The Hoboken school lunch debacle

3/8/2010:

What’s up with the Hoboken School Lunches?

Since I don’t have any kids here in the Hoboken school system, it’s not always easy to be on top of each and every conundrum that takes place on a daily basis.

But apparently – something has gone awry with the school lunch debit card system (what ever happened to just paying cash for lunch? God, it’s been so long…), and now parents are getting bills for over-debiting their child’s account.

One parent (and Hoboken Realtor) writes about it on a blog – and another 411 reader and parent sent this photo in, saying:

“The Hoboken board of Ed sent home “bills” with students on Tuesday of last week which gave a name to make the checks payable to and a contact number, and that’s it. On Wednesday, they began refusing to feed the children who had received these notes, but failed to inform parents of these intentions. It took three days, and 46 phone calls to actually speak to someone, and learn that my sons account had a glitch, and the bill was being voided. What? How about all the other parents who haven’t gotten through yet? Needless to say, they were unable (unwilling?) to tell me what I owed the public school system money for, but quick to say after three days of denying him lunch, please disregard. My son did overhear something from teachers about Wallace owing the state 40 grand, but I don’t know the validity of that.”

Hoboken411 reached out to several Board of Education members, and will update the story (or comments) accordingly with their response.

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "The Hoboken school lunch debacle"


Member
debra
5 years 5 months ago

I’ve been trying to get a balance for my granddaughter for over a week. Still haven’t heard anything. Will call the Board if I don’t hear from someone.

Member
HOB424
5 years 5 months ago

When the district ran it themselves, it was simpler. However, there are those that just don’t pay bills and this company wants to get paid. But, when this letter went out, they should have given people a week to dispute bills that were incorrect. They put this letter out on Thursday, Friday school was closed and it takes effect Monday. they really should have phone coverage and also there needs to be someone available in the office that can deal with this. They have a right to get paid for what they do, but this is a service oriented business and they need to improve the customer service being provided to their customers.

Member
5 years 5 months ago

It’s easy.

Put some $ in your kids’ account, and when they give their code number at the register, Chartwell will subtract the price of the meal. If you don’t have a balance, your kid will get a sandwich.

What’s so bad about a sandwich? The kid will not starve.

Member
debra
5 years 5 months ago

How would you like to eat a cheese sandwich every day until the balance gets caught up?????

I gave my granddaughter money to put into her “account” to pay for her lunch, but they applied it to the balance owed. So she now has a “0” balance. The parents should have had more notice of this change. We are more than willing to pay for lunches; however, like HOB424 stated the notices were given out on Thursday advising of the change coming on the 1st, school was closed that Friday and the 1st was on Monday. No time to dispute and/or pay the balance.

In response to ShhhDontTell who said:
It’s easy.

Put some $ in your kids’ account, and when they give their code number at the register, Chartwell will subtract the price of the meal. If you don’t have a balance, your kid will get a sandwich.

What’s so bad about a sandwich? The kid will not starve.

Member
5 years 5 months ago

How about packing a lunch? This can save money, which can help pay that bill off.

I hear people being shocked at how much money was owed at the end of last school year. Doesn’t seem fair to just decide to not pay. And as so many of us know, if you let it go, it piles up. Pay it on time to avoid this.

In response to debra who said:
How would you like to eat a cheese sandwich every day until the balance gets caught up?????

I gave my granddaughter money to put into her “account” to pay for her lunch, but they applied it to the balance owed. So she now has a “0” balance. The parents should have had more notice of this change. We are more than willing to pay for lunches; however, like HOB424 stated the notices were given out on Thursday advising of the change coming on the 1st, school was closed that Friday and the 1st was on Monday. No time to dispute and/or pay the balance.

Member
debra
5 years 5 months ago

We would pay on time if the bills were given on time. Trust me there were times bills didn’t go out for three to four months.

In response to ShhhDontTell who said:
How about packing a lunch? This can save money, which can help pay that bill off.

I hear people being shocked at how much money was owed at the end of last school year. Doesn’t seem fair to just decide to not pay. And as so many of us know, if you let it go, it piles up. Pay it on time to avoid this.

Member
HOB424
5 years 5 months ago

but, they stopped billing awhile ago. That’s why the lunch form, has space to fill out at the bottom to say which days you want your child to get lunch and there is a space to write the amount of money you are putting in, then send give it to the child’s teacher to turn in.

