Zipthru Card

Chartwells has introduced its Zipthru cards, which can be used instead of cash in cafeterias, at three P.E.I. schools. (Chartwells)

Students in three P.E.I. schools can now pay for lunch with a pre-paid card.

The new pilot program began Monday at Stonepark Intermediate, East Wiltshire and Hernewood Intermediate schools. The Zipthru card is offered by Chartwells, a company that runs some P.E.I. school cafeterias.

"It gives a little bit more control over where the purchases are being done and how the money's being spent, and it allows a mechanism for them to follow those purchases as well," said Stonepark principal Norman Beck.

The students go online, purchase a credit and then go to the school and use what's similar to a bank card.

''There are more healthier choices here that we have available for students and we certainly like to promote them and this might be a way of just getting at that a little bit easier,'' said Beck.

The principal said parents have been asking for a program like this for a while.