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Meal Payment Information

Methods of Payment

  • There are three (3) methods to add funds to your student's lunch account:
  • We recommend that payments be made in advance to eliminate your child from having to bring money to school daily.

Payment for a child's meals is the responsibility of the parent. We take every step possible to try to make it easy for parents to stay informed about their child's account balance and to make payments. Parents may prepay for their child's meals with a check or cash at the Operations office located at 110 South Bill Jackson Drive, Alvarado. Parents may also pay using a credit card through Family Access. Students may prepay for their meals before school, or they may pay for their meal at the time of service. We accept cash or check payments at both the school cafeterias and the Operation’s office.

Charge Policy

In order to make sure our students have every opportunity to eat a meal, we have decided to allow students to charge up to $10.00.

The child nutrition department has a charge policy which has been adopted at all schools. Unpaid charges reduce revenue which affects our ability to pay food bills, employee salaries, and many other expenses. Unpaid charges and the costs associated in collecting these charges may result in higher meal prices for all students.Alvarado ISD meal charge system goals are:

  • To treat all students with dignity and respect;
  • To maintain a positive experience for your child during meal service;
  • To establish practices that are age appropriate; and
  • To promote parents’ responsibility for meal payments.

Payment in advance for meals enables the district to achieve these goals.

Child Nutrition logo

Universal Breakfast

We are pleased to inform you that because our elementary schools have a high percentage of students participating in the free and reduced meal programs, we are implementing a universal breakfast program that provides a free breakfast to our elementary school students at Alvarado Elementary North, Alvarado Elementary South, Lillian Elementary and Alvarado Intermediate School.  

The free reimbursable breakfast will consist of three components – a fruit (ex. Orange or assorted fruit), a grain (ex. cereal, sausage biscuit, or toast) and a milk (ex. chocolate, white, or strawberry). All three components must be on the tray in order for the breakfast to be free. If not, students must be charged a la carte pricing.

Students are admitted into the school buildings, and we begin serving breakfast at 7:20.  Classes begin at 8:00.  We encourage parents wishing for their elementary students to take advantage of the school breakfast program to get their students to school as close to 7:20 as possible to give them time to get their tray and enjoy their school breakfast.  

Balance Notification

Below are the notification steps we take so you and your student know when money is needed:

  1. Alvarado ISD Cafeteria Staff tell each student the balance in their account as they go through the line each day.

  2. We provide parents the ability to check their child’s balance online using family access.

  3. We provide parents the ability to turn on a low balance notice that calls or emails the parent when a student has a low balance.

  4. Our point of sale software automatically calls parents each Wednesday if their child has a balance of zero or less.

Alternative Meals

Principals may approve an alternative meal for a student, if a child does not have money in their account, and the principal feels that there is a special circumstance that warrants the purchase of an alternative meal. An alternative meal has three components and it consists of items that are being served on the menu for that particular day.

NSF Checks

When a check is returned to the Alvarado ISD Child Nutrition Department for NSF, a letter will be sent to inform the parent(s) from the CN Office. The deposit to the child(ren)’s account will be reversed, and an additional $15 fee for processing the NSF check will be posted to the child(ren)’s account. Payment must be received within 10 days of the date of the letter. If payment is not received, the matter may be turned over to the County Prosecutor’s office.


For any student who is withdrawn or graduating, a written request for a refund of any money remaining in their account must be submitted to the Child Nutrition office in order for a refund to be issued. The letter must be from the child’s parent/guardian. The letter must request the refund, list the child’s full name and date of birth, and list the address where the refund is to be mailed. Funds can also be transferred to a sibling’s account with a written request.

Unclaimed Funds

All refunds must be requested within one year. Unclaimed funds will then become the property of the Alvarado ISD Child Nutrition Department.