Lunch Payment System Information
Welcome to Needham Public Schools!
The school cafeteria is open every school day (except early release days), serving many choices of nutritious hot and cold lunches, with lots of fruit and vegetable options.¬† Our goal is to serve fun and healthy meals, with lots of choices, to as many students as possible. Bon Appetit!¬†
How to Prepay:
- Send or bring a check (payable to Needham Schools Nutrition Services) to your child's school, in an envelope marked 'Cafeteria' for deposit into your child's account. Your initial deposit can be any amount, but we recommend a minimum of $75.00.
- Record on the memo line of the check:¬† Student's name and PIN #.
On-line: (credit card or electronic check transfer)
Elementary $2.60¬†(Breakfast at Eliot Elementary School only, $1.25)
High Rock $2.85
Pollard Middle School¬† $2.85, $3.60 for Gourmet selections (like wraps and deli salad entrees), $1.50 for breakfast
High School¬† $2.85, $3.35 for Salad Bar, $3.60 for Gourmet selections (more gourmet choices at HS), $2.00 for breakfast
Needham Nutrition Services Department uses a computerized Point of Sale payment system called Meal Magic.¬†
How the computerized payment system works:
1. When Nutrition Services is informed of your child's enrollment, we automatically enter every enrolled student into the Meal Magic system. A Personal Identification Number (PIN #)¬†will be randomly assigned once your child is in the system.¬† You can find out the PIN # from the cafeteria manager or the Nutrition Services Office within about a day.¬† Students should memorize their PIN # and be reminded that this is a personal code and should not be shared with anyone else
2. Every student will have their own personal lunch account, whether or not they ever use it.
3. Parents/guardians can deposit money into the student's account by check, cash, or on-line (see above).
4. In the cafeteria there is a computer touch-screen cash register and PIN pad for entering the PIN #.
5. Cash sales are still an option, although discouraged, as it slows the line, leaving less time to eat.
6. If your student qualifies for free or reduced price lunches, this information is securely contained within the system, and the meal will be processed just as it is for all other students.¬† There is no need to be concerned for a potentially uncomfortable situation for the student.
7. Students access their accounts at the cash register by entering their PIN # on the PIN pad (just like the number section on a computer keyboard) located at the register. However, if they do not remember it, we are able to access it through the computer register by entering their name.
8. Sales will be automatically deducted from the student's account, and account use is tracked in the system.
9. Money paid into a student's account can be used to purchase meals or one of the healthy snacks and beverages we have available (varies at each school level).
10. When a student's lunch account gets to $20.00 or below, every Monday an automatic email is sent to the parent/guardian's email address. (We obtain the email address from Powerschool; please make sure you have updated any changes to your email or other pertinent information in Powerschool.)
11. At the elementary schools, we send home a brightly colored low balance notice once a week to students for whom we have no email address.
12. Middle and High School students are notified at the cash register when their lunch account is getting low.
13. Parents can easily access the student's lunch account to track purchases and check the account balance. Instructions for this access to "My Lunch Account" are on the sidebar of this website. You need to have the student's 6-digit Powerschool Student ID number (which you can get from the school secretary if you don't have it already).
14. Student account balances are allowed to go negative (for lunch only, no a la carte items) to a maximum limit of:
5 lunches (or $14.25) at secondary schools
10 lunches (or $26.00) at elementary schools
Further attempts to use the account for a meal past this maximum negative balance will result in the student getting an 'alternate meal' consisting of a cheese sandwich, a serving of canned fruit, and a white lowfat milk.
15. Your child's purchases are tracked on the system in an account history. You can access this information on-line. Please see "My Lunch Account Instructions" on the sidebar of this webpage.
Ruth Griffin, RD
Nutrition Services Director