Applications & Payments

Free Meals for All Through the 2020-21 School 

  • The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) recently announced an extension of current school meal programs through the 2020-21 school year. Through the federally-funded program, all Austin ISD students will receive free school meals through June 3, the last day of school.
  • No documentation is needed for students to receive free meals through December, however schools need information from families, by October 30, to help maintain campus demographic information used for various types of funding.
    • Income verification is needed from all families not receiving state-funded benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Income verification may be submitted during the online enrollment process, if not, then electronically on the Parent Cloud or a paper form will be provided to you.
  • AISD will no longer collect meal benefit applications from any campus.  No further documentation is needed from families who have already completed a meal benefits application for the current school year.
  • Learn more at www.austinisd.org/openforlearning/meals

Meal Applications

  • AISD will not collect meal benefit applications from any campus for the 2020-21 school year. 
  • To help maintain campus demographic information used for funding, schools will collect income verification information from families by October 30th.
    • Income verification is needed from all families—who are not receiving state-funded benefits such as SNAP.  Income verification may be submitted during the online enrollment process, electronically on the Parent Cloud or through a paper form.
    • No further documentation is needed from families who already completed a meal benefits application for the current school year. 

Income Guidelines

Income eligibility guidelines are used in determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Income Eligibility Guidelines

For meal application assistance, please contact an AISD Food Service Business Support Specialist:

Meal Prices

All Austin ISD students will receive free school meals through the 2020-21 school year.
Learn more at www.austinisd.org/openforlearning/meals.

Adult Breakfast: $2.25
Adult Lunch: $3.85

Prepayments & Refunds

How can parents and guardians access their child’s meal account?

  • To view balances or add money to a meal account, a SchoolCafé account must be created by visiting www.schoolcafe.com.
  • Once an account is created, the SchoolCafé mobile application can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices.
  • Through SchoolCafé, parents and guardians can make payments, view purchase history, receive low balance alerts, apply for meal benefits, submit verification paperwork and access school menus.  
  • Online payments are subject to a processing fee. 
  • Cash payments will not be accepted at curbside meal sites. 

How do parents and guardians request a refund for funds on a student meal account from last school year? 

  • Food Service will not provide cash refunds at this time. 
  • All refunds will be issued by check. This may take 4-6 weeks to be received by USPS mail.
  • Refunds are only issued to the student's caregiver that Food Service can verify has made a payment into the student's account through SchoolCafe. 
  • Info needed to request a refund: 
    • Student's name, school attending, caregiver name and the address to which the refund should be sent 
  • Refunds may be requested one of the following ways:
    • Online at SchoolCafe - Select the "Donate or Request Unused Funds" option below the student's information.
      • If a caregiver has never made a payment through SchoolCafe, the system will not allow a refund request to be submitted.
    • Online through the Food Service Contact Us form.
      • The email address used in the form is checked to see if it matches the primary e-mail for that student or has been used in SchoolCafe.
      • By phone, calling Food Service at 512-414-0251.

Resources for setting up a SchoolCafé account:

  • SchoolCafé Step-by-Step Guide (English / Spanish) shows how to:
    • Create a SchoolCafé account
    • Add a student to your SchoolCafé account
    • Add funds to your student's account
    • Set up automatic prepayments
  • More helpful SchoolCafé information can be found by signing into your account, or as a guest, and clicking How-to and FAQs at the top of the page at the link below:

Charging Policy

Charging Meals

If students exhaust their meal accounts, they may charge meals at any meal service as follows:

  • Students in elementary and middle school may charge up to three meals.
  • Students in high school may charge up to two meals.
  • Students may not charge á la carte items.

Once the charge limit is reached, if the account is not replenished, the student shall receive a courtesy meal. There is no limit to the number of courtesy meals a student may receive. 
Cafeteria staff will work with campus administration to identify students’ eligibility for free or reduced-price meals.

Notification of Low and Negative Balance and Collection of Funds

AISD shall notify the household of a student with a low or negative meal balance and request payment by letter and email. Automatic phone calls shall be administered no more than once per week.

Payment of Delinquent Meal Charge Debt

Donated funds received throughout the year, when available, will be used to offset negative account balances. At year end, activity or other local funds are used to offset negative account balances.

Temporary Food Event Permits

In cooperation with the City of Austin Health and Human Services Department, temporary food events such as festivals, fairs or carnivals that will sell or distribute food require a temporary food event permit and food handler training.

You will need a food permit if:

  1. You are serving unpackaged food, open food drinks (mixed drinks w/ice) or food that requires refrigeration or to be served hot.
  2. The general public is invited.

You will not need a food permit if:

  1. You are serving packaged, unopened food.
  2. If food is being sold from a food truck that already has a permit.

 
Guidelines:

  • Forms must be turned in 20 days before the day of event to Austin ISD Food Service, which will do preliminary processing and must forward to the city of Austin within 10 days of event.
  • AISD events are exempt from permit charges, but if applications are submitted less than 10 days before an event you will be charged an expedite fee of $98.
  • Forms must be complete and legible with attached and clearly visible copy of a driver's license.
  • The city of Austin will contact you directly when your permit application has been processed. Permit pick: 1520 Rutherford Lane, M-F 7:45 a.m.–3:30 pm.

Temporary Food Permit Application (Pages 3-8)

Food Handler Training

The city of Austin offers an on-line training for a fee of $20 at www.statefoodsafety.com/food-handler/texas/austin-city.

Questions:

City of Austin
512-978-0300
EHSD.service@austintexas.gov
 
AISD Food Service
512-414-0251