Lunch Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 7/9/2018 8:21 PM
  1. How do I open a lunch account for my student?  When you enroll your student in school they are automatically issued a Food Services meal account.  They are assigned a 4 digit pin number which they will type into a key pad if they choose to buy a meal.
  2. How do I deposit money into their Food Service account?  Please send either cash or a check with the students’ full name written in the memo section to school with them.  They can either take it to the office (where it will be put in the Food Service mailbox) or to the Food Service cashier when they come for lunch.  Payment may be for one day, one week, or several weeks at a time.  The entire amount of the check must be deposited into the students’ account (no change back can be given).  You can also add money through Skyward Family Access.
  3. What happens if my student still has money in his/her account at the end of the school year?  Any money left on a students’ account will be carried over into the next school year.
  4. Do you accept credit cards?  Yes, as a convenience to parents, parents can add money to their child’s school food service account online through the Skyward Family Access parent portal they currently use. We have contracted with RevTrak, a national credit card payment processor, to provide a secure site for making payments.  Click here for more information.
  5. If I send in cash with my student, can he/she get change?  That really depends.  A minimum of change is kept at each school.  They can only make change for small dollar amounts.  If the student needs change he/she needs to tell the cashier before handing them the money.  The majority of all cash transactions are deposits, and the cashiers rarely give change unless it is asked for.
  6. What if I forget to send lunch money to school?  North Mason School District allows all students to purchase meals without cash or money in their meal account. Students will not be turned away or given alternative meals. Parents who do not want their children to purchase a meal once their account has reached negative status can request to have an alert message attached to their meal account by contacting the Nutrition Services Office at 360-277-2121.  Click here for more information.
  7. How much do meals cost?
  8. My student has a life threatening food allergy / non-life threatening food allergy / physical disability; is there any way Food & Nutrition Services can help?  Substitutions can be made for students with life threatening allergies and/or physical disabilities.  A Diet Prescription for or medical statement from your primary care physician must be submitted to the Food Service Office.  Our school district nurse works closely with Food Service to help monitor these issues.  Food Service cannot make substitutions for Non-Life threatening allergies.
  9. Can we request food substitutions for religious and/or personal reasons?  No. 
  10. If my student changes school, does their money go with them?  Yes, if they change school within the North Mason School District.  Their money and free/reduced status will follow them there.
  11. We are leaving the North Mason School District, how do I have the money in my students meal account refunded to me?  Please contact the Food Service office.  Refunds will be given.  Please allow 6-8weeks for the check to be mailed to you.
  12. How do I apply for Free/Reduced meals?  The North Mason School District participates in the National School Breakfast & Lunch Program.

    You may apply for Free/Reduced meals at any time during the school year.  Applications are available online, in your school office, the Food Service office, and in you school’s Food Service kitchen.  Most students will also have an application sent/mailed home to them the first week of school.

    Fill out the application as completely as possible (one application per household) including:
    • All students’ full names w/schools they attend
    • Names of all members of the household with their incomes
    • Signature of an adult household member
    • Social Security Number of sign
    • If your student receives Basic Food (food stamps) or TANF you must include the case number on the application (no SSN# is needed).
    • If your student is a foster child please submit an application with only his/her name in the foster child section.  No other children may be on their application.

      Have your student drop off the application in your school kitchen with the Food Service staff.  We have 10 business days to process the application (it usually takes 24-48 hours).  

      You are responsible for all charges until your application is approved.

      A letter will be mailed home to notify you of the application results.  If you do not receive a letter within 3 days of submitting the application please contact the Food Service office.

      If you were approved for Temporary Free meals, you have 6 weeks to contact the Food Service office and/or submit a new application with income information.

      Once you have been approved, in order to receive the free/reduced rate, your student must choose a complete meal.  That means 3 out of the 4 food groups.  In the appropriate amounts at breakfast and 3 out of 5 food groups in the appropriate amounts at lunch.

      Anything else will be considered Ala Carte and your student will be charged accordingly.

      A new application must be submitted each year (It cannot be submitted on last years form).  Your child’s status from the prior year will roll over to the next school year for the first 30 school days.  After that a new application must be on file.  All charges accrued between when the old application expires and the new one is approved, are the parent/guardians responsibility to pay back.

  13. Will my student’s pin number always be the same?  Yes, your student’s pin number will stay with him/her until he/she graduates from high school.
  14. What is considered a Lunch and what is considered Ala Carte?  A “lunch” is 3 out of the 5 food groups in the appropriate amounts.  Most Entrees account for 2 food groups.  As long as your student chooses milk and/or fruit & vegetables to go with the entrée it will be considered a lunch.  Everything else is considered ala carte and will be priced accordingly.
  15. Can my student buy extra food (Ala Carte)?  Elementary students may buy with their meal accounts; breakfast, lunch, milk, juice and bottled water.  If they wish to buy an extra entrée with their meal using their meal account, you must send us a note letting the cashier know they have your permission.  The note will be kept on file in the Food Service kitchen at your school.  Secondary students may use their meal account to buy any food/snack items available to them.  If you do not wish for them to use their meal account in this manner please contact your  Food Service kitchen and ask to speak with the Cashier.  Please go to the Secondary Menu link for pricing on Ala Carte items.
  16. Are school meals healthy?  Yes, North Mason School menus offer the recommended daily allowance  of nutrients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Guidelines.  Breakfast contributes ¼ of the USDA’s daily nutrient requirements and Lunch contributes 1/3.  In addition, NM School menus are analyzed by computer software to ensure that certain nutrient levels are met.  A link to view the nutrient levels will soon be on this website.
  17. What is included with the price of a meal?  Lunch includes:  2 oz. meat/meat alternate, 1-2 servings of bread/grain, ¼ cup vegetables, ½ cup fruit, 8 oz. milk.  Breakfast includes:  1 oz. bread/grain, 1 oz. meat/ma, or 2 servings of bread/grains plus ½ cup juice, 8 oz. milk.  Anything else your student wishes to choose will be considered Ala Carte and will be priced accordingly.
  18. My student is going on a field trip; can he/she get a sack lunch?  Yes, sack lunches are available to all students for when they go on field trips.  “Sack Lunch Forms” are usually given to every student by their teacher when a field trip is planned.  The form is also available online.  They must be filled out, signed and returned to the Food Service kitchen at your childs school 5 days before the field trip.  Students may use their lunch account (free, reduced or paid) or send cash for the sack lunch with the form.