Skip To Main Content

header-container

mobile-schools-translate

Translate Mobile

district-nav

logo-container

logo-image-white

logo-image-color

right-container

header-portals-nav

search-container

Translate Desktop

district-nav

horizontal-nav

BREADCRUMB

Nutrition Services Frequently Asked Questions

Topics in this section:

How does a family apply for free or reduced priced meal benefits for a student?

Nutrition Services utilizes an online application to determine a student’s eligibility for free or reduced priced meals. The online application is available to families beginning in mid-August annually. More information can be found on the Free & Reduced Priced Meals page.

Applications in other languages: USDA provides applications for school meal benefits in nearly 50 languages. Foreign language applications can be downloaded from the USDA website . Paper applications should be mailed to Nutrition Services at 12037 NE 5th St Bellevue, WA 980005 for processing.

 Back to Top

 

Can a student qualify for meal benefits (free or reduced price) without completing a school meal application?

Yes. The Nutrition Services Department directly certifies students for meal benefits through a data matching process with DSHS. Families who receive benefits from programs such as Basic Food, TANF or FDRIP are automatically qualified for free meals through this matching process which occurs at least monthly during the school year. Students eligible for certain Medicaid benefits may qualify for free or reduced priced meals. Additionally, free meals are extended to students who are certified as McKenney Vento (Homeless), Migrant, Foster, or ECEAP.

Families whose students qualify for free or reduced priced meals through systems other than the online application, should complete the Consent to Share School Meal Eligibility Form if they are interested in pursuing Fee Waivers or are interested in being connected with the Family Connections Centers. The Consent to Share Form is sent to families along with their eligibility letter notifying them of the student’s qualification for free or reduced price school meals. Families may additionally contact the Nutrition Services Department at (425) 456-4507 or nutrition@bsd405.org to access the form.

New for 2023-24: All students attending Lake Hills, Sherwood Forest and Stevenson Elementary schools will be able to participate in the school breakfast and lunch program at no cost. This opportunity is made possible through USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

 Back to Top

 

How are families informed if they qualify for free or reduced price meal benefits?

Once processing is completed, families are sent a letter identifying the student’s eligibility for free, reduced or paid meals. Processing of meal benefit applications may take up to 10 days. Families are encouraged to complete the online application as early as possible to ensure that a student’s eligibility status is properly established for the school year. Families requesting a replacement eligibility letter for sports or academic purposes may contact Nutrition Services at (425) 456-4507 or nutrition@bsd405.org.

 Back to Top

 

Are there other benefits to signing up for free or reduced priced school meals?

If your student(s) qualifies for free or reduced-price school meal benefits, they may be eligible for additional services, waived or discounted fees to participate in other school activities or programs through the District’s Fee Waiver Program.  Available programs include:

  • Family Engagement Specialists – Connects families with information about support services and resources in the community such as food, backpacks, school supplies, clothing, etc.
  • Fee Waiver Program – Offers waived fees for IB, AP and World Language tests; extracurricular activities such as ASB dues, event registrations, field trips, performances, social event/dances, sporting events, transportation fees, athletic fees, required uniforms; discounted summer school tuition.

 Back to Top

 

How do I sign up for the District’s Fee Waiver Program?

If you previously completed the annual application and did not select the Fee Waiver Program in the Sharing Information section OR if you were notified that your child was directly certified for free or reduced priced meals, you will need to complete and return the Consent to Share Form. Allow 3-5 business days to be activated in the Fee Waiver Program.

If you have not completed the annual application, following these steps:

Step 1: Complete the Annual Application for School Meal Benefits to determine if your student qualifies for free or reduced priced school meals.

In the “Sharing Information” section (Part 5 of the online application or Part 7 of the paper application), select that you consent to share your student’s school meal eligibility information with the Fee Waiver Program.

Contact Nutrition Services at 425-456-4507 for application assistance.

Step 2:  Once activated in the Fee Waiver Program, access your student’s account on the BSD Online Payment Site https://wa-bellevue.intouchreceipting.com/.  Please contact your school office for assistance.

Step 3:  Add items you need to the shopping cart.  Items that are eligible for a fee waiver will show as $0.00 at purchase.  If it is not showing as a $0.00 amount, contact your school office for assistance.

Fee waivers are not applied retroactively, and fees paid prior to becoming active in the Fee Waiver Program are not refundable.

