Technology comes to school lunch rooms

Margaret P. Browning
Ramstein School Liaison Office

Students are sure to observe a new hi-tech fixture in the lunch room next year as most of the KMC school cafeterias implement FAST LANE 2000.
Students will no longer have to carry tickets or cash to school, they will simply input a four digit personal identification number at the register, and the price of their lunch will be withdrawn from a prefunded account.
“This system will move lunch lines more speedily, eliminate the risk of lost tickets or cash, and give parents more control of their children’s eating habits while at school,” said Sabine Koch, school liaison office program coordinator.
The program will be available to all students attending participating Department of Defense schools in the KMC, including those receiving free and reduced priced lunches.

Sembach schools will not participate in the new system and will remain on the current cash or ticket system.

Parents deposit funds into student meal accounts in desired increments to cover the cost of lunches. If desired, parents can deposit funds into a general account that students can use to purchase snacks or ice cream. When the student’s account begins to get low, parents will be notified to deposit more funds.

Parents with more than one school-age child will only have to write one check and funds will be distributed into their children’s accounts. Parents no longer have to worry about lost lunch tickets or money.

The system also gives parents the ability to monitor their children’s eating habits to ensure they are not spending their lunch money on snacks instead of a healthy meal.

When a child enters their PIN at the register, the systems displays the student’s information including name, photo and account balances. The system will also recognize food allergies when the attendant inputs the student’s food purchase.

“Families wishing to receive free and reduced price meals need to apply at their local school liaison office as soon as possible to avoid delays,” said Mrs. Koch.

Students attending Landstuhl or Ramstein schools need to apply at the school liaison office in Ramstein, Bldg. 2106, Room 207. Students attending Kaiserslautern, Vogelweh or Sembach schools need to apply at the School Liaison Office at Kapaun, Bldg. 2786.

Parents must reapply each school year to remain on the program.