In response to debra who said:
We would pay on time if the bills were given on time. Trust me there were times bills didn’t go out for three to four months.

Member
5 years 5 months ago

What’s wrong with peanut butter and jelly,millions of pb&j sandwiches are eaten everyday.

In response to debra who said:
How would you like to eat a cheese sandwich every day until the balance gets caught up?????

I gave my granddaughter money to put into her “account” to pay for her lunch, but they applied it to the balance owed. So she now has a “0” balance. The parents should have had more notice of this change. We are more than willing to pay for lunches; however, like HOB424 stated the notices were given out on Thursday advising of the change coming on the 1st, school was closed that Friday and the 1st was on Monday. No time to dispute and/or pay the balance.

Member
princesstessy
5 years 5 months ago

Well these must be the words of a lunchlady. As such, you should know that one slice of cheese in between a super thick roll, no Mayo, no juice no milk, is not a meal. These are children and not prisoners. they are being singled out because for whatever circumstances, their parents did not pay the account. After “squaring away” (oR so I thought) my kids account on Friday, he still got crap today! My child had to ignore them and go get the hot meal to which he was entitled, while being told “go get a sandwich”. THESE ARE KIDS!!!!!Debra, you ever get a call back?

In response to ShhhDontTell who said:
It’s easy.

Put some $ in your kids’ account, and when they give their code number at the register, Chartwell will subtract the price of the meal. If you don’t have a balance, your kid will get a sandwich.

What’s so bad about a sandwich? The kid will not starve.

Member
debra
5 years 5 months ago

Sorry I’m just getting back on line. Never got a call back, but kept calling there. I finally got throught and was told the money I put into her account went to what was owed, which I don’t think was fair since I wanted to make sure she had a decent lunch while her parents work out what they said was owed.

In response to princesstessy who said:
Well these must be the words of a lunchlady. As such, you should know that one slice of cheese in between a super thick roll, no Mayo, no juice no milk, is not a meal. These are children and not prisoners. they are being singled out because for whatever circumstances, their parents did not pay the account. After “squaring away” (oR so I thought) my kids account on Friday, he still got crap today! My child had to ignore them and go get the hot meal to which he was entitled, while being told “go get a sandwich”. THESE ARE KIDS!!!!!Debra, you ever get a call back?

Member
HOB424
5 years 5 months ago

Can’t have pb&j in the schools here. As well as many other districts and even private schools have this policy in place because of life threatening allergies and that’s a separate discussion.

Every month the new menu is sent home, with a form at the bottom to fill out how many lunches your kid will have that month and then you send in the appropriate amount. This is the way it has been done for a while, so don’t know why people are waiting for bills and then surprised when they get them. Didn’t they ever say, gee, I haven’t paid for lunch in a while?

Member
5 years 5 months ago

escaped68- Peanut Butter has been banned for a few decades now from many schools. Although nobody knows how many kiddies actually died from Anaphylaxis caused by Peanut Butter, it might be one kiddie a year in the USA according to the CDC.

In this town if you aren’t a Peanut Correct Parent you could get run out of the playground by an angry mob of parents.

Hoboken is mentioned here back in 2006. No Peanut Butter for YOU little Jayden and little Spencer!

http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0918/038.html

Member
5 years 5 months ago

Nut allergies are for real. It’s only since the internet tied us together with easy communications outside the control of the media that the word finally spread through the public mind. I had a buddy who almost died at our senior prom from one bite of the rice pilaf. That was back in 1989. Have encountered plenty of folks since then with serious allergies, including one at my building’s holiday party about a year ago – yup, off to the hospital, most likely as a result of the (peanut) oil in which one of the appetizers was fried.

In response to YipYap who said:
escaped68- Peanut Butter has been banned for a few decades now from many schools. Although nobody knows how many kiddies actually died from Anaphylaxis caused by Peanut Butter, it might be one kiddie a year in the USA according to the CDC.

In this town if you aren’t a Peanut Correct Parent you could get run out of the playground by an angry mob of parents.

Hoboken is mentioned here back in 2006. No Peanut Butter for YOU little Jayden and little Spencer!

http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0918/038.html