School Nutrition Program Q & A

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    My child does not like milk. Why does he/she have to take milk when purchasing a meal?



    A student does not have to take milk when purchasing a meal. The National School Lunch and Breakfast program operates under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many rules have been established to safeguard the health and well being of children.

    What constitutes a breakfast?

    • Entrée (grain)
    • Milk
    • Fruit or Juice
    • Additional Item

    Students may choose not to take 1 of the 4 items, however, they must take 3 of the 4 items and one item must be a fruit or juice.


    What constitutes a lunch?

    • Meat/Meat Alternate
    • Grain
    • Vegetable
    • Fruit
    • Milk

    Students may choose not to take 2 of the groups, however, they must take at least 3 of the 5 groups (one must be a serving of a fruit or vegetable). Milk may be an item they choose to eliminate.




    What makes a complete meal? What should I be getting for my money?



    Standard Lunch

    A complete meal for a student consists of 1 item from each of 5 groups. Students may choose to eliminate 2 of the groups, however, they must take at least 3 of the 5 groups (one must be a serving of a fruit or vegetable):

    1. Meat/Meat Alternate
    2. Grain
    3. Vegetable
    4. Fruit
    5. Milk (lactose-free milk is a separate charge)

    Adult meals are charged a la carte.

    The daily entree selections include (in addition to what is listed on the menu):

    • Yogurt with or without bread choice
    • Bar Entree with 2 proteins and potato or bread choice

    Bar of the Day

    Each day we offer a bar of the day. Each serving at the bar is a complete meal that meets all the meal requirements. The bars are self-serve. Many of the items are pre-portioned to eliminate waste and to provide cost control.





    How can I prepay for my student's lunches?



    The Cabarrus County School Nutrition Program accepts prepayments on student accounts in several different ways.

    • You may send cash in an envelope to school with your child. Make sure that you have clearly marked the envelope with the student's name, account number (PIN), homeroom teacher and the amount that is enclosed in the envelope.
    • You may send payments to school in the form of a check. Make sure that all checks are clearly marked with the student's name and account number (PIN). (No Starter Checks)
    • We also accept payments via the internet. This can be done by accessing our third-party vendor's web address of More information regarding this service can be found under the "payment options" menu on the left.
    • If you are pre-paying for more than one student and you are not using the on-line payment method, please be sure to send a separate envelope to school with each child.




    If I pay by check, what information should I make sure to put on the check?



    Payments made by check must have the following information either printed or written on the check*:

    • Drivers License Number
    • Full Name Street Address (including city, state, and zip)
    • Phone Number
    • Students name or ID number

    *We do not accept starter checks.




    What happens when my check to the cafeteria bounces?



    Cabarrus County Schools is always looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in our fiscal policies. While it may seem like a minor issue to some, receipt of non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks is a time consuming and costly issue.

    As with any business, Cabarrus County Schools has an obligation to our clients, the community taxpayers, to be fiscally accountable. Processing NSF checks can take valuable time from the school district personnel.

    To manage this process, our district began using CheckREDI on July 1, 2014 to protect the interest of all in our school system community against the time consuming and costly recovery of insufficiently funded checks. 
    CheckREDI utilizes the federal and state laws allowing the electronic recovery process of NSF checks which results in a high rate of recovery at no cost to the school district. The cost becomes the responsibility of those who wrote non-sufficient fund checks with the electronic recovery of the face amount of the check and the electronic recovery of the state fee from the back check writer's bank account. Utilizing CheckREDI is an effort by the school district to be fiscally accountable in a more efficient and cost effective manner.




    How can I place restrictions on my student's account to prevent them from getting certain items from the cafeteria?



    There is little the SNP Department can do to restrict what a student chooses to pick up and place on their tray. Health code requirements do not allow a student to return unwrapped items once they have picked them up. There is not sufficient staff to accompany each child through the line, and by the time they get to the cashier, the student has already picked up what they want.

    For those students who have food allergies and related medical needs, we will work with the teachers, school nurses, and guardians according to the guidelines outlined in our food allergies policy (which you can read by clicking here). You can also look at our diet order form by clicking here.

    If you wish restrictions for financial or other reasons not covered by the food allergy policy, the best way to address the issue is by parental involvement and communication with the student.

     By subscribing to K12PaymentCenter you can view your student's meal history with enough detail to indicate if extra items outside of a normal meal are purchased (such as cookies, desserts, snacks, extra helpings, etc). Using this resource as an educational tool, parents should be able to reinforce their students to choose proper items at mealtime.

    Other tools a parent can use to help monitor meal choices and costs are on our monthly calendar menus and price list.




    If my student ends up with a positive balance left in their cafeteria account at the end of the school year, what happens to that money?



    Any money left in the account at the end of the school year will be kept in that account, allowing the student to use those funds at the beginning of the next school year.




    What happens to my student's lunch account balance when they transfer between schools in the district?



    Once the school data manager at the new school enrolls the transferred student, the student's lunch account (including any account balance they may have) will automatically transfer to the student's new school cafeteria within 24hrs.

    This applies to transfers during the school year, but also applies to transfers that happen over the summer due to students graduating from Elementary or Middle schools.




    How do I get a refund if my student has graduated or transfers away from the district?



    If the amount of positive balance is small enough, the cafeteria cashiers can issue refunds upon presentation of a parental note. If the amount is too great to refund out of the cashier drawer (or if it is after the school year is over), the parent can contact the School Nutrition office at 704-260-5500 and speak with the School Nutrition Accounting Technician.




    Do you use peanut products in your cafeterias?



    The School Nutrition program does not use peanut products in their facilities. However, some manufacturers of the products we use may produce a product in a facility that may contain peanuts.




    Why do lunch prices increase?



    The interim USDA rule entitled, “National School Lunch Program: School Food Service Account Revenue Amendments Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” published in the Federal Register on June 17, 2011(76 Federal Register 35301), requires school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program to ensure sufficient funds are provided to the nonprofit school food service account for meals served to students not eligible for free or reduced price meals. The rule, and the statutory provision is based on, Section 12(p) of the Richard B Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 USC 1760(p) states SFAs must annually review their paid lunch revenue to assure compliance with the paid lunch equity requirement. When the average paid lunch price is less than the difference between the free and paid Federal reimbursement rates, the SFA must gradually increase their average prices charged for paid lunches.


Last Modified on May 11, 2021