School Meal Charges

Did you know Food and Nutrition Services is an enterprise fund that does not receive General Fund support? As a result they must earn money through meal and snack sales in order to pay all operating expenses.

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.

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.

School Meal Prices

2022-23 School Meal Prices




























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 planning to implement a universal breakfast program that provides a free breakfast to our elementary school students at Alvarado Elementary North, Alvarado Elementary South, and Lillian Elementary.  

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.

 Parents of elementary school students will still need to complete an application for free and reduced meals to qualify for free and reduced lunch benefits.  If you have any questions, please visit our child nutrition website or contact us at the number above.    

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.

Methods of Payment

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.

Payment Responsibility

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. We also participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program to further assist our parents. Please assist us by staying informed about your child's balance, and by making regular payments to keep your child's balance above the charge limit. Please do not put anyone at the school in the position of having to deny your child a meal – NO ONE wants to do that! If you make sure your child has adequate funds for purchasing school lunches, this can be avoided. Thank you

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 fifteen dollar fee for processing the NSF check will be posted to the child(ren)’s account. Payment must be received within ten (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.

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