702 - Nutrition Services Program




702.1 - Nutrition Services Program




The district will operate a school lunch and breakfast program in each attendance center under the guidelines of the USDA. The Nutrition Services Program will include breakfast and lunch through participation in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. Students may bring their lunches from home and purchase milk or juice and other incidental items.

Nutrition Services facilities are provided to serve students and all school personnel when school is in session and during school-related activities. These facilities may also be used by other groups deemed appropriate and acceptable by the superintendent, or designee, and under the supervision of the Nutrition Services manager. If other groups use school facilities and require the use of kitchen equipment, a Nutrition Services employee must be present. The cost of providing the Nutrition Services employee shall be reimbursed by the group. In addition, a maintenance rental fee may be required as determined by Policy 1004.1 – Community Use of School Buildings, and the related administrative regulations.

The Nutrition Services Program is operated on a nonprofit basis. The revenues of the Nutrition Services Program will be used only for paying the regular operating costs of the Nutrition Services Program. Supplies of the Nutrition Services Program shall only be used for the Nutrition Services Program. The board will set and periodically review the prices for school lunches and breakfast. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, or designee, to make a recommendation regarding the prices of school lunch, breakfast, and milk. Prices will be determined per USDA regulations in accordance with federal and state laws.

District tax funds may be used to provide necessary physical plant facilities, purchase the equipment necessary for the establishment of Nutrition Services in new or existing buildings, replace major items of equipment, and payment for labor over and above revenue from sale of meals to students and adults. 

The Nutrition Services Program shall be under the direction of a Nutrition Services manager who will establish and maintain a central record system; prepare menus; develop standards; initiate purchasing; recommend personnel for employment, promotion, or dismissal; and conduct in-service training programs.

It shall be the responsibility of the Nutrition Services manager to administer the program and to provide the superintendent and the Board of Education an annual report on the functioning of the Nutrition Services Program.

The district shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations required for procurement including the selection and evaluation of contractors. The superintendent [or designee] is responsible for developing the administrative process to implement this policy including but not limited to procedures related to suspension and debarment for transactions subject to those requirements.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/12; 11/13
Revised: 10/10; 9/11; 4/15; 4/16; 8/17; 11/18
Related Policy (Code #): 803.1-R2; 1004.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 42 USC §§ 1751 et seq;
7 CFR Pt 210 et seq; 283A; 281 IAC 58

702.1-R - Administrative Regulations Regarding Meal Charges




In accordance with state and federal law, the Linn-Mar Community School District adopts the following policy to ensure school district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations regarding meal charges. The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, prevent the overt identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintain the financial integrity of the nonprofit school nutrition program.

Payment of Meals
Each student is assigned a computerized meal account. Parents/guardians pre-pay into a student’s meal account by sending a check to the student’s school, district office, or paying online with debit/credit card at https://intouch.linnmar.k12.ia.us. During meal service, students scan an ID badge at the cash register. The computer debits and records purchases from the student’s meal account.

Meal Charging
The Nutrition Services department closely monitors student accounts to prevent negative balances and changes as follows:


  • Students that fail to have positive account balances may charge meals under the following parameters:
    • Students will be served a full regular meal (breakfast or lunch)
    • Allergies will be taken into consideration
    • No snacks or a la carte items may be charged; with the exception of milk
    • Families will receive email communications when the account balance is low or negative


  • No charges of meals or a la carte items allowed
  • Adults will be notified of their balance verbally at the cash register when the balance falls below $15.00
  • Adults will receive email communications when the account balance is negative

Students who qualify for free or reduced meals shall never be denied a reimbursable meal even if they have accrued a negative balance from previous purchases. Schools are encouraged to provide a reimbursable meal to students with outstanding meal charge debt. If an alternate meal is provided, the meal must be the same meal presented in the same manner to any student requesting an alternate meal.

Negative Account Balances
The school district will make reasonable efforts to notify families when meal account balances are low. However, the failure of the school district to notify families shall not relieve families’ obligations to keep meal account balances current; nor shall it prevent the school district from being able to take all actions legally available to collect any delinquent account balances. Additionally, the school district will make reasonable efforts to collect unpaid meal charges classified as delinquent debt. Negative balances of more than $20.00, not paid prior to the end of the school year will be turned over to the manager of Nutrition Services [or designee] for collection. Options may include: collection agencies, small claims court, or any other legal method permitted by law.

