At a School Board meeting a couple years ago I supported implementation of an online payment system so parents could track and pre-pay for cafeteria meals. This school year parents will be introduced to the Café Prepay Program.
I just went to the website and in 5 minutes created an account, searched for my children in the database, linked them to my account, and made initial deposits for each of them at the Henley and Western cafeterias. The minimum amount accepted for a child is $42. One thing I didn't like was the transaction fee, which for me was $5.04 with $84 in meals purchased.
Overall this is great! It certainly improves the efficiency of the operation for our school staff. I bet I'll get e-mail alerts when they need more money too!
Here is the information from our media release :
DATE: August 14, 2007
CONTACT: Christina Pitsenberger, Director Child Nutrition Program
PHONE: (434) 295‐0566
Parents Can Make On‐line Deposits into Student Cafeteria Accounts
With Albemarle County’s New Café Prepay Program
To make payment of school meals more convenient for families, the Albemarle County Public Schools Child Nutrition Program is offering parents an internet‐based service called Café Prepay. The service is a website where parents can add money to their child’s cafeteria account using Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card. Parents also can view their child’s account at any time. This service was activated on Thurs., August 9, 2007.
Participation in this service is voluntary and parents may enroll at any time. To use this service, parents must first enroll on the Café Prepay website. Parents will choose a login name, which they will use each time they make a payment on the website, and a valid e‐mail address, where payment confirmations will be sent by Comalex. There is a small fee for this service. The fee is to cover the cost of processing credit card payments, as well as the cost of maintaining the Café Prepay website.
Visit the website for more information. The website address is www.cafeprepay.com . If you have questions that are not answered on the website, please contact the Child Nutrition Program at (434) 295‐0566.
Once parents have enrolled on the Café Prepay website and received a password from Comalex, they will then be able to log in and enter personal information. All personal information is stored in a secure database and is accessed only to process payments and send payment confirmation via email. Student accounts are automatically updated several times throughout the day. The school cafeteria will receive a report of payments made at the end of the school day.