Pioneer Food Service Department is embracing change in 2019-20.

For the first time, parents are able to add funds to their child's Pioneer meal account online with So far that program has been very successful in its first few weeks, according to Food Service Director Cate Pritchard.

"We've been collecting over $650 a day and $5,900 overall in 165 transactions," she told the Pioneer Board of Education at its Sept. 17 regular meeting. "Negative balances of $733 have been paid off. And a parent called and thanked us for My School Bucks because she can use the app to monitor what her children are eating at school, which she was never able to do," she said.

Along with that big change, Mrs. Pritchard said students approved for reduced price meals are now receiving meals at no charge. New York State funding will provide an additional 25 cents in state reimbursement for each reduced reimbursable breakfast and lunch meal. "As you can imagine, this has made things a lot simpler. This has been a nice surprise for us and for parents not to have to worry about that 25 cents,"she said.

Mrs. Pritchard said that so far in 2019, 1137 students or 45 percent of Pioneer's enrollment have been approved for Free & Reduced meals.

"It's nice to hear all the positive feedback from parents," Mrs. Pritchard added.

Visit the state Child Nutrition web site