Lunch accounts more accessible

In recent years, many parents have complained about the way Broken Bow Schools lunch accounts are handled. The Broken Bow Board of Education wants parents to know they hear you. At the regular monthly meeting of the board Monday evening, Steve Watson, Broken Bow Schools Food Service Director, presented information to the board on a new program for handling students lunch accounts. It’s called, and Watson was very enthusiastic about it. is a web service that allows parents to make online deposits into their children’s school meal accounts. The web service partners with PayPal to handle the payment processing for convenience and security. Payments can be made using a PayPal account, credit card or debit card. Parents may also make payments with eCheck, the electronic equivalent of a paper check. However, when using this method parents need to factor in the time it takes for their checks to clear. The account will not reflect instant balance changes as with the card payment method. The web site allows parents the ability to view their child’s meal account at any time. Watson says by having money in each child’s account prior to entering the cafeteria, the lunch lines move along much faster so the kids have more time to eat and be with friends. also gives parents the ability to print out a copy of their chid’s eating history report. This report will show all dates and times the child has purchased a breakfast and/or lunch within the past 30 days. Parents can see if their child is purchasing extra items, and what those are. To use the online prepayment service, a small convenience fee for each transaction will be assessed to cover the bank fees. The convenience fee is $1.75 per deposit transaction. Parents placing money into multiple meal accounts will only be assessed the $1.75 fee once per deposit transaction. Broken Bow Schools and Lunchtime Solutions will NOT profit from the use of this site. In fact, to offset the cost of this convenience fee, the District Food Service Department will provide one free meal for the student for every $25 put into their account. For example, a purchase of $25 will be charged a convenience fee of $1.75, but in return the student will receive a free meal valued at $2.10. This new service will be available to parents beginning Nov. 1, 2010. To access these services, simply go to the district website at and click on the link. From this site you will create your account and add money to your child’s school meal account. The child’s name, student ID number and school zip code are required to set up an account. “We are very excited to offer these new services, in direct alignment with the district’s strategic plan/safe and healthy environments priority,” says Watson. “We are confident this new system will benefit you, your child and our district.” Parents wishing to not take advantage of this service may continue to make advance payments to the school by check. Checks should be made payable to Broken Bow School District, and include the child’s full name. Any questions about the program can be referred to Steve Watson at 712-204-2812.