HOW DOES MY STUDENT PARTICIPATE IN THE MEALS PROGRAM?
Once your student is enrolled in the SLPS district they are assigned a student ID number. The school ID number is used to establish their food service account (grades 1-6 also receive an ID card with this number on it). Once you deposit money in their account they can purchase school meals or milk by using their ID number or card. You can put as much money in their account as you wish to cover meals for one week, one month, or even for the year. Please make sure there is money in your child’s account at all times.
Making Deposits Cash & Checks K-6: Send money (preferably checks) with your student(s) in a sealed envelope with their name (first and last), ID number, and the teacher’s name on the outside of the envelope. Deposits can be turned in any day of the week at school. Please check with your specific home room teacher for drop off location.
7-12: Send money (preferably checks) with your student. Deposits can be turned into any cafeteria cashier during the breakfast or lunch service times.
Checks are to be made out to Spring Lake Public Schools – Food Service. You may send ONE check for multiple family members, but please specify how much to deposit for each student. Or you can mail your check to SLPS, 16140 148th Avenue, Spring Lake, MI 49456 Attn: Food Service.
Credit Cards K-12: Credit cards are also accepted. Parents can deposit funds into their children’s lunch account using Master Card, Visa, or Discover on line via the “PLink” (Parent Link) program. Login/password information is available under PLink.
HOW DOES MY STUDENT RECEIVE A SCHOOL MEAL?
Breakfast Breakfast is served daily at all schools. Students simply go to their school’s cafeteria, choose their breakfast items and give their student ID number or card to the cashier. The breakfast meal is then deducted from their account at that time.
Lunch Elementary lunch counts are taken in the classroom each morning and communicated to the production kitchen. Parents are encouraged to review the monthly menu on a daily basis so students know if they want the “A” (first entrée listed), “B” (the second entrée listed), or “C” (salad/sub sandwich) choice. At lunchtime, your student will take his/her ID card down from the card holder (located in the cafeteria) and proceed to the service area to receive their meal and give their ID card to the cashier.
The service area is made up of three student lines according to the menu features: A, B, & C. After receiving their entrée, students proceeds to the “side bar” for additional items, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, condiments and salad dressings to complete their lunch.
Under USDA guidelines, students must take three (3) of the items offered on the menu to make a “qualified” student meal. It must be a complete lunch to receive free or reduced meal benefits. If a complete meal is not taken, items are charged as ala carte. When your child receives lunch, it is deducted from the account. If your child does not eat or take milk that day, no money is deducted from the account.
Secondary students have a variety of daily entrees from which to pick. In addition to the “daily feature” there are more than twenty (20) additional entrees made fresh every day. No daily count is necessary. Students simply go to the line/station that has their favorite entrée – similar to a “scatter system”. All meals include sides of steamed or fresh vegetables, fresh or chilled fruit, mashed potatoes or French fries and low fat milk (white, chocolate, and strawberry).
HOW DOES MY STUDENT PURCHASE JUST MILK?
Your student should take their ID card directly to the cashier or designated location to purchase milk. A $0.50 charge will be deducted from their account.
CAN I VIEW MY STUDENT’S ACCOUNT ONLINE?
Parents can view their student’s account purchases and deposits by accessing PLink (Parent Link) located on the Spring Lake Schools home page at www.springlakeschools.org
under the Food Service link. Return the completed registration form to the FS office and you will receive your username and password for access to your students’ account from any computer. NOTE: You only need to do this once; the password and login will remain the same each year.
WHY IS THE BALANCE OF MY STUDENT’S ACCOUNT DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I BELIEVE IT SHOULD BE?
There are several reasons why your student’s account may not be what you believe it to be. The meal account system gives greater convenience to parents, but also to your student. Students sometimes like to have breakfast with their friends when they get off the bus. Lunches from home may not be as appealing as the featured entrée of the day. Students going through a growth spurt tend to purchase two meals or extra milk. It could be that the deposit is still riding around in your student’s backpack or in their locker. If none of these reasons applies to your student, you can view their account activity online using “PLink” or call the Food Service office to receive a print our of your student’s account.
WHAT IF MY STUDENT IS PURCHASING MEALS WITHOUT MY PERMISSION?
Meals charged by the student are the parent’s responsibility. We recommend that you discuss with your student how you would like them to use their account. However, if you do not want them to have certain meals or ala Carte items charged to his/her account, we can help monitor meal purchases. The account can be marked to alert the cashier of those limitations. Please call the Food Service office to set the guidelines on your student’s account.
CAN MY CHILD TAKE MONEY OUT OF HIS/HER ACCOUNT?
Money deposited in your student’s account for school meals is strictly for that purpose. We do not honor requests from students to withdrawal money from their account. If your student(s) needs money withdrawn from his/her, a parent must request it. Parents may also request to transfer money from one of student account to a siblings account. Call the Food Service office to request.
CAN OTHER STUDENTS USE MY STUDENTS ID NUMBER OR CARD?
NO. Student accounts are protected through picture ID’s. When a student enters his/her ID number or swipes their card to pay for purchases, a picture appears on the cashiers computer screen to ensure proper ID ownership.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY STUDENT HAS A NEGATIVE BALANCE?
It is your responsibility to regularly check your student’s account balance to ensure they have money in the account. Your student’s account is not a charge account. Your student can check their account balance with any cashier or you can contact the Food Service office at 616-847-7917 for this information. You can also sign up for PLink (Parent Link) to view balances online at www.springlakeschools.org
under the Food Service link.
IF MY STUDENT RECEIVED FREE OR REDUCED MEAL BENEFITS LAST YEAR, DO I HAVE THEM THIS YEAR?
YES. You must fill out a new application for free and reduced benefits at the beginning of each school year. As a convenience, the USDA grants a continuance of last year’s benefits for three weeks to give parents time to fill them out and the Food Service administrator to process. Applications are processed in the order that they arrive. The earlier your application is submitted, the faster you will receive notice of your status. Applications can be dropped off to the Food & Nutrition Services office located at the High School, mailed to the Food & Nutrition Services office, or returned to the school in which your student is enrolled. You are responsible for the cost of school meals until you receive notice approval for your student(s) meal benefits.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I QUALIFIED FOR MEAL BENEFITS?
When your application has been processed, you will receive a letter stating the benefits for which you have been approved and the meal cost that your student will be charged.
CAN I APPLY FOR FREE AND REDUCED MEAL BENEFITS AT ANY TIME DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR?
Free and reduced meal benefits can be considered any time your household income changes by $50 a month or if you increase or decrease the number of household members. Applications are available in the office of each school or one can be mailed to you by contacting the Food & Nutrition Services office.