The Business Side of School Nutrition

by Keith Noury, Region Leader, PrimeroEdge Customer Care

Feeding healthy meals to students is the goal of all School Food Service Authorities(SFA). Yet, School Nutrition is still a business. To get the highest reimbursement from the USDA, the meals recorded need to be accurate. You want to ensure you are not over or under claiming for meals. This could cause issues during an administrative review audit or when filing reimbursement claims.

Duplicate meals can occur at the Point of Service (POS) as a result of network issues. The computers cannot determine whether a meal was already served to a student. Thus, the student can go through the line again and get a second reimbursable meal. Once network connectivity restores, the POS sends the information to the website. This is when the software will recognize a duplicate meal. The system allows you to remove the meal or charge the student for a second meal.

Serving Exceptions can occur when a student has a change in eligibility. Usually on the same day, or if their eligibility is backdated. If the student is in a “Paid” status when served, but then gets a better status from DC or an application, the system will recognize the discrepancy. You can then review the meal and change the charge to reflect the student’s appropriate status.

We recommend going in daily to resolve your Duplicate Meals and Eligibility Variances. Doing so will prevent you from having to resolve all the exceptions at the end of the month, as there could be a lot of them. Cashiers can better remember who they served to on that day, rather than at the end of the month or days later. This will also allow for accurate reports that reflect the counts you are expecting to see.
PrimeroEdge has a feature that allows you to fix duplicate meals or eligibility variances. To find it, go to Point of Service>Administration>Serving Exceptions. There is also a report under Daily Reports>Serving Exceptions to track any changes made. Amigo is another helpful tool that will walk you through this process, step by step if needed.

Resolving your serving exceptions is important to avoid overcharging students for meals. It ensures accurate claims and reduces your workload when closing out the month.