Business

New Software Allows Parents to Manage School Meals Online

April 9, 2017, 2:34 PM HST
* Updated April 10, 12:25 PM
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Hawaii DOE logoThe Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) has launched a new program to allow parents to pay for their child’s school meals online and through a mobile application.

The program, called SchoolCafé, enables online payments, auto-payments, account balance reviews and low balance alerts. The mobile application is compatible with iPhone, Android and Windows smartphones.

A 5 percent convenience fee will be charged for all payments made online and through the mobile application. Parents can still pay using cash or check at their child’s school at no charge, and can use SchoolCafé to check their balance.

SchoolCafé runs on PrimeroEdge food service software and will help cafeterias maintain inventory, make purchases and reduce costs.

“The Department has spent the last two years working on bringing our food service management system into the 21st century,” said HIDOE Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “This new software will allow us to streamline the experience and process for parents as well as our cafeteria staff who will be able to anticipate their inventory needs with more precision.”

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All 256 school campuses statewide are now using the software as of April 3, 2017. A pilot program for the software began in January 2017 with schools in the Castle, Kahuku, Kailua, Kalaheo, Kaiser and Kalani complexes on Oʻahu.

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“The cost savings from implementing the new program based on annual software expenses alone will be around $100,000,” said HIDOE Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “This is one less expense that schools will have to worry about since the Department will cover the cost of the software annually for all 256 public schools.”

SchoolCafé cost HIDOE $870,000 and includes 18 months of service, installation and staff training. The annual cost after the 18 month starting period will be $350,000, which will be paid for by the Department.

HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch will notify parents about the software and where they can get more information.

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