Talking Points on Unpaid Meal Charges

February 4, 2014 – This weekend several national media outlets reported on the topic of unpaid meal charges, following an incident at a Salt Lake City, Utah, school cafeteria. As a result, SNA members may receive local media inquiries regarding their meal charge policies and unpaid meal debts. SNA developed these talking points to assist members in discussing the challenges of meal charge requests and debt.

SNA has conducted extensive national media outreach to educate reporters on the meal charge issue and inform them of SNA’s 2014 Position Paper, which calls on Congress and USDA to establish guidance on unpaid meal charges. ABC News, Yahoo! News and other media outlets featured SNA member concerns in their stories. Other outlets have declined to share our side of the story. For example, a member of SNA’s Spokesperson Network was scheduled to interview with CNN on the issue, but the segment was cancelled shortly before airing. SNA will continue to educate national reporters on unpaid meal charges and other issues that impact SNA members and their programs.

SNA has shared its Position Paper with the USDA. In addition we will be reaching out to USDA officials to offer our assistance in helping them find a solution to the unpaid meal charge problem, including offering to have SNA members serve on a task force to investigate the issue.

SNA will also continue to educate members of Congress regarding the problem, and will be preparing Legislative Action Conference attendees to discuss this issue during SNA’s Charge to the Hill.

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