California has become the first state to pass a universal free school meals program for all public school students. Palo Alto Unified School District will provide two free meals (breakfast and lunch) during each school day to students requesting a meal, regardless of students’ free or reduced-price meal eligibility starting in the 2022-23 school year.
Although all students may receive free meals without applying, we strongly encourage parents to apply as completion of these forms may bring significant additional funds to our schools, as well as, qualify students for individual benefits such as discounts and/or waivers of the college application fees, AP testing fees, internet services, summer programs, access to higher education scholarships, after-school club scholarships, holiday gifts, and many other learning and enrichment opportunities. You or your children do not have to be United States citizen to qualify.
Apply online at paloalto.familyportal.cloud or return a completed application form (available at all school sites and at the district office, or download here: English and Spanish). Return completed forms to Food Services, 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306.
PAUSD has been offering free meals to all students for the past two years regardless of their free or reduced-price meal eligibility because, due to COVID-19, in March 2020, the USDA established a waiver to allow school districts to offer free meals. Universal free meals will not start until the first day of the school year 2022-23.
Applications for the 2022-23 school year will be accepted starting July 1, 2022.
Due to the increase in meal participation, some changes are necessary:
Second lunches will not be served.
Under the guidelines for free meals for all students, only one lunch per student is allowed. If you feel that your child will need additional food throughout the day, please send additional snacks with them at the time of drop off.
Elementary students will no longer sign up for specific entrees in the classroom.
PAUSD offers vegetarian entrees daily. PAUSD Food Services will try to accommodate all students wanting meals with the food available but, cannot guarantee that students will receive their desired preference on the days where two entrees are offered (Monday's and Friday's). Students will need to utilize their lunch card (provided by school) so that meals can be accurately counted.
No cash transactions
Meals are FREE to ALL STUDENTS. There is no need to deposit money into your student's lunch account except for high school students who want to buy a la carte items. Cash will not be taken at the point of service. There is no option to pay for additional meals as second meals are not allowed at this time. Parents may add funds to their students' accounts by paying online, giving checks to cafeteria cashiers, or mailing checks to Student Nutrition Services, 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94306.
Food Services will assess the menu monthly
The menu selections and meal participation will be assessed monthly. There are entrees that were served pre-pandemic that are not feasible with FREE meals for ALL STUDENTS. Pizza Day will not be on our menus weekly. There will be limited choices available to accommodate the increased meal participation. Please refer to the menu for daily selections.
For more information please call Food Services at 650-329-3720. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.