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Meal Prices and Payment

Student Meal Prices

Breakfast, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), afterschool snack, and supper are universally free for DCPS students, where programs are applicable. DCPS students who are classified as free or reduced, or who attend a Provision 2 or Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school will receive a lunch at no charge to the student.

Students who are classified as paid or who have not filled out a Free And Reduced Meal (FARM) application, and attend a non-Provision/CEP school must pay for lunch (payment is required for lunch meals consumed prior to receiving a free status). Reference Applications for Free and Reduced Meals for a list of CEP schools for 2017-18.

2017-18 Student Lunch Prices

  • Elementary (Pre-K-5th grade) Lunch - $2.70
  • Secondary (6-12th grade) Lunch - $3.20

Student Meal Payment

Student’s meal accounts function as a debit account. When a student goes through the lunch line to receive a meal, they give the cafeteria manager their name or number. The cost of the meal is then deducted from their student meal account.

If there are insufficient funds in the students meal account, the student still receives a meal and the student meal account will show a negative balance with the associated cost.

Students can pay for meals in any of three ways:

  1. By paying with a credit or debit card at myschoolbucks.com an online prepayment service
    • Setup SMART PAY to automatically add money to account whenever it reaches a low balance
    • Receive low balance notifications to remind you when funds are low
  2. By sending a check or money order made payable to the DC Treasurer to the following address*:

DCPS Food and Nutrition Services
       1200 First Street, NE, 9th Floor
              Washington, DC 20002

*The student ID# MUST be included.

Insufficient Funds Notification

If a student’s balance goes below zero, the student’s parent/guardian will receive communication with the amount due on the meal account balance and instructions to put money into their student’s account. Twice a week (T-Th) parents/guardians of student’s with negative meal account balances will receive:

  • A robo-call,
  • A text message, and
  • An email (if email address is provided)

Parents/guardians of student’s with negative balances will also receive a negative balance letter/invoice mailed home quarterly.

There is no limit to the amount of negative balance a student can accrue. There are no alternative meals served to a student with a negative balance. Students will continue to accrue negative balances until additional funds are put into their account. When funds are put into a students account, it will first pay off the negative balance. If a student’s balance is not paid at the end of the year, it will roll over into the next school year. If a student’s balance reaches a predetermined amount (tbd), the debt may be sent to a collections agency to be collected. Schools may withhold report cards, field trips, promotion/graduation benefits as a result of student debts, therefore it is imperative that your student’s lunch account remain current.

Deactivate Student Lunch Account

By deactivating a student’s lunch account, the student will not be able to receive a meal or milk during lunch. They will still be able to receive free breakfast and afterschool snack or supper.  This ensures that there will be no meal or milk lunch charges to a student’s account.

Deactivate Student Lunch Account

USDA Notice of Non-Discrimination

In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call, toll free, (866) 632-9992 (Voice). TDD users can contact USDA through local relay or the Federal Relay at (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (relay voice users). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Also, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, approved December 13, 1977 (DC Law 2-38; DC Official Code §2-1402.11(2006), as amended) states the following:

Pertinent section of DC Code § 2-1402.11: 

It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of any individual. To file a complaint alleging discrimination on one of these bases, please contact the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights at (202) 727-3545.