Frequently Asked Questions

Who develops the school menus?
Albemarle County School menus are planned by a nutritionist. Menus must follow the guidelines set by the National School Lunch Program, the Virginia Department of Education, and local guidelines developed by the Albemarle County Child Nutrition Program.
What does a school lunch include?
See: MyPlate Guide to School Lunches
A lunch may include all 5 meal components. If a student chooses to decline an item they must have at a minimum, 1 serving of fruit or vegetable, plus 2 other meal components in order to have a lunch transaction.
What does a school breakfast include?
See: MyPlate Guide to School Lunches
A breakfast transaction must include a fruit or vegetable serving.
Who determines the portion size of the school meals?
Portion sizes are determined by the federal guidelines of the National School Lunch Program. Each lunch provides 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance for children in calories and nutrients.
What is the cost of a school breakfast and lunch?
  • Student Breakfast, K-12 = $1.45
  • Student Lunch, Primary = $2.70
  • Student Lunch, Secondary = $2.95
  • Adult Breakfast = $1.75
  • Adult Lunch = $3.55
  • Reduced Breakfast = $0.30
  • Reduced Lunch = $0.40
How do I put money on my child's account?
Individual student accounts allow all students to prepay for meals, which helps speed up the lunch lines. When they reach the end of the lunch line, students simply enter a five-digit number into a keypad, and the cost of their food is deducted from their balance. Any amount of money can be deposited into an account using cash or check. Please be sure to write the students full name and pin# on the check or envelope that contains money. We encourage all parents to set up an account at There is no cost to set up the account which allows parents to view and manage your child’s transactions and even set up low balance notifications. The mySchoolBucks account also offers the option to make an online credit card payment, with a convenience fee. Visit for details.
What happens to monies on my child's account at the end of the school year?
Any monies left on a student's account will rollover to the next school year. If you are planning to move, you may request the money left on your child's account by filling out a prepayment refund request form which the cafeteria manager can provide for you.
What happens if my child forgets his/her lunch money?
The Child Nutrition Program understands that situations may occur when a child forgets their lunch money and we will allow a student to charge a meal. A meal charge is defined as a short-term loan for a child to eat because the child forgot lunch, their lunch money or has lost it. Students in need of a meal, but with no funds available, will be provided a qualified USDA meal and parent/guardian will be responsible for those charges. Parent/guardian are responsible for keeping up-to-date on their child’s meal account balance.
Are students able to purchase extra items?
Students are able to purchase extra items by using cash or monies on their meal account. Students who have a negative account balance will not be allowed to purchase extra items and money provided for an extra item will be applied to their account balance.
Why are adult meal prices higher than a student meal?
Adults pay higher prices for school meals than students because student meals are subsidized with federal and state monies. Federal regulations state "adult prices must be the full cost or at least the price paid by students plus the rate of federal and state reimbursement and the value of USDA donated foods."
What if my child is allergic to certain foods?
The Child Nutrition Program is committed in working with all students who have a dietary restriction or food allergy. Please provide the Medical Statement form to the school cafeteria..
How is confidentiality of my student's account maintained?
Each child has an individual PIN number assigned to them when they enroll in school. The number remains the same throughout their entire enrollment in Albemarle County Public Schools. Students or parents may contact the school nutrition manager to obtain the PIN number. The students PIN # should not be shared with anyone. When a child enters the PIN, the cashier does not know whether the child received free or reduced meal benefits. If a child purchases ala carte items, the amount of the purchase will show on the cashier screen. Federal law prohibits sharing information concerning the free or reduced status of children.
How are checks returned with insufficient funds handled?
Returned checks are forwarded and collected by CHECKredi, a Albemarle County Public Schools contracted check collection agency.  A service charge will be assessed the check writer in addition to the face value of the unpaid check and payment options are provided by CHECKredi (866-433-7334).
How do children qualify for free and reduced price meals?
Families now may apply for free and reduced meal benefits online. The process is safe, secure, private, and available anytime! Your data is transmitted to the Child Nutrition Office the same day you apply, allowing for faster processing so you can receive benefits more quickly. Additionally, an Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals is included in every student's annual school registration packet and available at each school office and on the ACPS Child Nutrition web site. For those interested in applying, a new application should be completed each school year.
Can a family apply for free and reduced price meals at any time?
Applications for free and reduced price meals may be submitted at any time during the course of that school year.