NAUGATUCK — The days of worrying about lost lunch money are over.
The Naugatuck school system is rolling out the Nutrikids System on Nov.1.
“This will allow parents to go online to make payments on their child’s lunch account as well as look and see what their child is eating,” Superintendent of Schools John Tindall-Gibson said during the Board of Education’s October meeting.
The Nutrikids System is a way for students to pay for school lunches just by presenting their student identification number. Every student in elementary school through middle school will be presented with a six digit pin that will allow them to pay for their food. Naugatuck High School students will scan their ID cards, which already have a barcode on them.
“It’s a very secure program. It doesn’t show status of free, reduced or paid. Every child looks exactly the same,” said Kate Murphy, food services director for the Board of Education.
Murphy explained that it is even safer than sending students to school with actual cash to buy lunch with.
“Students lose lunch money. Parents have more control over what they’re spending their money on. They know it’s definitely going to lunch and not going to something else,” Murphy said.
However, if any parent doesn’t want to use the Nutrikids System, the schools will still accept cash or checks, Murphy said.
Murphy said that parents have the option of looking on the website to see what foods their children are purchasing while at school. She said that, while she does not believe this will affect the students’ food choices at lunch time, it is valuable information for the parents.
“Parents can monitor what they’re getting for lunch, breakfast, and, if they are getting snacks, what kind are they getting,” Murphy said.
There are two main purposes of the Nutrikids System, Murphy explained.
The first is to help keep the lunch lines moving faster, which will allow the students more time to eat. The second is making student lunches easier on the parents.
“There will be happy parents because they can quickly and easily put money on account and not have to worry about where that money is going,” Murphy said