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School Meals

Students may bring lunch from home or purchase meals at school. Nutritious breakfast and lunch menu items are offered every day. Students use prepaid computerized accounts to purchase meals; parents can make deposits into a student's account any time throughout the year using cash or check.

Students access their accounts by entering preassigned PIN numbers on a keypad at the time of purchase. At high schools with photo identification systems, student ID cards are used in place of the PIN. When food is purchased, the total amount of the sale is deducted from the prepaid balance in the account. Elementary and secondary menus are available online.

Additional Information 

Free and Reduced-price Meals

Students who are eligible based on household size and income receive meals free or at a reduced price. To ensure confidentiality, these students enter a PIN number in the cafeteria in the same way as students who pay full price for meals.

Applications for the Free and Reduced-price Meals System (FARMS) program are sent home at the beginning of the school year. One application is used to apply for all students in the household. Applications also can be obtained from any MCPS school or online.

Applications are available in 12 languages: Amharic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese and can be submitted any time during the school year. An application must be submitted each year that services are requested.

Additional Information 

Special Dietary Needs

If your child has specific food allergies, requests for food substitutions should be made to the cafeteria manager. A doctor's note is required for these requests. For students who prefer a vegetarian diet, meatless options are available daily.