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We serve more than 5.5 million high-quality meals per year

2021-2022 School Year Meals

Breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to families for all HCPSS students throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

Free meals also will be provided to students enrolled in the DEC, as well as students in quarantine.

Full details on student meals for the 2021-2022 school year are available online.

Please note: Due to national food supply chain shortages and delays, HCPSS Food and Nutrition Service currently faces a number of food and paper product delivery shortfalls. These supply chain issues force our suppliers to make unanticipated substitutions, which may result in HCPSS menu changes on little to no notice.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to meet these challenges in order to provide healthy and nutritious meals each day.

HCPSS students and their families can now view menus and nutrition and allergen information for meals served in all HCPSS schools through Nutrislice, a website and free smartphone app.

View Menus

Download the Nutrislice app for iOS or Android.

Food service staff serve lunch to boy at pickup window.

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. Those eligible for reduced-price meals pay $0.10 for breakfast and $0.20 for lunch.

Applications are available online or as a paper application. Parents must submit a new application every school year to maintain their student’s eligibility.

Learn more and apply for Free and Reduced Meals

All meals available at no cost to families for the 2021-2022 school year

Paying for meals

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 This online portal also allows parents to view cafeteria 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.

Create a New Account


Log-in to existing account

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.

All meals purchased without a PIN will have an additional charge of $0.30 for breakfast and $0.60 for lunch.

Unpaid Meal Charges

Nutrition is essential to students’ mental, physical, and academic growth. HCPSS practice is to ensure that no student goes hungry or is traumatized for lack of funds. If a student forgets their lunch money, a meal will be provided and a charge will be applied to their meal account. Meals will never be taken away when there are no funds or a negative balance in a student’s meal account. However, parents/guardians are solely responsible for providing their student(s) with money for meals, or packing a meal from home. Parents/guardians are also responsible for prompt payment of outstanding balances. Meal account balances may be viewed at any time by logging in to MySchoolBucks. The expectation is that all meal charges owed to HCPSS Food and Nutrition Services will be paid in full.

More information is provided in Board of Education Policy 4200 Meal Charges.

NOTE: All meals will be available at no cost to families for the 2021-2022 school year. Meal prices are provided if students wish to purchase additional meals.

Breakfast and Lunch Daily Prices –

Student Breakfast

Breakfast – $2.00

Reduced Price Breakfast – $0.10 (Find out how to qualify for FARMS)

Student Lunch

Elementary School Lunch – $2.80

Middle/High School Lunch – $3.30

Reduced Price Lunch – $0.20 (Find out how to qualify for FARMS)

Milk (1/2 pint) – $0.50

Faculty and Staff

Adult Breakfast

Breakfast – $2.75

Adult Lunch

Regular Lunch – $4.50


The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes the connection between health and wellness and student achievement and that students need nourishing foods and physical activity in order to grow, learn, and thrive.

Board of Education Policy 9090 Wellness Through Nutrition and Physical Activity →

Policy 9090 Wellness Through Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Report, Sept. 24, 2020 →

Howard County Public Schools – Maryland Wellness Policies and Practice Project →

Ducketts Lane students receiving school meals

Nutritional and Allergen Concerns

We are sensitive to the various nutritional and dietary needs of students. In addition, we post all nutritional information for our meal choices online and in our Nutrislice 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.

View allergen and nutritional information for all food choices in Nutrislice or visit our FAQ

Bushy Park student eating school meal

Our Commitment to Quality

We strive to provide well-balanced and nutritional meals that are fairly priced for all students.

Learn more about our commitment to quality →

Let’s Rethink Lunch: A Healthy Meals Program of HCPSS

We are rethinking school lunch at HCPSS. This means offering healthier meal choices and more nutritional options in schools.

Learn more about the Let’s Rethink Lunch program →


We pride ourselves on sourcing a number of our food choices from Maryland farms and businesses.

Find out where our food comes from →

Preparing and Serving our Meals

Our meal preparation follows strict USDA, MSDE and State Health department guidelines. Food services staff undergo mandatory training on all aspects of food selection and preparation to both meet and exceed these guidelines.

We’re also committed to ensuring that all students have adequate time to eat a healthy lunch by increasing the speed and efficiency of school lunch lines.

Food for In-School Celebrations

Take a look through our list of approved items for ideas on what to bring.

Contact Us

For all questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office at 410-313-7134.

Provide Feedback

We value feedback from parents and community members on meal choices, nutrition and wellness, and many other topics to improve our services.

Food and Nutrition Services Feedback Form