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Xavier Students Scan Fingers To Pay For Lunch

Tools

By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Twin Falls School District has now taken over the lunch program at Xavier Charter School.

The days of paper lunch tickets or punch cards are a thing of the past. Now even school lunch rooms are going digital.

Xavier Charter School is the latest of 15 schools in Twin Falls to jump on the finger scanning bandwagon. Each child from kindergarteners up through high school seniors puts their finger in a scanner to see if they've paid for lunch.

Heather Leishman, Kitchen Manager at Xavier, says, "It eliminates the need for children to remember a number or to bring lunch tickets or to hold onto their little activity card and try to hold their trays."

To enter a student into the system, the scanner takes three different pictures of their finger, generates a random number, and stores it with that account. When it's time for lunch, you just stick your finger in the scanner.

Lori Reith with Twin Falls School District Child Nutrition says, "So you know when that child eats, or that child eats a second meal, it's recorded for that individual child."

There are some minor quirks with the system. Students need to rub their hands so they're warm enough for the scanner to work, and sometimes hand sanitizer on the kids' skin will prevent the system from working. But overall, the "touch and go" system is quite secure.

Leishman says, "It doesn't store any identifying information. That information cannot be transferred from computer to computer. And it can never actually be backed out to recreate a fingerprint of any sort."

Simply put, it's a hassle-free way to make sure your little scholars – and big ones – get the nutrition they need.

The school district has been using the program for five or six years now, and is very pleased with how it's working out.

September 9, 2013.


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