EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Granite District: Computer glitch sent negative lunch balance notices

Nov 10, 2022, 8:00 PM

granite school district sign pictured, one of its principals will sleep on the roof...

FILE: A Granite School District sign is pictured at the district's offices in South Salt Lake on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SOUTH SALT LAKE – Granite School District is alerting parents that a computer glitch resulted in incorrect notices being sent to some parents that they have negative school lunch balances.

“People might have received a notification of a negative balance when no negative balance existed,” said district spokesperson Ben Horsley.

The district discovered errors with its new school lunch software system that was charging for meals that students didn’t receive.

“We are urgently working with our software company to correct these errors and reverse all incorrect charges,” said an email to parents this week from Granite District’s nutritional services department.

Breakfasts and lunches that were charged in error should be removed from accounts over the next few weeks, the email said.

“We sincerely apologize for any additional stress and inconvenience this may have caused,” the email went on to say.

How widespread is the computer glitch?

Horsley said they are still working to determine how widespread the problem is within the district’s schools.

“Just go ahead and disregard anything you received with respect to a negative balance,” he said. “If there is, in fact, a negative balance, we’ll be sure to follow up with you.”

The lunch software glitch comes as parents are getting used to paying for school meals again after two years of them being free during the pandemic. The district is reminding parents who may qualify to once again to apply for free or reduced-price meals.

“If you’ve been eligible for free and reduced lunch in the past, please make sure that you apply again,” Horsley said.

The district is anticipating more need for free lunches this school year because of inflation, Horsley added. He said it’s important for families to apply now, or as soon as a financial hardship starts. Because the funding isn’t retroactive and won’t erase negative balances.

“Whether it’s inflation or job loss or just keeping up with rising costs of goods and expenses, there’s no harm in applying,” he said.

Granite District said families can complete the application at any time for free or reduced-price meals by visiting: https://www.myschoolapps.com/.

In addition, families can speak with the main office at their child’s school to get a paper application that can be filled out and returned to the office.

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Granite District: Computer glitch sent negative lunch balance notices