to parents/guardians reminding them of the debts and attempting to come up with a plan for payment(s). After an additional week, If payments have still not been paid, the Principal will call parents/guardians. If attempts have still not been made to offset the debt, the Superintendent will call parents/ guardians. If a student is attempting to transfer to another school, records will not be released until meal debt is paid off. 

Leland Public School will never deny a student a meal who is unable to pay. No student with a negative balance will:

* be forced to wear a wristband or have their hand stamped
* be forced to perform chores or other work to pay for school meals
* be forced to dispose of their meal because of inability to pay
* be directly communicated with about their negative balance unless the student’s parents or legal guardian cannot be reached
* If a parent or legal guardian cannot be reached: negative balances will not be discussed in front of a student in the presence of other students. 

If a student does not have adequate funds, and has not been approved for free or reduced meals, the student will be provided with the same full balanced/reimbursable meal that is advertised on the menu for that day. Students who do not have adequate funds will not be allowed to charge for ala cart items or extras.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:
    [email protected]


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.