We serve more than 5.5 million high-quality meals per year
Message from Food and Nutrition Services Director Brian Ralph
The HCPSS Food and Nutrition Service staff is very excited about the 2022-2023 school year as we continue the crucial task of meeting the nutritional needs of our students. We take our role in the development of the whole child very seriously. Students need healthy, nutritious meals on a daily basis in order to function effectively.
For the past two years, federal waivers were in place to offer all students universal meals at no charge. These waivers expired on June 30 and we will return to pre-pandemic ways of providing meals to students based on eligibility (free, reduced-price, and paid). We encourage households to complete Free and Reduced Meal applications, based on your household income eligibility.
HCPSS offers a variety of meal choices with the goal of providing excellent service and high quality meals that meet or exceed federal and state requirements. We are committed to providing food that students are excited about eating. In order for us to be successful, we are asking for full participation and open communication with the students and parents. We are proud to serve your child and encourage you to support our ongoing efforts to improve student health and well-being by participating in our food service program.
On-site payments and prepayments may be made using cash or check. Families may prepay with a credit card by setting up an online account at myschoolbucks.com, which also allows parents to view account activity and receive balance alerts. There is a $2.75 processing fee for each credit/debit card payment. Each transaction can be up to $120.00 in total.
Each student is assigned a unique, 6-digit cafeteria PIN, which remains the same every school year. If a student has forgotten their PIN, cashiers can look the PIN up by student name.
This PIN allows HCPSS to receive reimbursements from the National School Lunch Program. Any meals purchased without a PIN will have an additional charge of $0.30 for breakfast and $0.60 for lunch.
Unpaid Meal Charges
Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their student(s) with money for meals, or packing a meal from home. If a student forgets or does not have lunch, HCPSS practice is to ensure that no student goes hungry or is traumatized for lack of funds. A meal will be provided and a charge will be applied to the student’s meal account. Meals will never be taken away when there are no funds or a negative balance in a student’s meal account. Meal account balances may be viewed at any time by logging in to MySchoolBucks.
More information is provided in Board of Education Policy 4200 Meal Charges.
Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs)
The HCPSS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. Students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.
Parents/guardians must submit a new application every school year to maintain their student’s eligibility.
Nutritional and Allergen Concerns
We are sensitive to the various nutritional and dietary needs of students. All nutritional information for HCPSS meals is available via the Nutrislice website or free mobile app.
Students with known food allergies (shellfish, tree nuts, gluten, lactose, etc.) need to have a formal notice of their allergies written up by a family physician and submitted to the school nurse. Students who would still like to purchase food from the cafeteria can have accommodations made that are suited to their allergies.
Answers to frequently-asked-questions about HCPSS meals and Food Services can be found on the HCPSS Help website.
For any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office at 410-313-7134.
We value feedback from parents and community members on meal choices, nutrition and wellness, and many other topics to improve our services.