 Back to Top

 

Do families need to complete an application for free or reduced-price meal benefits each year?

Yes. During a traditional school year, students returning to a school in the Bellevue School District start the first 30 days of the school year retaining their prior year’s eligibility for free or reduced priced meal benefits. Families are encouraged during this initial time period to submit an application for the current year for processing. Families who do not have a current year application for their student processed during the first 30 school days will “rollover” to the paid status on the 31st school day which is typically mid-October. Families are responsible for the cost of meals provided to a student prior to eligibility for free or reduced priced meals being established.

The Rollover Date (30th day) of school for the 2023-24 school year is October 17th.

 Back to Top

 

Can a family submit an application for school meal benefits anytime during the year?

Yes. While applications for the current year are typically processed from August to October, if a family’s income or household size changes during the year, an online application can be submitted (or resubmitted) to determine eligibility for free or reduced priced meals. Application processing closes on of the day prior to the last day of school each year.

 Back to Top

 

What is the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was created as part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. CEP allows schools to provide meals at no charge to students based on the overall community economic demographic rather than individual household income(s).

 Back to Top

 

Do any schools in the Bellevue School District qualify to offer meals at no cost under the CEP program?

Yes, during the 2023-24 school year, Lake Hills, Sherwood Forest and Stevenson Elementary schools will offer breakfast and lunch for all students at no cost.

 Back to Top

 

I have multiple students in the district, including one that attends a CEP school. Will all of my children receive breakfast and lunch at no charge, even those that attend a non-CEP school?

Only students enrolled at Lake Hills, Sherwood Forest and Stevenson Elementary during the 2023-24 school year will receive meals at no charge through the CEP program.

 Back to Top

 

Does a family or household need to complete the annual application for free or reduced priced meals if they have a student attending a CEP school?

It depends; please see situations below:

  • No; if you only have a student(s) enrolled at a CEP school (Lake Hills, Sherwood Forest or Stevenson).
  • No; if you also have a student(s) enrolled at a non-CEP school AND received a letter from Nutrition Services informing you that your children have been directly certified for free or reduced priced meals due to participation in assistance programs such as Basic Food, Medicaid, TANF, FDPIR, Foster, Migrant, ECEAP, McKinney Vento (Homeless), etc.
  • Yes; if you also have a student(s) enrolled at a non-CEP school and DO NOT participate in the assistance programs identified above. The free or reduced-price application is needed to qualify your student(s) enrolled at a non-CEP school. However, when completing the free and reduced-price school meal application, report all students, including those enrolled at a CEP school.

 Back to Top

 

What menu options are covered under CEP?

Students can receive a breakfast every school day at no charge. Breakfast includes one entrée selection, a choice of milk, and a trip through the salad bar which features a variety of fruits and 100% fruit juice.

Students can also receive a lunch every school day at no charge. Lunch includes one entrée selection, a choice of milk, and a trip through the salad bar which features a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Students must take a full breakfast or lunch, not just select one item or another. If a student wants only milk, it can be purchased for $0.50.

 Back to Top

 

What if my student only wants a single item, like milk for breakfast or lunch?

USDA requires that only complete meals be offered at no-cost under the CEP or National School Lunch or Breakfast Program. We encourage families to take full advantage of this by planning accordingly. If a student wants only milk, it can be purchased for $0.50. Milk must be paid for at the time of service. Individual items cannot be purchased on credit.

 Back to Top

 

If we do not complete the application for free or reduced-price meals because our student attends a CEP school, will our family or household be asked to submit income data at a later time?

Yes. To ensure all students have equitable access to a high-quality public education, schools receive additional education funding based on the number of enrolled students who are from households that are at or below designated income levels. A Family Income Survey (FIS) will be used to gather this information. The information provided may also qualify your student for additional supports, like fee waivers.

Information on how to complete the Family Income Survey will be distributed to families at a later time.

 Back to Top

 

What is included in a meal?

Lunch

Students are offered five (5) food groups with their lunch each day – meat/meat alternate (protein), grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk. All students, regardless of their eligibility for free, reduced or paid meals, are offered a variety of entrée options each day. In addition to entrees, students may select from a variety of fruits and vegetables on the salad bar and pick their choice of milk (1% or non-fat white milk or non-fat chocolate milk).

