The myth of Free Lunch is pervasive in America.
So much so, that the idea that the federal government will always “take care of the children” gives us all a false sense of security. For parents, their security comes from thinking their child won’t go hungry at school. For professionals in the industry, their security comes from thinking their programs and jobs are slash-proof.
Typically, that sense of assurance comes to those whose jobs can be done no better, and passed down to those who believe that’s the case.
Do parents really believe that schools are performing exceptionally when it comes to delivering meals to their children? The complaints – regarding students not receiving eligibility benefits in a timely fashion, having account balances as a result of being erroneously told they’re eligible for free or reduced meals, or even being denied benefits when they should be eligible – tell us they don’t.
For everything I listed, I’m sure in your head you came up with a lot of “buts” to get your butts out of my call-outs, so I made my own list.
List of “Buts”:
- “But that doesn’t apply to my program.”
But is your program efficient? By efficient I mean, is it an arduous task for you or your staff during the first few months of the school year that seems to take over the entirety of the agenda, or create frustrating repetitive tasks? Is the way you’re currently verifying meal eligibility maximizing your time and resources?
- “But that rarely happens.”
But it rarely happens so much that it adds up to erroneous transactions and a lack of reimbursements that cost your state hundreds of thousands, and cost taxpayers $700 million, annually.
- “But that’s hard to always control”
But is it hard to quality control meal benefit eligibility or match for direct certification because you haven’t established a good system? A good system for processing and matching student eligibility applications should allow you to create and track reports, and give you simple templates and clear-cut steps and tasks to verify student eligibility and meal benefits.
So, do professionals really believe they are performing exceptionally? Before you come for my head, let me say this: although everyone you know in your program may be working their hardest, are processes really the best, the most automated, the quickest they could be? They aren’t.
These limitations are typically moreso based on either budgetary or tool constraints. Having limited facilities or a limited staff or limited knowledge and capabilities that don’t allow you to increase efficacy is holding your program back.
Most importantly, the increased waste has been called out by 3 different independent government organizations, and with Republicans looking to cut programs that they don’t see as “producing results”- we all have to be weary of being part of the problem.
Learn how PrimeroEdge can deliver a solution that will allow for continuous direct certification matching, report generation for self and state audits, and ensure parents and students receive instant decisions right on their mobile devices. Click here for more information and to schedule your demo.