Frequently Asked Questions about Payments

  • How much does breakfast and lunch cost?

    Click here to view a current price chart.

    How do I pay for my child(ren)'s meals?

    There are several ways to make a payment on their meal accounts. Go to and set up an online account where you can pay from home. Automatic recurring payments, email notifications on balances and other features are available. All of your children will be on one account. Use credit cards, debit cards or bank account transfers. 

    The SchoolCafe Mobile App is available for Android and iPhone.  Make payments, view meal account balance, cafeteria purchases, and payment history, all from the convenience of a smart phone. Personalize the App by adding student pictures.  It's easy!  Start by downloading the SchoolCafe App, searching for "SchoolCafe" on Android's Google Play or the iPhone's App Store, then log in using your username and password.  The SchoolCafe App is free.  Link: SchoolCafe frequently asked questions.

    OR send a check or cash with your children to school. Put in an envelope marked with the student’s name and student ID number. Checks must only be for Nutrition Services, made out to Saint Paul Nutrition Services, with the name of your child in the memo line and phone number on the check. Change cannot be given for checks or cash.

    How will I know when I need to add more money?

    Each Thursday a phone call is made to families with low and negative balances. School cafeterias also send reminder notices home with students. Balances can be viewed at or on the Parent Portal site (2 day delay). You may also call the school cafeteria or the Nutrition Services office.

    What happens to the remaining balance at the end of the school year of if child transfers to another school?

    Any money remaining at the end of the school year will transfer to next year even if they go to a different Saint Paul Public School or you may request a refund or transfer of funds to a sibling.

    How do my kids enter their number from lunch?

    Students enter in their student ID number on the keypad.  Click here to print practice keypad sheet in your preferred language.

    Will my kids be refused a meal if they have a negative balance?

    All students regardless of balance will receive a well-balanced meal.  Students without funds to pay may receive an alternate meal.  Read the Unpaid Meal Charge Policy 534.00 below for more information.

    If my child qualifies for Free lunch, how does the account balance become negative?

    Parents are responsible for any meal account charges until the application is processed. It is not immediately effective when you turn in the application or applied retroactively. You will receive a letter from Nutrition Services with the effective date they can get free or reduced lunches. Until then, please send money for their lunch and/or breakfast.

    Can students receive extras if they are still hungry?

    All students are able to purchase a second breakfast for $2.65 or lunch for $4.30.  The higher meal price is because we do not receive Federal and State funding for second meals. The cafeterias also have a "seconds" table where students can put any unopened, wrapped item that they are not able to eat. Any student who is still hungry can choose items from the "seconds" table.

    Are students able to purchase extra items?

    The high schools offer an a la carte line ("Good to Go") where they sell a variety of food items from beverages to snacks. The middle schools offer a more limited a la carte line. In the elementary schools, students may purchase any item that is on the menu for that day. Price lists are posted in the cafeterias.



Unpaid Meals Charges - Policy 534.00

  • This SPPS policy 534.00 covers:

    • Payment of meals
    • Free/Reduced price lunch applications
    • Notification of negative balances and responses
    • Communication of policy

    Click here to view the entire policy

    English, Espanol, Hmoob, Soomaalikaren

Free/Reduced Meal Application

Contact Nutrition Services

  • Calendar

    Nutrition Services
    1930 Como Ave.
    Saint Paul, MN, 55108