Q: Do I need to re-apply each school year for free/reduced lunches?
A: Yes, a new application is needed each school year. If you do not fill out a new application, you will need to pay full price for your child’s lunch.
Q: Do I need to fill out a separate application for each child?
A: No, only one application is needed per family, which will list all your children.
Q: How are meal payments made? Can I pay for lunch online?
A: The Food Service Department uses a computerized meal payment program. Students are issued a personal meal account with a corresponding number. Payment for meals is accepted as often as families would like. Prepayment is encouraged as this expedites the service to the student through the serving line, allowing more time to eat, and reduces the need for daily cash handling. Also, payments may be made through PayPAMS. Parents may access their student(s) account by going to www.PayPAMS.com
. There is $1.95 fee per payment transaction.
Q: Is my child on free or reduced lunch the day I submit my application?
A: No. All applications received may take up to ten days to process. You will receive a letter notifying you if your application has been approved for free or reduced lunch or if it has been denied. Please note that it is not retroactive and any balances accrued until the approval date is the responsibility of the family.
Q: Are there nutritional requirements for school lunches?
A: School lunches must meet US Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition requirements, but decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities. USDA works with state agencies and local school food authorities through the Team Nutrition initiative to teach and motivate children to make healthy food choices, and to provide school food service staff with training and technical support.
Q: How can parents get involved in school meals programs?
A: Review cafeteria menus with your child and be encouraging about trying new items. Try new food – especially fruits and vegetables – at home and your child may be more willing to try these foods at school. Visit the school cafeteria to make your own observations and have lunch. Please check in with your school’s main office before going to the cafeteria.
Q: Why should I encourage my children to eat school meals?
A: Providing students their choice of milk, fruits and vegetables, grains and proteins, are a great value and convenience for parents. School cafeterias offer students a variety of healthy choices and help children learn how to assemble a well-balanced meal. Federal regulations require that meals be served in age–appropriate portions.
Q: How are school nutrition programs working to make healthy meals kid-friendly?
A: Children can be picky eaters, but school nutrition managers are always working to find new healthy recipes that children are willing to eat. Schools and the foodservice industry are making student favorites more healthy, such as serving pizza on whole grain bread with low-sodium sauce and low-fat cheese. School nutrition programs also work to meet the needs of their diverse student population.
Q: Why is pricing different for an adult purchasing a meal?
A: The Food Service Department receives varying amounts of reimbursement for each student meal it serves; however, no funds are received for adult meals. As a result, an adult is charged a la carte pricing that reflects the actual cost of the meal.