Q: Can I receive a low or negative balance notice on my child’s account by e-mail?
A: Yes! Simply call our office at 323-5155 and ask to have your e-mail address added to your child’s account. When their account balance falls below $5, you will receive an e-mail reminding you to replenish money on their account. This notification will arrive daily until you place enough money on their account to go over the $5 threshold.
Q: Where can I get an application for free and reduced meal benefits?
A: You may apply on line at www.lunchapp.com or you may print one from this website. Your school office also has applications. To print one from this site, on the Food Group home page, select the Free and Reduce Meal Application link. You may print the application, then fill it out and mail it to the Food Service Department at 8107 Mustang Dr., Portage, MI 49002 or drop it off at your child’s school office. Due to USDA regulations, we cannot accept fax copies.
Q: My child qualifies for meal benefits at lunch, they offer breakfast at our school, does that mean my child can eat breakfast at the same benefit level?
A: Yes, their lunch benefits also apply at breakfast, and we would love to have your child eat breakfast with us.
Q: When can I expect to hear whether my child will receive meal benefits?
A: Meal benefit applications are processed in the order that they are received. If you have not received a letter from our office providing you with this information, you should continue to pay for you child’s lunch. Any meals consumed prior to approval of meal benefits are the financial responsibility of the parent or guardian.
Q: My child receives meal benefits. What are they entitled to?
A: With meal benefits, your child receives one reimbursable school meal for breakfast (if served at your school) and one reimbursable school meal for lunch. If they would like additional meals, a la carte items, snacks, juice or milk, they may purchase those at the published price.
Q: My child is spending too much money each day. Can I put a restriction on their account?
A: Certainly, simply log onto www.sendmoneytoschool.com and place your restriction on your child’s account. You may also fax, e-mail or mail your request in writing to the Food Service Department, and we will implement the restriction within 24 hours of receipt. Unfortunately we cannot accept verbal requests.
Q: What is the ID card policy at the Middle and High School?
A: All High School and Middle School students who wish to purchase food in the cafeteria MUST present their student ID card or type in their student ID number on the pin pad. This includes students who receive free or reduced meal benefits. In order to prevent overt identification of our meal benefit students, all secondary students must use their ID card or pin pad ID entry to purchase any food items from the cafeteria.
Q: My child forgot or has run out of money for lunch, will they still be able to eat lunch?
A: Students may charge a reimbursable school lunch should they forget their money. A la carte items are not permitted to be charged. However, a student who is more than $5.50 (2 lunches) in the negative will not be allowed to charge another lunch until they have their balance paid in full. During the last two weeks of school, charging of lunches into the negative will not be permitted.
Q: Can I put money on my child’s account with a credit card?
A: Yes, we now have that feature available for parents. Simply log onto www.sendmoneytoschool.com to set up your account. Please note there is a $1 convenience fee to use this service. IMPORTANT: Credit card transactions may take up to 48 hours to post to your child’s account. A money saving tip: save on the fee cost, place money on all of your children’s accounts at the same time rather than individually so you are only assessed one convenience fee.
Q: My child has a food allergy or needs to know carb counts. Where can I find that information?
A: Food allergy parents must complete a Special Diet Request form located at the bottom of the menus section of the website. You may also find allergy information along with other nutritional information on the Nutrislice website - http://portageps.nutrislice.com
Top 5 Middle School Lunch Questions Asked By Parents
1: What is different about middle school lunch vs. elementary school lunch?
A: The number of choices. At the middle school level, students can bundle food items together to complete their meals. If they do not have all of the necessary components to make a school lunch, then they will be charged for each item at an a la carte price. Also at the middle schools, students may only charge two lunches into the negative. We do not provide alternate meals for students who do not have any money on their student account.
2: What does a school lunch consist of?
A: A reimbursable school meal is the name given to meals that meet the required meal pattern by the National School Lunch Program. The school meal must include the following components: a protein, a grain (bread), a vegetable, a fruit and fluid milk. At Portage Public Schools, we provide an “offer vs. serve” format of school meals. This means that students are offered all 5 components, but must choose at least 3 to comprise a “qualified” meal. In addition students are now required to also have at least ½ cup of fruit or vegetables on their plate to qualify for a reimbursable meal. Students may choose all 5 components if they wish, but must take a minimum of 3 components. When a student chooses an entrée, all they need to do is choose 2 or more of the remaining components to complete their school meal. School meals are charged at the set school lunch price of $2.50. Students may also choose a Premium school lunch of Crisp, Bake or Outtakes for an additional $ .35 at the Middle Schools or Crust & Stuff, Ready Set Deli, Toast Post or Outtakes at the High Schools. Students who do not take the necessary components for a school meal are charged for their food items at a la carte prices.
3: Why is my child spending so much money?
A: 99% of the time, your child is not purchasing a school meal, they are purchasing all of their lunch items as a la carte forgetting to take the required components to make a meal. They may also be purchasing food for their friends or excess snack items.
4: My child is spending too much money each day. Can I put a restriction on their account?
A: Simply log into www.Sendmoneytoschool.com and sign up for access, call the kitchen staff in your school or the Food Service Department at 323-5155. We can give you the information by phone, and we can also print out an account history and send it to you by mail, fax, or e-mail. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and our fax number is 323-8159.
5: Can I prepay for meals for my child as I did in elementary school?
A: Certainly, and we do encourage that in middle school. You may pay by check, credit card, money order or cash. Remember to include your child’s ID number on all checks or money orders. Please keep in mind that teachers no longer collect money in the classrooms at middle school. Your child must take the cash to the café prior to the start of school or they may also make a deposit as they come through the lunch line. To pay with a credit card log onto www.sendmoneytoschool.com and create an account. Please note there is a $1 convenience fee to use this service.