Meals Plus News You Can Use

Tips and Tricks and Updates to the Meals Plus Suite of products

Lunch Application
05 March 2021

Lunch Application


Online free & reduced applications

  • Allows parents and guardians to apply for meal benefits online
  • Speeds application processing
  • Makes it easy to administer - no more dealing with messy handwriting
  • Eliminates the need for paper files
  • Utilizes SSL security protocol (Network Solutions)
  • Integrates with Free & Reduced program to accurately update eligibility

 
Applications

Setting the MBE Date
After the start of a new year, Region 1 will default set your MBE dates. The district will need to verify the school start date and update all sites by start date.

To do this go into Student Eligibility >  Administration > Meal Benefit Expiration




How to use Auto Serve

Auto Serve is designed to automatically record transactions for a single meal item with limited input from the cashier.

This feature is used with barcode readers or other input devices. Both queuing and non-queuing devices are supported

It is available on the Breakfast/ Lunch serving screen (including offline mode).

  • Quick Serve Item is required.
    • It would usually be a reimbursable meal, but can be any meal item.
       
  • No cash is involved with Auto Serve.
    • All transactions are processed as F11 (Account) using prepay balances and charges.
    • If a payment needs to be entered you can interrupt Auto Serve temporarily and use the regular serving screen.

 
TO START AUTO SERVE

  • When logging into the B/L Serving screen, select a Quick Serve Item.
    • If Auto Serve is OFF, click or touch the button to turn it ON.
  • Auto Serve Delay is shown whenever Auto Serve is ON. It sets the length of the pause between transactions. It defaults to whatever it was previously set for but can be changed.
  • Touch Screen can be ON or OFF.


 

  • Click Continue to open the Serving screen.
     
    • It will display a window that looks like the Student Info section of the regular serving screen.
       
  • As Serving Numbers are entered into the queue, it will automatically process transactions sequentially as long as no errors occur.
     
    • To enter Serving Numbers with a keypad device, type the number and then press Enter.
       
  • You will see the NOW SERVING window as transactions are being processed.
     
    • If an error occurs or if the transaction requires special handling, it gives an error message and takes you back to the regular serving screen. Click OK on the error message to open the regular serving screen.
       
    • Handle the error as you normally would. Examples of error messages: Charges not allowed or limit exceeded, Special Message that requires cashier confirmation, Student already bought type 1 meal today.
       
    • When you finish the transaction or clear the screen, it will automatically go back to Auto Serve.


 

  • Click STOP at any time to interrupt Auto Serve and go to the regular serving screen temporarily. This will allow you to Review, Void or take payments.
     
    • It will return to Auto Serve as soon as you complete a transaction (with the Cash or Account button) or clear the screen.

 

Serve By Group
This option is for serving meals to a group of students that have been assigned to a special user-defined Serving Group.

A Serving Group can be created for any group of students who are usually served at the same time.

  • Groups can include visiting students from other sites. Examples: If students who ride the same bus all eat breakfast at the same time, you could put them in a group based on bus routes. If all the students in grades PK and KI eat lunch together, they could be in a group based on lunch period.  
     
  • Serving groups are set up under Administration: Serving Group Setup and students are assigned to groups under Student: Serving Group Membership. Please refer to those sections of this manual for more details.


 

  • Select Serving DateMeal Type, and Quick Serve Item, if desired.
     
    •  If a Quick Serve Item is not selected, a warning message will appear:



 

  • Click Yes to continue or No to cancel.
     
  • When you select a Serving Site, you will get a list of the Categories for that site.
  • Select a Serving Group Category and click Continue.
  • On the next screen, you will get a dropdown list that shows the serving groups that have students assigned to them.
  • Select a Group to display the students on the screen.
  • The serving process is the same as described under Serve By Teacher. Please refer to that section for details.
     

Serving Group Membership
This is where you assign students to serving groups.

First, you will need to set up some Serving Groups under Administration. Please refer to Serving Group Setup for details about setup and Serving by Group.

How to Assign Member to Groups



On the Serving Group Membership screen, there are two grids, an upper grid and a lower grid.

  • Select a Site first, and it will fill the upper grid with a list of all students at that site.
  • Check Visiting Students if you want to be able to include students from other sites in this group.
  • Then you can select a Serving Group from the dropdown to activate the lower grid.
  • To add students to the group, check the boxes on the left, and click Add Checked. The students will be moved from theupper grid to the lower grid.
  • To remove students, check the boxes in the lower grid and click Remove Checked.


TO SELECT AND MOVE A BLOCK OF STUDENTS

  • Highlight the first row and then hold down the Shift key and highlight the last row. The entire block will be highlighted. Click Check Selected to mark them all at once. Then click Add Checked, or Remove Checked, to move them to the other grid.
  • Click Save to save your changes.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT SERVING GROUP MEMBERSHIP

Searching for students in the grid
You can click on any column heading to sort the grid. You can use the Search box to locate the next matching record in the selected column.

Multiple serving groups
A student or adult can be assigned to any number of serving groups. For example, a student could be assigned to a Bus Route for serving breakfast and a Lunch Period group for serving lunch.

Transfers
If a student transfers out of a site, they will be removed from all associated serving groups.

 

Serve By Teacher
This is a special option for serving meals to a group of students that have the same teacher, all on the same serving screen. The Meal Type will determine whether it goes to a Breakfast or Lunch summary.

  • Select Serving DateMeal Type, and Quick Serve Item, if desired.
     
    •  If a Quick Serve Item is not selected, a warning message will appear:

  • Select Serving Site and Touch Screen On/Off.
  • Click Continue and then select the Teacher from dropdown list.
     
    • It will show all the students in that class.  If you entered a Quick Serve Item, it will be listed under Items Bought for each student. 


 

  • If the Quick Serve Item cannot be served to all the students, you will get a message when the screen loads and it will not be listed under Items Bought.

Example: If the Quick Serve item is a reimbursable meal, and a student already received a meal today, it will not be listed for that student.

  • Check the Select boxes to select the students being served. Nothing will be processed for students who are not checked. You can use the Check All button at the top if all students are being served.
  • To add, change, or remove items, click Buy Items and select or deselect the items.  Click Buy to save the selections.
  • You can also enter payment amounts and check numbers.
  • Click Check Out when you are finished.  All the transactions will be processed at once.
    • If some of the transactions cannot be processed because of Charge restrictions, the students will be highlighted in red and you will get an error message. The message will depend on whether it is the student’s Allow Charges flag or the site’s Max Charge limit.
  • In Allow Charges, if they are not allowed to charge an item, you will need to either remove the item or enter a payment that covers it.
  • In Max Charge Limit, if the amount being charged would put the balance over the site limit, and you do not have security rights to Override Charge Limits, you will need to either remove the item or enter a payment that covers it.
    • If you do have security rights to Override Charge Limits, and you click Yes, it will override the limits and allow all the transactions to be processed. If you click No, you can go back to the screen and remove items or add a payment.

 

REVIEWING AND VOIDING FOR SERVE BY TEACHER

If you need to review or void transactions from Serve by Teacher, you will need to use the regular Breakfast/Lunch serving screen and review/void them one by one. To print a report, you can use Transaction History by Date. Sort the report by Time so all the transactions will be together.
 

Custom Query
Custom Query allows the user to create a query specific to their needs.
 


If you have any questions, or would like to see if we can create a report for you, please contact Anthony at Region 1 by email at anthony@region1.k12.mn.us

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