Account Balance Procedures

  • Negative Account Balance Procedures

    Pennsylvania law prevents Food Service employees from discussing low or negative account balances with students in grades K-8, unless the student asks the cashier for the status of their balance. Food Service employees are permitted to discuss low or negative account balance information with students in grades 9-12. 

    Our school district permits students to charge breakfast and lunch if their account has insufficient funds. However, students must have funds in their meal account to purchase a-la-carte items. These items cannot be charged. 

    Parents/guardians are responsible for all charges on their student’s account and are encouraged to frequently check the account balance to ensure that adequate funds are available for their students to purchase school a-la-carte items. We encourage families to utilize SchoolCafé to track account balances. The system sends automated emails informing parents/guardians of a low balance when the parent/guardian activates this option. Families without computer access may call the Food Services Office at (717) 898-5566 for account balance information.

    Negative balance reminders will be sent out monthly through e-mail or letters when e-mail is not available. As a courtesy, a food service staff member will make a phone call for excessive negative balances to offer help with free and reduced meal applications. If no application is received and the balance continues to be negative, a school counselor or building principal may contact the family. Unpaid charges are due to the district no later than the final day of school.

    Requesting an Account Refund or Balance Transfer 

    Positive balances for underclassmen will automatically carry over to the subsequent school year. Refunds from student meal accounts are granted when a student graduates, leaves the district, or a special circumstance necessitates the refund. In these cases, the parent/guardian must complete a Lunch Refund Form. The form must be signed and sent to the Hempfield Food Services Office. The form can be provided to the Food Services Office using the following methods:

    • Mail the form.
    • Email the form to the Food Services Office utilizing the email address provided on the form.
    • Using a smartphone or tablet, take a photo of the form, and email it to the Food Services Office, utilizing the provided email address.
    • Bring the form to the Food Services Office

    Refunds, transfers, or donations cannot be processed without a completed Lunch Refund Form. All students, regardless of paying full price or receiving free and reduced-priced meals, are handled under these same guidelines.

    Special Information for Graduating Seniors

    Shortly after the final day of school, parents/guardians of graduating seniors will receive a meal account letter and Lunch Refund Form if the student has a positive account balance. Remaining funds may be transferred to younger siblings, returned, or donated. Forms must be returned to the Food Services Office by June 30.

    Parents/guardians will receive a negative balance letter if a student’s account is not in good standing.  All negative accounts must be paid in full by June 30.