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News

OUSD collecting lunch money from 2019-20 school year

7 10 food

 

 

7 10 20 paymetsOjai Unified School District's Nutrition Services department provides healthy meals during the school year in its cafeterias, for which students are charged a nominal fee. OUSD is asking for parents and students to pay any outstanding bills they have and is requesting assistance from the community to help clear the $10,000 owed from unpaid meal accounts from the 2019-20 school year.

(Summer meal programs and those provided by OUSD from the time schools were closed through July 24 are free. For more information on the free food service, visit: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/738511/Summer_Flyer_2020_OUSD.pdf.)

Parents and student can check what they owe and make a quick and easy payment on the Parent Connect website by visiting the following OUSD website and clicking on "Online Payments": https://www.ojaiusd.org/o/ojai-unified-school-district/page/pay-cafeteria-balance

 “As the California Department of Education doesn’t allow its school districts to write-off unpaid debt, the district becomes responsible for paying the negative balances at the close of the school year," said Nutrition Services Director Julie Chessen. "These funds are pulled from the district general fund, which directly affects funds used for students in the classroom. We do not want to take these funds from student education, and are asking for our OUSD families and community to help us in balancing this debt. Our team does everything we can to keep student meal prices affordable for families, while also meeting our expenses, including paying vendors and staff.” 

To make a tax-deductible donation to the OUSD Nutrition Services account, visit:

https://www.ojaiusd.org/o/ojai-unified-school-district/page/cafeteria-donations

The website site has a form with the address for donations to the Nutrition Services for the outstanding cafeteria bills to be mailed. The link is:

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/358189/NS_Donation_to_Cafeteria_Debt_Form.pdf

 In May 2019, OUSD issued a press release that the amount owed to NutritionServices from OUSD families totaled more than $13,000.
The Ojai Unified School District is not alone in facing challenges in collecting money owed to Nutrition Services. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report in November 2018 on the challenge school districts across the country face in the matter: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/unpaid-meal-charges

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