Soon it will be a little easier for some Mesa parents to make sure there is enough money in their children’s lunch accounts.
Five schools in the Mesa Unified School District will kick off an online prepayment service for lunch accounts called “mylunchmoney.com,” starting in September.
If the pilot program proves popular among parents, the district may adopt the service at all of its schools, said Loretta Zullo, director of food and nutrition.
“We’re assuming it will be successful,” she said. “It’s convenient. There’s not a need to remember to write the check, and give the money to the student, who will give it to the teacher and the cafeteria. It puts a little more control into the parents’ hands.
“If they think about it at 8 o’clock at night, they can do it.”
Under the current system, a parent must send cash or checks to the child’s school, then someone must apply the money to the student’s individual lunch account.
With mylunchmoney.com, parents can use credit cards or checking accounts to set up automatic payments to keep their children’s lunch accounts from running empty.
Parents who participate would cover the cost of administering the service, paying $1.95 per transaction, Zullo said.
In September, the service will be available to families at Hermosa Vista, Ishikawa and Porter elementary schools, Stapley Junior High School and Red Mountain High School, Zullo said.
The e-payment program, run by California-based School-Link Technologies, is already being used in the Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale unified school districts.
“Parents absolutely love it,” said Sue Bettenhausen, director of nutritional services and wellness in the Scottsdale district. “With minimal marketing efforts ... we’ve channeled close to $1 million through there this past school year.”