As of 28 AUG 2014
Dear Parents and Sponsors,
As promised last week, this is an important update regarding the school meals program (SMP) at DoDEA Guam District schools. We apologize for the recent and unexpected developments with the lunch program. Thanks to the outstanding response of our current interim contractor, we are making steady progress and contingency plans are on track. A selection of à la carte food and beverage options were made available this week for cash purchase as a temporary measure and beginning next week, menu and payment options are expanding as follows:
- From 2-30 September, a wider selection of meals, à la carte food items, and beverages will be available for purchase either by cash or using a funded pre-paid account (k12paymentcenter.com formerly known as LunchPrepay.com). However, purchases through the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Program still will not be possible during this time. Accommodating special dietary needs or food allergies may remain very difficult during this period. Information on menus and pricing is attached.
- If current plans hold, beginning on 1 October, the standard SMP will be back in place. All payment options will be accepted including funded pre-paid accounts and the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Program. Menu and pricing information will be provided.
Our contingency plans may change and we will keep you apprised.
As always, you may also opt to pack a lunch/drink for your child that does not require refrigeration (no glass containers). A packed lunch may also be the best temporary option for those with food allergies or special dietary needs.
The following information is very important for your planning and awareness.
Pre-paid account services for school meal purchases are handled by a third-party company. A pre-paid account is optional but recommended to minimize loss or mishandling of cash by younger children and reduce time spent in the lunch line. Sponsors who opt to participate must visit the following web site to create and fund a new account or fund an existing account: https://www.k12paymentcenter.com/Default.aspx
For those new to the pre-paid option, it is similar to a pre-paid debit card. Students enter a PIN number to make meal purchases until the account balance gets too low to make any more purchases. Parents may fund pre-paid accounts in one of two ways:
- Beginning 30 August, pay online at the k12paymentcenter web site using a credit card (small transaction fee applies).
- Beginning 2 September, pay in person to the cashier in the school cafeteria (cash only, no checks or credit cards are accepted).
All existing pre-paid accounts for currently-enrolled students have been transferred as follows:
- If a pre-paid account balance was POSITIVE, those funds will be available starting 2 September for school meal purchases.
- If a pre-paid account balance was NEGATIVE, the account balance has been reset to zero for the current school year and pre-paid purchases will NOT be possible until funds are added to the pre-paid account. The prior debt remains and you will be contacted directly for separate payment.
Parents who wish to use the pre-paid option are encouraged to log into the k12paymentcenter web site this Saturday to check account balances in preparation for next week. Replenishing pre-paid accounts that are at or below $20 is recommended. The FAQ on the web site provides more details: https://www.k12paymentcenter.com/Help.aspx
FREE AND REDUCED PRICE SCHOOL MEALS PROGRAM:
While we expect to restore Free and Reduced Price School Meals purchases on or around 1 October, we are temporarily unable to process these types of purchases for school lunch.
If you are experiencing financial stress as a result of the temporary loss of Free and Reduced Price School Meals benefits, please consider contacting one of the following aid societies directly:
For active-duty Navy, Marine-Corps, Army, and Coast Guard sponsors:
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Guam
Naval Base Guam BLDG 472 39
Hibiscus Ave Santa Rita, GU 96915
COMM: (671) 564-1880
For active-duty Air Force sponsors:
Air Force Aid Society
Andersen AFB Consolidated Support Center
Yigo, GU 96543
COMM: (671) 366-6292
These organizations are standing by to offer financial assistance and advice to eligible families. Families seeking assistance will need to provide:
- Recent LES
- Military ID Card
- Power of Attorney (if Servicemember is not in attendance); and
- Copy of a Free and Reduced Price School Meals program application processed/approved by the DoDEA Guam District Office either this school year (2014-15) or last school year (2013-14)*
*The PDF version of this letter at the bottom of the page includes the Free and Reduced Price School Meals application forms and FAQ. If you need assistance, call (671) 344-9582. Please return the forms to your child’s school or mail to:
DoDEA Guam DSO
Attn: Student Meal Program
PSC 490, Box 7655
FPO AP 96538
Although we cannot honor Free and Reduced Price School Meals purchases at this time, we still encourage all potentially eligible families to apply for two reasons: first, you may become eligible for financial relief from one of these aid societies, and second, your child(ren) will already be enrolled for the program when our long-term Student Meal Program contract is fully restored on or around 1 October.
If you are a returning family, please remember you must re-apply for the Free and Reduced Price School Meals program each school year.
We are not aware of options for non-military families at this time, however, you may wish to contact one of these aid societies or other local charities to double-check eligibility requirements.
Although DoDEA is not formally associated with these aid societies, we are most grateful for their generous and prompt support of our eligible students.
Thank you for your continued patience and support during this transition period and we sincerely apologize to anyone affected by this situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office at COMM: (671) 344-9160 or DSN: 344-9578.
Dr. Steven Bloom
Superintendent, DoDEA Guam District
Guam,Andersen ES,Andersen MS,McCool ES/MS,Guam HS