School Nutrition » Parent Resources

Parent Resources

Watch the tutorial to see how easy it is to make online deposits into your child's cafeteria account through Skyward, a small fee applies.  
Login to Skyward's Family Access Portal to view, manage and deposit money to your child's cafeteria account.

Need help? Call 531-3050 and we will be happy to assist you.

How to Pay for Meals

Every student has a cafeteria account. Parents make deposits into their child's account and the amount of their purchase is automatically debited. Less cash handling in line means quicker service! Parents can make deposits and track their child's purchases online through Skyward Family Access. Cash or checks sent to school for deposit must be attached to a Prepayment Form.
For your convenience, online payments can be made through Skyward’s Family Access.  Sign in to the Parent Portal, open Family Access and click on the Food Service Tab. You can easily monitor your child’s cafeteria account balance, set spending limits, sign up for low balance alerts and view purchases. Payments can also be sent to school but must have a prepayment form attached. Click here to get the form.
What happens when there is no money in a child's account?

Charge Policy
We understand that life is busy and it may be necessary for elementary students to charge meals. We will never discuss account financial information with elementary children, parents must monitor balances and make deposits when necessary to avoid negative balances.

Middle school students in grades 6-8 are allowed to charge two lunches (no breakfast or snacks). Once an account has gone negative below that limit, students will not be able to receive meals without cash payment.

High school students are not allowed to charge any purchases.

We will provide a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with milk (for a limited number of times) so that students who come to school without money or a lunch from home will not go hungry.

How does my child use their account?

Students automatically sign in to their account on a pin pad using their student ID. The student's picture is displayed for security. When the cashier rings up purchases, the student will automatically be charged the correct price for meals based on their eligibility for full price, free or reduced price meals. The use of student accounts ensures complete privacy and even the cashier cannot tell if a student is free, reduced or full price.
Collection Procedure

Weekly phone calls will be made to VCS parents when their child’s account has gone negative. Parents can manage low balance email reminders through Family Access in Skyward. Payment plans can be arranged to clear up negative balances. At the beginning of each year, significant negative account balances from the prior year will be pursued for collection. If referred to an outside agency for collection, parents may accrue additional fees. Please call the School Nutrition Office at 219-531-3050 for help.

The most commonly asked question:

“I applied for free and reduced lunch. Why does my child have a negative account balance?”

Applications can take up to 10 days to be approved. Parents are responsible for paying for meals until they are formally approved for free or reduced price meal benefits. 

It could also be possible that your child is taking a second milk with their meal. Only one milk is included with the meal. Additional milks are charged at the full price of .55.

Monitor your child’s purchases easily and often through Skyward’s Family Access. If you receive a phone call or email that your child’s balance is negative, please review the account right away. Don’t wait for charged purchases to add up.
What is Offer vs. Serve?
Offer Versus Serve (OvS) is a meal service method designed to reduce food waste and food costs in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program without jeopardizing the nutritional integrity of the meals served.

At lunch, schools must offer all five components (fruit, vegetables, grains, meat/meat alternates, fluid milk) and students must select at least three components, one of which is 1/2 cup fruit and/or vegetable.

At breakfast, schools must offer at least four food items from three required components (fruit, grains, fluid milk) and students must select at least three food items, one of which is 1/2 cup fruit and/or vegetable.