In order to count as a complete meal, the following rules must be followed:

  1. Students must select three (3) servings out of the five food groups offered.
  2. A ½ cup serving of a fruit and/or vegetable is required to be one of the three choices.

Breakfast

Students must be offered four (4) food groups with their breakfast each day – grains, fruit, milk, meat/meat alternate (protein). In schools where a breakfast program is offered, all students, regardless of their eligibility for free, reduced or paid meals, are offered a variety of entrée options each day. In addition to entrées, students may select from a variety of fresh, canned or dried fruits, 100% fruit juice and pick their choice of milk.

In order to count as complete meal, the following rules must be followed:

  1. Students must select three servings out of the four food groups offered.
  2. A ½ cup fruit serving is required to be one of the three items.

Snack Bars & A la Carte Options

In addition to meals, Nutrition Services provides students with the opportunity to purchase additional food or beverage items through a la carte choices available on the main line or in the Middle & High School Snack Bars next to the cafeteria line. Signage is displayed in the serving area which identifies the cost for each item. A la carte or snack bar items (including a carton of milk) may be purchased with cash or through a student’s school meal account. Snacks or beverages may not be purchased on credit.

 Back to Top

 

How do you pay for school meals?

Nutrition Services offers a variety of convenient ways to pay for school meals. Checks and cash are accepted by the Lunchroom Cashier either as a pre-paid deposit to a student’s account or for purchasing individual meals, milk or other a la carte item. Checks should be made payable to Bellevue School District (or BSD).

Payments may be added to a student’s school meal account through PayPams www.paypams.com. PayPams requires the Student’s ID number to create an account. PayPAMS will charge a $2.40 fee per family, rather than per student for online payments. Parents may monitor their student’s account history and view purchases without a fee.

New for 2023-24: PayPAMS now offers a ACH Direct Withdrawal payment option. This option enables families to make payments directly from their bank account. The direct withdrawal option has a $1.60 transaction fee.

 Back to Top

 

What are the school meal prices for the 2023-24 school year?

  • Elementary: Breakfast $2.25 and Lunch $3.75
  • Middle School: Breakfast $2.50 and Lunch $4.00
  • High School: Breakfast $2.50 and Lunch $4.00
  • Adults: Breakfast $3.25 and Lunch $5.00

 Back to Top

 

How does a family request a refund on their student’s school meal account?

A family may request a refund of their student’s school meal account by completing the Request for Account Adjustment Form (PDF). Forms are available from the Lunchroom Cashier or Kitchen Manager. Forms may additionally be requested from the Nutrition Services office at (425) 456-4507 or nutrition@bsd405.org. Processing of refunds may take 14-21 days. Cash refunds or credit card returns are not available.

 Back to Top

 

Is it possible to transfer funds between the school meal accounts of two siblings?

Yes. If you have a PayPams account, you may log in to your account and select “Transfer Funds”. Select the student account you are transferring FROM, enter amount, then select student you are transferring TO. Enter both students’ ID numbers and click submit. If you do not have a PayPams account, requests for transfers between student accounts may be made by completing the Request for Account Adjustment Form (PDF). Forms are available from the Lunchroom Cashier or Kitchen Manager. Forms may additionally be requested from the Nutrition Services office at (425) 456-4507 or nutrition@bsd405.org.

 Back to Top

 

Where can I find a school breakfast and lunch menu?

Menus for elementary, middle and high schools are available on the Menus & Nutritional Information page.

 Back to Top

 

Which schools offer breakfast?

  • Elementary: Ardmore, Clyde Hill, Enatai, Lake Hills, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest and Stevenson
  • Middle: Chinook, Highland, Odle and Tyee.
  • High: Interlake, Newport and Sammamish.

 Back to Top

 

My child has a special dietary need. May they still participate in the school meal program at their school?

Yes, but a Diet Prescription, completed by the child’s physician, must be submitted to Nutrition Services first to ensure that proper foods are provided. Families and students can access nutritional fact and allergen information on the Nutrition Services website.

Diet Prescription forms may be downloaded from the Food Allergies & Special Dietary Needs page.

 Back to Top

 

How do I contact Bellevue’s Nutrition Services Department?

Nutrition Services office hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Nutrition Services
12037 NE 5th St.
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 456-4507
(425) 456-4586 fax
nutrition@bsd405.org

 Back to Top