Meal Charge Policy
The Jefferson County School District realizes that students may forget or lose lunch/breakfast money. We have partnered with LINQ Connect, https://linqconnect.com/, to provide an electronic method for parents to view charges, fund accounts, and receive notifications of low balances. There is no charge for parents to create an account, monitor, or receive emails regarding low student meal balances. Parents may also utilize the LINQ Connect mobile app to monitor accounts.
Students with negative balances will not be permitted to purchase a la carte or extra items. Adults and faculty/staff are not permitted to charge meals. The Jefferson County Child Nutrition Program offers four ways for a parent to fund their student’s account:
1. Pay online using the LINQ Connect portal at https://linqconnect.com/
2. Utilization of the LINQ Connect mobile application
3. Personal Check or Cashier Check (no third party checks)
Parents will still be notified in writing and by the school district's automatic messaging system of negative student balances and will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to clear the bad debt.
It is unlawful for the Child Nutrition Program to absorb bad debt from unpaid meal charges. Parents are responsible for providing funds for student accounts. The Jefferson County Board of Education will pursue all available legal options to collect unpaid meal charges from the primary custodial parent(s) or court-appointed primary custodian. All funds collected from outstanding debts will be used to reduce the balance on a student’s account. Checks returned for insufficient funds will be handled in accordance with the Alabama State Department of Education’s Financial Procedures for Local Schools. Authorized personnel including, but not limited to, the child nutrition manager, administrators at the local school, and district child nutrition employees may contact the parent or legal guardian of any student about unpaid meal charges to alert them of the outstanding balance and provide payment options for reducing and/or eliminating the debt. Parents may be notified of negative student balances through written reminders via email or U.S. mail, verbal reminders via phone, and written reminders sent home with students in a sealed envelope.
If parents need financial assistance paying for school meals, a free/reduced price meal application may be completed online HERE. Applications are offered to parents at the beginning of each school year; however, families may apply for free/reduced meals at any time during the year. Parents are encouraged to utilize the online application process found on the Child Nutrition section of our website for faster processing. Paper applications may be obtained from the local school or district office. Students enrolled at a local school that qualifies to participate as a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) site are not required to complete a free/reduced meal application. Parents are responsible for the provision of funds for student meals based upon the current school year written eligibility notification relevant to the status of their submitted free/reduced application. More information regarding paid meal procedures may be found on our website.
The Jefferson County Child Nutrition Program currently offers three ways to deposit money into your child's account:
OPTION 1: Online Payment
To make it easy for parents to view charges, fund accounts, and get notified of low balances, we have partnered with LINQ Connect. There is no charge for parents to create, monitor, or receive emails regarding low student meal balances, prepayments and applying for free and reduced meals.
OPTION 2: Personal Check
Make checks payable to (School Name) Cafeteria. The student will give the check to his/her teacher in elementary school, or cashier at the middle and high schools. Make sure you put the child’s name and Cafeteria pin# in the memo section of the check to ensure correct crediting to the respective account. In addition, a telephone number and driver's license number MUST be noted on the check. For all returned checks, a collection fee in addition to the face value is assessed to the author of the check.
OPTION 3: Cash
Cash may be brought to the cafeteria at the time of purchase or given to the student's teacher for deposit into the account. Please put cash in an envelope marked with your student's name, grade, Cafeteria pin#, and amount. The Jefferson County School cafeterias have automated systems to provide accountability of each student’s account. Parents are encouraged to prepay their child’s meals for the week, month or year.