March 12, 2009

Schools nix ‘alternate meal’ for debt

A southern California school district said it is ending a policy of serving cold cheese sandwiches to students with unpaid lunch balances.

Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Lowell Billings said schools will no longer be serving the alternate meal of a cheese sandwich, milk and a salad to students whose parents have missed payments on three or more lunches because a new online payment system and automated reminder phone calls have reduced the number of delinquent accounts, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

Anthony Millican, a spokesman for the school district, said another reason for ending the program was an analysis by district officials that indicated the cheese sandwich plan was not having much effect on payment rates.