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The Program

The Nutrition Program at MCPS

Free and reduced applications are not shared between school districts. If a child transfers from another district in which they were free or reduced, parents will need to re-apply when registering a child in our district. Parents are responsible for any charges which are incurred during the transition. 

Free and reduced applications must be completed annually even if a student was free or reduced the previous year. The free and reduced application needs to be submitted after July 15 for the new school year. All prior year students that received free and reduced benefits have a grace period of 30 days from the start of school. If an application is not submitted prior to the cutoff, parents will be held responsible for any charges until a new application is completed.

Filling out a meal application determines eligibility for free or reduced-price meals, but it may also help provide the following:

  • Monthly internet service discounts
  • State and federal funding for school budgets
  • Discounts for fees associated with college application processes
  • Scholarship opportunities and discounted fees for ACT and AP tests

Application information is completely confidential. Only one application per household is needed.
We encourage parents to complete applications for free and reduced meals online. You will now be able to connect to everything through SchoolCafe.


New account setup English – Spanish
Applying for meal benefits - English – Spanish

If you do not wish to apply online, click on the Free & Reduced Application below to print out the form. You can also pick up an application at any school’s front office. Once the form is filled out, please either mail it to our office or turn it into your school’s cafeteria.
Please note that this method may take up to 10 days for us to process.

Free & Reduced Application -
English - Spanish
Applications Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions - English - Spanish

* At the beginning of the year, we receive many phone calls.  They will be returned as soon as possible.

Student Account
When enrolled, each student gets a Student ID Number. This number will remain the same throughout their time at Maury County Public Schools. To access their lunch account, the students will be asked by the cashier to type in the last 4 of their number. They will do this on a device located on the cashier stand.

Students can purchase their breakfast, lunch, and any ala carte items. If parents would like limitations put on their child’s account, i.e. “ice cream only on Fridays”, all they need to do is submit a request to the School Café Manager.

What makes a Meal?
Maury County Public Schools participates in the Offer vs. Serve Program for all grade levels. This is a USDA program which allows students to choose what they would like to eat. The meals are broken down into components ,and the students are required to take a certain number of components to have the meal qualify as a lunch or breakfast. 

For the student’s choices to count as a breakfast, the student must choose a minimum of three food items and one of them has to be a fruit or vegetable. There is a maximum of four food items that a student may choose for breakfast. None of the items may be duplicated. 

There are five components that make up a “School Lunch”:

  1. One Entree – Protein
  2. A Serving of Vegetables
  3. A Serving of Fruits
  4. A serving of Grains
  5. One Milk or Juice

For your child’s lunch tray to count as a “School Lunch” they must select at least three different food components. They can always take all five of the components if they choose to.
If your child only chooses to take the minimum number of components, one of the items MUST be a fruit or vegetable.

Depositing Monies into an Account
You can do this in a few different ways:

  • Through our on-line payment system, Visit school Cafe
  • By sending a check. If you choose this method, please make sure to include your child’s legal name and their lunch account number
  • Although we can accept cash payments, we do not recommend sending cash to school with your child

Lunch Meal Loans
Child Nutrition is a self-supporting enterprise within Maury County Public Schools.
Directed by the School Board, Child Nutrition must maintain a responsible financial approach in its operation to remain self-supporting. Extending lunch loans to the 12,000 plus students within the district can unduly burden the department, jeopardizing it’s ability to serve all district students.

We encourage all parents to take an active role in monitoring their child’s lunch account. Please make sure that you have sufficient funds in your child’s account to cover all purchases.

Maury County Public School charge policy is as follows:
Elementary school students may charge up to five (5) days.
Middle school students may charge up to two (2) days.
High school students may charge up to one (1) day. 

Towards the end of the year, our schools put in place a “No Charge” policy. For this reason, we encourage parents to make sure they have plenty of money in their child’s lunch accounts to cover all meals until the end of the school year.

Negative balance alerts will be emailed to the parents on a weekly basis. Please make sure that you keep your personal contact information updated with the school.
We encourage all parents to monitor their child’s account on a weekly basis. You can do this through several methods.

1. Using the online system, Visit School Cafe
2. Download the appropriate App:

Download on the App Store. A green button with the words "Get it on Google Play" and a Google Play logo.
Apple Store Download Google Play Download


3. Contact your school’s café manager.
4. Contact our School Nutrition Office.