Child Nutrition Services
California Universal Meals
Beginning in School Year (SY) 2022-23, California will become the first state to implement a statewide Universal Meals Program. We are pleased to announce that all Evergreen School District students will be able to receive a free breakfast and free lunch each school day, regardless of your income! We applaud California’s effort to lessen food insecurity, reduce financial burdens on families, eliminate the stigma of the meal program, and ensure students have the necessary nutrition for their academic success. Evergreen School District will be participating in the federal program called Provision 2 Special Assistance Program available to schools as part of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
Even though meals are free for all students, families are still asked to complete a Free & Reduced Meal Application. Your school meal application can bring funding to your school, reduce your household costs, and may make your family eligible for other benefits in the future, like P-EBT. Apply today: www.SchoolLunchApp.com. It is fast, safe, and secure. You do not have to be a citizen to complete the application and it has no effect on the public charge rule.
Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. Households are encouraged to complete a new application if you experience a decrease in household income, become unemployed, have an increase in family size, or qualify for CalFresh, CalWorks/TANF, or FDPIR benefits. Please note: The 2021-22 Meal Applications expire on September 28, 2022. In order to avoid a lapse in benefits and ensure your eligibility is counted for school funding, please complete your 2022-23 Meal Application as soon as possible.
The information you provide by returning the 2022-23 Meal Application determines the base year funding sources for school meal programs. Under Provision 2, families may be asked in subsequent or non-base years to complete a simplified Household Income Survey. Income surveys are used to capture information for local education agencies and ensure Evergreen School District receives all of the funding it is entitled to for state educational programs. Regardless of the form, the information you provide is completely confidential and for District use only.
Meal Charging Policy
It is the full intent of the Evergreen School District that all households are made aware of the Meal Charging Policy. This, and more information about the meal program, can also be found at: www.eesd.org/departments/child-nutrition.
Meals are FREE for all students during the school year. To obtain free meals, the student must take the minimum amount required of a “reimbursable meal” under the Offer vs. Serve meal pattern of the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Program. If a student takes less than the minimum amount, they will be charged a la carte for the items they have taken. Payment for a la carte purchases and adult meals will still be required. Evergreen School District strongly encourages families to pay for al la carte purchases in advance. Pre-paying before meal service provides a simple way for you to manage your student's account and also helps lunch lines move more quickly, giving children more time to enjoy their meal. Households can pay for meals by:
Paying Online: Visit www.myschoolbucks.com to make payments, set up low balance alert emails, and track transactions safely and securely anytime.
Paying at your child’s school: Students may pay cash or check when they are in the cafeteria. Prepayments can also be left at the school office during normal business hours. Checks should be made payable to CNS and please include the student’s full name and room # when sending in a payment.
Meals on Credit
No charges will be placed on a student’s account if they choose a reimbursable meal at service time. Due to program limitations, our staff cannot force your student to take a reimbursable meal, however we will encourage them to take what is necessary to make it complete. No a la carte items can be purchased on credit. Please review menus in advance with your child so you can ensure they will be able to choose and eat the minimum reimbursable meal components. If not, it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure that money is in the account or a home prepared meal is sent to the school with their child. Any monies received from students with a negative account balance must first be used to satisfy the negative balance. No change will be given back to students with negative account balances and any extra monies will be deposited into the student’s account.
Repayment for Returned Checks
If a check is returned due to insufficient funds, a letter will be sent to the household. Returned checks will result in an additional $25/check fee and checks will not be accepted from the household until the balance is paid.
End of the Year Balances
At the end of the school year, any positive funds left in a student’s account will be carried over to the following school year. Students graduating out of Evergreen School District will be notified by mail with the balance amount. Parents have the option to request a refund, donate, or transfer the balance to a younger sibling. Instructions will be included. Federal guidelines prohibit the Food and Nutrition operation from writing off bad debts as a result of charged meals. If the student has graduated or moved out of the district with a negative lunch account balance, the unpaid meal charges will be considered bad debt and a file containing students' names and amounts owed will be turned over to the district's business office by June 30 of each school year.
To protect family’s confidentiality, account balance information will only be monitored and dispersed by the Child Nutrition Services Department. Debt collection procedures will also only be initiated by Child Nutrition Services staff. Debt thresholds and delinquent payment definitions will be reviewed annually by the CBO and CNS Supervisor to ensure the purpose of the meal charging policy is not jeopardized by the diversions of staff time and effort to collect payment.
Refunds and Balance Transfers
If your child is graduating or moving out of Evergreen School District with excess funds on their school lunch account, you can request a refund, transfer it to a younger sibling, or donate the balance to the Child Nutrition Services Department. Please be aware that balances DO NOT carry over to the high school level.
Parents of 8th grade students will also receive a letter the first week in June with the current funds remaining on your student’s account.
Refunds typically take up to 30 days to be processed and a check mailed to the address provided in your request. Due to the high volume of requests at the end of the school year, please be patient in receiving your refund. We ask that your refund requests be received by July 31.
You can also complete a request form at https://www.eesd.org/departments/child-nutrition/payments or send a request by mail to 2828 Corda Drive, San Jose, CA 95122. Include in your request: your name, address, phone number, student name, school attended, and student ID number (if known). Please include sibling information if you are requesting a transfer of funds.
If at any time households have questions about their student’s lunch account, current account balance, are facing a financial hardship or need assistance with completing a lunch application, they should contact Child Nutrition Services at (408) 223-4500.
We look forward to welcoming your students into our cafeterias this year!