Unpaid Student Meals Account
The district may establish an unpaid student meals account in a school nutrition fund. Funds from private sources and funds from the district flexibility account may be deposited into the unpaid school meals account in accordance with law. Funds deposited into this account shall be used only to pay individual student meal debt.

Communication of the Policy
The policy and supporting information regarding meal charges shall be provided in writing to:

  • All households at or before the start of each school year
  • Students and families who transfer into the district, at time of transfer
  • All staff responsible for enforcing any aspect of the policy

Records of how and when the policy and supporting information was communicated to households and staff will be retained. The Nutrition Services manager [or designee] may develop the administrative process to implement this policy.

Adopted: 4/16
Reviewed: 8/17
Revised: 11/18
Related Policy (Code #): 702.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 42 USC 1751 et seq; 7 CFR 210 et seq;
283A; 281 IAC 58

702.4 - Eligibility for Free or Reduced Cost Meals




Students enrolled and attending school in the district who are unable to afford the cost or a portion of the cost of the school breakfast or lunch will be provided the Nutrition Services Program at no cost or at a reduced cost according to the guidelines established by the USDA.

The district shall at least twice annually notify all families of the availability, eligibility criteria, and application procedures for free or reduced price meals in accordance with state and federal law.

It shall be the responsibility of the Nutrition Services manager to determine if a student qualifies for free or reduced cost Nutrition Services in accordance with criteria established by state and federal law. Students whom the principal believes are improperly nourished will not be denied Nutrition Services simply because the paperwork has not been completed.

If a student owes money for five or more meals, the Nutrition Services manager [or designee] may contact the student’s parent/guardian to provide information regarding the application for free or reduced price meals. The school is encouraged to provide reimbursable meals to students who request reimbursable meals unless the student’s parent/guardian has specifically provided written direction to the school to withhold a meal from the student.

Employees, students, and others will be required to deposit funds into a meal account to cover meals consumed.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to develop administrative regulations for implementing this policy.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 9/11; 10/12; 11/13; 4/15
Revised: 10/10; 8/17; 11/18
Related Policy (Code #): 702.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 42 USC §§ 1751 et seq;
7 CFR Pt 210 et seq; 283A; 21 IAC 58

702.4-R - Administrative Regulations Regarding Eligibility for Free or Reduced Cost Meals




The Linn-Mar Community School District agrees to participate in the National School Breakfast/Lunch Program, to receive commodities donated by the USDA, and accepts responsibility for providing either free or reduced price meals to eligible children in the schools under its jurisdiction.

The School Food Authority assures the Child Nutrition Programs Division that the school system will uniformly implement the following policy to determine the children’s eligibility for free and reduced price meals in all National School Breakfast/Lunch Program schools under its jurisdiction. In fulfilling its responsibilities, the School Nutrition Authority:

  1. Agrees to serve meals free to children from families whose income is at or below that qualifying them for free meals.
  2. Agrees to serve meals at a maximum reduced price at or below the maximum amount allowed by regulations to children from families whose income is at or below that qualifying them for reduced price meals.
  3. Agrees to provide these benefits to foster children and to children from families who are experiencing strikes, layoffs, and unemployment which cause the family’s income to fall within qualifying limits.
  4. Agrees that there will be no physical segregation of, nor any other discrimination against, any child because of inability to pay the full price of meals. The names of the children eligible to receive either free or reduced price meals will not be published, posted, or announced in any manner and there will not be overt identification of any such children by use of special tokens, tickets, or any other means. Further assurance is given that children eligible for either free or reduced price meals shall not be required to: 
    • Work for meals
    • Use a separate lunchroom
    • Go through a separate serving line
    • Enter the lunchroom through a separate entrance
    • Eat meals at a different time
    • Eat meals different from those sold to children paying full price
  5. Agrees that in the operation of child nutrition programs no child will be discriminated against because of age, color creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, genetic information, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, military status, socioeconomic status, pregnancy, or familial status.
  6. Agrees to establish and use a fair hearing procedure for parental appeals of the school’s decisions on applications and for school officials’ challenges to the correctness of information contained in an application or to the continued eligibility of any child for either free or reduced price meals. During the appeal and hearing process, the child will continue to receive free or reduced price meals. A record of all appeals and challenges and their dispositions will be retained for three years.

