Nutrition Services FAQ
Q: How do I open a lunch account for my student?
A: When you enroll your student in school they are automatically issued a Nutrition Services meal account. Grades K-1 access their meal accounts with a scan card (which we provide). Grades 2-12 use a finger scan to access their account. Please note: the finger scan does not store a fingerprint nor can a fingerprint be recreated. Students can opt out of the finger scan and a seven digit PIN will be given to them which they will type into a key pad if they choose to buy a meal or a drink.
Q: How do I deposit money into my student’s Nutrition Services meal account?
A: Please send either cash, or a check with the student’s full name written in the memo section, to school with them. They can drop it off in the cafeteria with the cashier at the beginning of the day. Payment may be for one day, one week, or several weeks at a time. The entire amount of the check must be deposited into the student’s account (no change back can be given). You may also want to sign up for the MealTime Online payment option. For more information about MealTime online payments,please click here. If you don’t know your login information, please contact the Nutrition Services Office at 360-833-5768.
Q: Do you accept credit cards?
A: No, not at this time. However, if you sign your child up for the MealTime Online payment option, you can use debit or credit cards there. For more information about Mealtime Online, please click here.
Q: If I send in cash with my student can he/she get change?
A: Minimal change is kept at each school. At the primary level, unless a note is given, change should not be given to students depositing money on their account. At the secondary level, students must tell cashier before transaction that they would like change. If change is less than one dollar, the coin will be added to their account balance. Change cannot be given on checks, or once money has been deposited on the student’s account.
Q: What if I forget to send lunch money to school?
A: An elementary student is allowed up to a negative balance equal to 3 meal charges. If the student has a negative balance and is within this negative charge limit, they will receive a full reimbursable lunch meal. If the purchase will take the student’s balance beyond the negative charge limit, the Student will receive a cheese sandwich for the entree, milk and access to fruit and vegetables until their balance is no longer negative. Middle School charges are not allowed at this time. Middle school students who find themselves without money will be provided a cheese sandwich entrée, milk and fruits & vegetables at no cost. High School and Adult charges are not allowed at this time. Meals must be paid for at the time of service. It is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to ensure their child has money in his/her account or brings a meal from home. Students will be notified when their meal account is low by stamping their hands, sending home a low or negative reminder sheet and low-balance e-mails sent to parents. No charges are allowed for breakfast or ala carte purchases. Balances (positive and negative) will stay on the students account from year to year and from school to school.
Q: How much do meals cost?
A: Please click here for meal prices.
Q: My student has a life-threatening food allergy / non-life threatening food allergy / physical disability; is there any way Nutrition Services can help?
A: Substitution and/or accommodations can be made for students with life-threatening allergies and/or life-threatening physical disabilities. A Diet Prescription form or medical statement must be submitted to the Nutrition Services office to allow the substitution. It must include:
- An identification of the medical or other special dietary condition which restricts the child’s diet;
- The food or foods to be omitted from the child’s diet; and
- The food or choice of foods to be substituted.
The Diet Prescription form or medical statement must be signed by your physician or recognized medical authority. No substitutions can be made to our menus without either the Diet Prescription form or medical statement on file. No substitutions are allowed for non-life threatening reasons. Those students may take advantage of the other offerings that day and make their own substitutions. The form can be found here.
Q: Can we request food substitutions for religious and/or personal reasons?
A: Unfortunately, the USDA regulations specify that all food substitutions must be prescribed by your physician or medical authority for a life-threatening medical reason.
Q: How do I check what my student is buying with their meal account?
A: When you sign up for Mealtime Online, your child’s meal purchases can be reviewed. For more information about Mealtime online, please click here. Or you can contact our office, 360-833-5768 for more information.
Q: If my child changes schools, does their money go with them?
A: Yes, if they change schools within the Camas School District their money and free/reduced status will follow them there.
Q: We are leaving the Camas School District, how do I have the money in my students meal account refunded to me?
A: If you would like to request a refund for your Camas School District student’s meal account, please contact the Nutrition Services Office at 360-833-5768.
Q: How do I apply for Free/Reduced lunches?
A: The Camas School District participates in the National School Breakfast & Lunch Program. You may apply for free/reduced meals at any time during the school year. Applications are available here, in your school office and the Nutrition Services office. Fill out the application as completely as possible (one application per household) including:
- All students’ full names w/schools they attend,
- Names of all members of the household with their incomes,
- Signature of an adult household member,
- Social Security Number of signer (if your student receives Basic Food or TANF, you must include the case number on the application, and no SSN# is needed).
If your student is a foster child, please submit an application with only his/her name in the foster child section. No other children may be on their application. Have your student drop it off at your school’s office or cafeteria or mail to Nutrition Services, 26900 SE 15th St., Camas, WA 98607. We have 10 business days to process the application; however it usually takes 24-48 hours. You are responsible for all charges until your application is approved.
A letter will be mailed home to notify you of the application results. If you were approved for Temporary Free meals, you have six weeks to contact the Food Service office and/or submit a new application with income information. In order to receive the free/reduced rate, your student must choose a complete meal. Your child must select at least 2 food items for breakfast and at least 3 items for lunch. Anything else will be considered Ala Carte and your student will be charged accordingly.
A new application must be submitted each year (it cannot be submitted on last year’s form). Your child’s status from the prior year will roll over to the next school year for the first 30 school days. After that a new application must be on file. All charges accrued between when the old one expires and the new one is approved are the parent and/or guardians responsibility to pay back.
Q: What is considered a lunch and what is considered ala carte?
A: A complete lunch consists of an entrée, side dishes, and milk. A student must select the entrée and one other item for the meal to be considered a complete lunch. Everything else is considered ala carte.
Q: Can my student buy extra food (ala carte)?
A: Elementary students may use their meal accounts to purchase breakfast, lunch, milk and juice. An extra entrée for breakfast or lunch is also available. Secondary students may use their meal account to purchase any food/snack items available to them. If you do not wish for them to use their meal account in this manner, please contact your school kitchen and ask to speak with the contact person to add a restriction to your child’s ability to purchase ala carte items.
Q: Are school meals healthy?
A: Great question! Yes, Camas School District menus offer the recommended daily allowance of nutrients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Guidelines. Breakfast contributes 1/4 of the USDA’s daily nutrient requirements and Lunch contributes 1/3. In addition, Camas School District menus are analyzed by computer software to ensure that certain nutrient levels are met.