Meal Payments, MySchoolBucks, and FARMS

For more information:


The school cafeterias use a computerized cash register system. Every student in Montgomery County schools has an account to use. All students have a PIN (personalized identification number). To access the account at mealtime, a student enters his/her PIN on a keypad. At high schools with photo identification systems, the student passes his/her student ID card through a card reader. Once the account is accessed, all students use the system in the same way. When a cashier rings up breakfast, lunch or a la carte items, the total amount of the sale is deducted from the prepaid balance in the account. When a student owes money, or does not have enough on the account, the student may pay with cash at the time of purchase.

Deposits into the account can be made by any student. The system is programmed to know which students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. A student’s status is always confidential. Students eligible for reduced price meals may prepay or pay with cash at the time of purchase.



MySchoolBucks is an optional service for parents to view recent purchases and make prepayments to a student's school meals account for breakfast, lunch, and à-la-carte meals online, using a credit or debit card.

Parents can manage their child's school meal payments by creating a secure online account.

You can submit a check, made payable to the school cafeteria, and give it to the cafeteria manager. The check funds will be placed on student accounts for immediate use and the checks will be deposited in the bank the same day.

Email refund and balance-transfer requests to

  • Go to and click on "Sign up today!"
  • Create an account for yourself, and add your children. You will need the student’s name (exactly as it appears on their report card), school, grade, birth date, and six-digit student ID number.
  • (OPTIONAL) Provide credit or debit card information, if you would like to make prepayments to your child's cafeteria account.
  • Select a Meal Payment Option to make a prepayment, or select your child's name to view recent cafeteria purchases.

MySchoolBucks instructions:

English  |  español  | 中文  | français |  tiếng Việt  | 한국어 | አማርኛ 


Free and Reduced-Price Meals 

Free Meals are No Longer Available for ALL Students, due to the end of Federal USDA waivers.

DFNS has enjoyed serving all of our students meals at no cost to our families for the past two years.

Breakfast for All Schools      $1.30
Elementary Lunch $2.55
Secondary Lunch $2.80

DFNS encourages all families to complete a Free and Reduced-price Meals Application.

All meals are free for students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals.

  • Apply online at (translations available) Click here for an English video tutorial. 

    Vea aquí un vídeo paso a paso en español sobre cómo completar la solicitud de FARMS.

    • Federal eligibility guidelines change each school year; therefore, you must submit a new application each school year.
    • You must list all students in the family on one household application.
    • Each student will be notified by mail, if you are approved for meal benefits or if you do not qualify for meal benefits.
    • Please keep this important document for your records and use throughout the school year.
    • Families may apply for meal benefits at any time during the school year. 
    • Households that are unable to apply online should contact their school or the Division of Food and Nutrition Services at 240-740-7400.

    Please click here to apply online. 

  • APPLY ONLINE for faster processing. Households who apply online should not submit a paper application.
  • Please complete paper applications in black ink (not pencil).
  • Your first name, last name, and middle initial are required on the application.
  • Please provide birth date, grade, and school name to expedite processing.
  • Use ONE application for ALL students in the household—including Pre-K, kindergarten, and foster—even if they attend different schools.
  • If you are applying for a child who is homeless, a migrant, or a runaway, please call your child's school or contact the MCPS Homeless liaison at 240-740-4511.

Montgomery County public schools serve breakfast and lunch every school day. If your total household income is the same or less than the amounts on the Income Chart below, your child may qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Students in households participating in Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) may be eligible for free or reduced-priced meals

The following students qualify for free meals:

  • Foster children
  • Students certified as homeless or runaway
  • Students enrolled in the Migrant Education program
  • Students enrolled in the Head Start program
  • Students enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), or Medicaid.