Prior to initiating the hering procedure, the parent or school official may request a conference to provide an opportunity to discuss the situation, resent information, and obtain an explanation of data submitted in the application and decisions rendered. Such a conference will not in any way prejudice or diminish the right to a fair hearing. The hearing procedure will provide the following:

  • A publically announced, simple method for making an oral or written request for a hearing.
  • An apportunity to be assisted or represented by an attorney or other person.
  • An opportunity to examine, prior to and during the hearing, the documents and records presented to support the decision under appeal.
  • Reasonable promptness and convenience in scheduling a hearing and adequate notice as to the time and place of the hearing.
  • An opportunity to present oral or documentary evidence and arguments supporting its position without undue influence.
  • An opportunity to question or refute any testimony, or other evidence, and to confront and cross examine any adverse witnesses.
  • The hearing be conducted and the decision made by a hearing official who did not participate in the decision under appeal or in any previous conference.
  • The parties concerned, and any designated representative thereof, be notified in writing of the decision of the hearing official.
  • For each hearing a written record be prepared; including the decision under appeal, any documentary evidence and summayr of any oral testimony presented at the hearing, the decision of the hearing official and reasons therefore, and a copy of the notificaiton to the parties concerned of the hearing official's decision.
  • Such written record be preserved for a period of three years and be available for examination by the parties concerned, of their representatives, at any reasonable time and place during such period.
  1. Agrees to designate the Manager of Nutrition Services* for the Linn-Mar Community School District (2999 N 10th St, Marion, IA 52302) as the determining official who will review applications and make determinations of eligibility. The official will use the criteria outlined in this policy to determine which individual children are eligible for either free or reduced price meals.
  2. Agrees to develop and send to each child’s parent/guardian a letter as outlined herein, including an application for either free or reduced price meals, at the beginning of each school year and whenever there is a change in eligibility criteria.

On an annual basis, parents will need to complete the application and return it to the determining official (Nutrition Services Manager) for review. Such applications and documentation of action taken will be maintained for three years after the end of the fiscal year to which they pertain.

Applications may be filed at any time during the year. Any parent enrolling a child in a school for the first time at any time during the year will be supplied with such documents. If a child transfers from one school to another under the jurisdiction of the same School Food Authority, eligibility for either free or reduced price meals will be transferred to, and honored by, the receiving school. All children from a family will receive the same benefits. Within 10 working days of receipt of applications, parents/guardians will be notified individually, in writing, of the acceptance or denial of their applications. Children will be served meals immediately upon the establishment of their eligibility.

When an application is rejected, parents/guardians will be informed of the reason for denial and of the hearing procedure. The designated hearing official is the Superintendent of Schools* (2999 N 10th St, Marion, IA 52302).

  1. Agrees to submit to the news media, local employment offices, and major employers contemplating or experiencing large layoffs the public release, which is attached.
  2. Agrees to collect racial and ethnic data on all applicants for free and reduced price benefits and keep this information on file for the processed applications.

*Must be different people

The following attachments are adopted with and considered part of the preceding policies. Should the School Food Authority wish to develop its own format for any of these attachments, it must be certain that all essential elements are retained and all meanings remain obvious and correctly presented in any such modifications.

  • Attachment A: Income guidelines for free and reduced price meals
  • Attachment B: Sample letter to parents/guardians
  • Attachment C: Application form
  • Attachment D: Sample notification form
  • Attachment E: Public release
  • Attachment F: Collection procedures

Attachments A through F are reviewed annually by the Chief Financial/Operating Officer of the Linn-Mar Community School District (2999 N 10th St, Marion, IA 52302).

Attachments A, B, and C are published annually in the district’s back to school booklet.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 9/11; 10/12; 4/15; 8/17; 11/18
Revised: 10/10; 11/13; 4/16

702.5 - Vending Machines




Food served or purchased by students during the school day and food served or purchased for other than special circumstances shall be approved by the superintendent [or designee] and shall meet the criteria established by the USDA Smart Snacks guidelines. Vending machines in the school buildings shall be the responsibility of the building principal. Purchases from the vending machines, other than juice/water machines, shall not be made during meal periods and other times of the day as governed by the Policy 504.12 Wellness and the USDA Smart Snacks guidelines.

Money raised from vending machines in areas accessible by students shall be used to support student programs.

Vending machines in staff lounges can be tied to the building’s pop fund, and the money raised from the machine can be used to support staff-related social initiatives on the school district site.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] in conjunction with principals to develop administrative regulations regarding the use of vending machines and other sales of food to students.

Adopted: 4/99
Reviewed: 9/11; 11/13; 4/15; 11/18
Revised: 10/10; 10/12; 4/16
Related Policy (Code #): 504.12
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 42 USC §§ 1751 et seq;
7 CFR Pt 210 et seq; Ch 283A; 281 IAC 58