Applications & Payments

Meal Applications

Apply for Free or Reduced-Price Meals

  • Families are encouraged to apply for SNAP benefits to receive free meals for their students at school, and their family at home. Families that receive SNAP benefits are eligible for free school meals without submitting a school meal benefits application.
  • A new meal benefits application must be submitted each school year for those interested in participating in the free or reduced-price meals program.
  • Online meal applications can be submitted by creating an account at
    • Learn more about setting up a SchoolCafé account and how to apply here.  
  • Only one application is needed for an entire household. 
  • Students are permitted to receive meal benefits based on last year’s meal status only until October 1, 2018 or until a new meal application has been processed. 
  • New applications are available from the school office.
  • Online applications are available in English and Spanish. Paper applications are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Burmese and Korean.  
    • Please call AISD Nutrition and Food Services (512) 414-0251 or contact AISD Refugee Services to arrange for a paper application. 
  • To expedite the approval process of a new meal application, we highly recommend that families submit the information online. 

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 Nutrition and Food Services Business Support Specialist:
Tina Castillo (bilingual): 512-414-0257 or 

Meal Prices

Breakfast - All Schools
Full Price: $1.50
Reduced Price: $.30
Adult - $2.25

Elementary Lunch
Full Price: $3.00
Reduced Price: $.40
Adult: $3.85

Middle School and High School Lunch
Full Price: $3.15
Reduced Price: $.40
Adult: $3.85


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
  • 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 are accepted in the café from 7 a.m.–2 p.m.

Resources for setting up a SchoolCafé account:

  • SchoolCafé Step-by-Step Guide 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, Austin ISD Nutrition and Food Services Department offers food handler training for school groups and organizations that wish to secure a city-issued temporary food event permit.

Temporary Food Event Permit
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. f food is being sold from a food truck that already has a permit.


  • Forms must be turned in 20 days before the day of event to Austin Nutrition and Food Services, 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

Food handler training is held twice each year, once in the fall and again in the spring. The training is free, and Spanish translation services are available. At least two representatives from each school should attend the training. If representatives are unable to attend the free training, the city of Austin offers an on-line training for a fee of $20 at


City of Austin
AISD Nutrition and Food Services