School Meal Charges & Unpaid Balances

Posted on 11/12/2019

The Cabot School District strives to assist students and their families in every way possible. We are fortunate to have staff members who are able to connect families facing financial hardship with important resources such as help in finding housing, insurance, paying bills, clothing, and groceries. 

In regard to meal charges, we will NEVER deny a student breakfast or lunch regardless of the amount owed. In fact, our district, schools, and food service department regularly share information encouraging anyone in financial need to apply for free and reduced price meals.

This is a federal program and the application can be completed online. It’s private and confidential. If anyone needs assistance with the paperwork, we are always more than happy to help. Paper forms can also be found in your child’s school office if you choose not to complete an online application.

If your student has a negative balance and the family subsequently qualifies for the free and reduced meal program, the district will work with you.

Also, if your family does not qualify for free and reduced meals and you are going through a difficult time, please communicate with your building principal, counselor, or Food Service Director Erin Wilkes. Whatever the circumstance, we will provide all the assistance necessary; however, we need to know in order to help. 

Every year, the district finds itself in thousands of dollars of unpaid meals debt. At one point, we had more than $25,000 in overdue breakfast and lunch charges across the district last year. Despite continually reminding parents that we can help, we have families that do not contact us for assistance. Once the charge amount exceeds a set threshold and our attempts to either qualify parents for meal assistance or to work together to formulate a reasonable payment plan are not successful, we may consider using a debt collection agency. This is a last resort after all attempts to communicate together on a plan have been unsuccessful.

One question we often hear is that some school districts provide free meals to all their students, why can’t the Cabot School District do this as well?  

Those districts are not actually paying for those meals. It’s part of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. Schools submit eligibility information to the state agency, and unfortunately Cabot Public Schools does not qualify based on the CEP funding formula.  

We are fortunate to be able to provide a free breakfast this year to all our students (pre-k-12th grade) at no cost to our families. This is something that the district was able to do, and we hope our students take advantage of it daily.

There is no deadline to apply for free and reduced meals. If you don’t qualify for that program, we are still willing and able to provide assistance as needed. For questions, or assistance with completing free/reduced price meal applications, please contact our Food Service Director Erin Wilkes, 501-843-3363.

Remember, if you are a family that is facing financial hardships, the most important thing you can do is to let us know. If you don’t know where to start in this process, you are always welcome to contact Dr. Thurman at Tony.Thurman@cps.k12.ar.us or at 501-843-3363.

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Cabot Public Schools

Elementary Schools (Grades PreK-4)

Central Elementary
36 Pond Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3564
Fax: (501) 843-4503
Eastside Elementary
17 Bellamy Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3563
Fax: (501) 843-5619
Magness Creek Elementary
16150 Arkansas Hwy 5, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3565
Fax: (501) 843-7567
Mountain Springs Elementary
3620 Mountain Springs
Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3575
Fax: (501) 605-1300
Northside Elementary
814 West Locust Street,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3568
Fax: (501) 843-6032
Southside Elementary
2600 South Pine Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3567
Fax: (501) 843-6229
Stagecoach Elementary
850 South Stagecoach Road,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3574
Fax: (501) 605-1221
Ward Central Elementary
1570 Wilson Loop Road,
Ward, AR 72176
(501) 743-3569
Fax: (501) 843-9744
Westside Elementary
1701 South Second Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3566
Fax: (501) 843-5802

High School (Grades 10-12)

Cabot High School
401 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 843-3562
Fax: (501) 843-4231

Academic Center of Excellence
(Grades 7-12)

Academic Center of Excellence
21 Funtastic Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3520
Fax: (501) 843-0283

Cabot Freshman Academy

Cabot Freshman Academy
18 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3576
Fax: (501) 941-1505

ACE North
(Grades 9-12)

401 North Lincoln, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3546
Fax: (501) 941-3156

Special Programs

404 North 2nd Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 743-3543
Fax: (501) 941-2613

Cabot Learning Academy

Cabot Learning Academy
813 West Locust, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3540
Fax: (501) 843-3138

Central Administrative Office

602 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 843-3363
Fax: (501)843-0576

Middle Schools (Grades 5-6)

Cabot Middle School North
1900 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3571
Fax: (501) 605-0413

Cabot Middle School South
2555 Kerr Station Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3570
Fax: (501) 941-7432

Junior High Schools
(Grades 7-8)

Cabot Junior High North
38 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3572
Fax: (501) 605-8472

Cabot Junior High South
38 Panther Trail, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3573
Fax: (501) 941-7746