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Student Meal Accounts


Setting up a Student Meal Account allows parents access to an online account to replenish their child's lunch money, set up automatic payments and monitor what food is being bought.

CPS is not accepting cash this year, and will continue using Schoolcafe for Student Meal Accounts.  

Cincinnati Public Schools uses SchoolCafe for Student Meal Accounts.

Parents can:

  • Monitor online what their child eats for breakfast and lunch
  • Pay for students' meals online any time via computer or phone 
  • Schedule automatic payments online based on account balances; no more worrying about money being lost or rushing to find cash to pay for lunches
  • Receive email notification of account balances
  • Pay with credit cards or electronic checks. For this year only, there will not be a $1.95 transaction fee charged to parents.
  • Maintain one account for multiple students

Parents who do not choose to use a Student Meal Account for payments still can check to see what their children are buying via a 30-day history of food purchases. Students whose families do not wish to deposit money into Student Meal Accounts may pay cash for meals in the cafeteria line. 

How to Create an Online Student Meal Account

SchoolCafe for Student Meal Accounts is simple, fast, convenient and secure. 

To get started, go to 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. A parent account can be linked to several children, but a child can be linked only to one parent.  (Best Internet browsers to use for SchoolCafe are Google Chrome or Safari; Explorer does not work well with SchoolCafe.) 

Information about registering for a SchoolCafe account.

Depositing Money into Student Meal Accounts 

Parents may deposit money into their children's Student Meal Accounts on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. Parents select the amount of each deposit.

Parents may pay using credit cards or electronic checks, via computer or over the phone; it's available any time.  Funds will be added to meal accounts electronically for a charge of $1.95 per transaction. Student accounts are updated nightly so money is available to children quickly.

Parents will receive e-mail notifications of meal account balances or low balances. Automatic payments can be scheduled.

Any unspent money at the end of the school year will be available the following school year. If a student graduates or leaves Cincinnati Public Schools, any remaining money may be transferred to a sibling's account or a refund can be requested. 

Low Account Balances

CPS Meal Charge Procedure

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