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Student Meal Accounts

By setting up a Student Meal Account, parents can access an online account to replenish lunch money, set up automatic payments and monitor what food their children are purchasing.

Parents can:

  • Monitor online what their child eats for breakfast and lunch
  • Pay for students' meals via the Internet or telephone any time
  • Schedule automatic payments based on account balances
  • Receive e-mail notification of account balances
  • Pay with credit cards or electronic checks
  • Maintain one account for multiple students

Even if parents do not choose to use a Student Meal Account for payments, they still can check to see what their children are eating. A 30-day history of what was purchased is provided for each student account. Students whose families do not wish to deposit money into a Student Meal Account may pay cash for meal when they go through the cafeteria line.

How to Create an Online Meal Account

Cincinnati Public Schools uses SchoolCafe for Student Meal Accounts. It's simple, fast, convenient and secure to set up a Student Meal Account at:

SchoolCafe.com — Internet Explorer may not allow access to School Cafe.  Please try accessing the link through Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Two advantages:

  1. The website allows parents to monitor their children's purchases online and track what they are eating for breakfast and lunch.
  2. Parents can make deposits directly into meal accounts and have an email reminder sent when an account balance gets low. There is no more worrying about money being lost or rushing every morning to gather cash to cover meal costs.

To get started, go to SchoolCafe.com and click on "Register Now." Select your state and school district. Follow the instructions to set up an account for your family by creating a username and password. Add your children to the family account. Please note that a parent account can be linked to several children, but a child can be linked only to one parent.

Information about registering for an account at SchoolCafe.

Making Payment Deposits

If parents choose to take full advantage of this meal account system, they can make deposits into their children's accounts on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. Parents select the amount of each deposit.

Parents may pay for their child’s meals using credit cards or electronic checks through the Internet or over the telephone; it's available any time. Parents will receive e-mail notifications of meal account balances or low balances, and can schedule automatic payments.

After creating an account, payments can be made immediately. Funds can be added to students' meal accounts electronically for a charge of $1.95 per transaction. Student accounts are updated nightly so any payments made on accounts are quickly available.

Any money in the account that is not spent by the end of the school year will be available the following school year. If a student graduates or leaves CPS, any remaining balance may be transferred to a sibling's account or will be refunded upon request.

Low Account Balances

Students will not be allowed to charge a meal or food item if it will take the account balance below zero. Elementary students who do not have enough money in a Student Meal Account, or the cash to pay for a meal, will receive an alternative meal of garden salad, fruit, crackers and milk (up to three times per school year).

Alternative Meal Procedure

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