Frequently Asked Questions
Will all children eat free in 2023-2024 school year?
- No, Alief will operate meal programs including : School Breakfast (SBP), National School Lunch Program ( NSLP) &CACFP At Risk.
- Alief ISD will provide free breakfast for all students. Lunch will be provided under NSLP program. Lunch will be free for all free or reduced students.
- Paid students will be charged the paid student price of $1.00. If attending an after school programs, no charge for supper meals.
- If your household would like to apply for free or reduced-price meals, please complete an application online at SchoolCafe for fastest processing.
What are meal prices for 2023-2024 SY?
- Breakfast – Free for all enrolled students.
- Lunch- Free for all free or reduced enrolled students & Paid enrolled students will be charged $1.00.
- Adult meals/ Visitor pricing - Breakfast $3.10 Lunch $4.75
What is the process for applying for free/reduced price meals?
- No application is needed for students who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals directly through a State *Direct Certification (DC) database. DC status means a student has qualified for other assistance that makes them also eligible for free/reduced priced meals. Notification letters are sent to these parents informing them no application is needed.
- Meal applications must be submitted annually (*exception for DC students).
- Only 1 application per household is needed (all students should be listed on 1 application).
- Can be submitted online at www.schoolcafe.com or submit a paper application.
- Students cannot be required to complete a meal application.
- 30-day carryover period - Prior to processing household applications for the current school year, students from households with eligibility determinations from the preceding year may be served reimbursable free and reduced-price meals during the carryover period of eligibility. Ends on September 20, 2023.
How do I find out if my child is free or reduced?
- Call Alief ISD Nutrition Department - Federal Meals office at 281-988-3388; Must provide identifying student information due to confidentiality.
How can meals be prepaid?
- Prepaid meals can be purchased on any day. Envelopes are available in the cafeteria for parents to send money. No bills accepted over $20.00.
What menus will be served to my child?
- School meals are designed to meet the needs of growing children while taking into consideration food preferences and USDA’s regulations. In addition to the regular menu entrée, a meatless entrée is available daily.
- Menus must include the following required components (fruit, vegetables, grains, meat/meat alternate, and milk):
- daily serving of fruit
- daily serving of vegetables, plus a weekly requirement for Dark Green, Red/Orange, Legumes, Starchy, and Other Vegetable subgroups
- weekly grain (whole grains) ranges, plus minimum daily requirements
- weekly meat/meat alternate ranges, plus minimum daily requirements
- Calorie minimum and maximum levels based on age/grade groups
- Sodium limits, saturated fat limits & no trans fats
- Menus are available at the following locations: printed menus in cafeteria ( upon request), online at School Cafe at or on district website.
- Due to supply chain issues, menus are subject to change at any time.
- A lacarte food/drink items are available for purchase following USDA Smart Snack Guidelines.. For more details visit:USDA Smart Snacks in Schools
What food items must students take to make a reimbursable meal?
- We operate as offer vs. serve at all levels ( except PK). Students select their own menu items.
- K-12 –5 components offered, student must take 3 & one must be ½ cup fruit or vegetable.
- PK – all items go on tray (including white milk).
- PK centers – Students are served all items in a family style setting.
- K-12 - 4 items offered, student must take 3 items (some foods count as “2” items; i.e. pizza = a grain & meat) and one must be a fruit or vegetable, per USDA.
- PK – all items go on tray (including white milk).
- PK centers – Students are served all items in a family style setting
- Student Lunch:
- Student Breakfast:
Why is the PK menu different than K-12?
- Meal patterns for PK students are in place to help young children eat the types and amounts of foods that best support their growth & development and to create healthy eating habits early. Age appropriate portion sizes & food choices are designed to meet the nutritional needs of young children (including whole grains, vegetables & fruit, and reduced amounts of added sugar and fat).
What if I forget to send lunch money with my child?
- Students may charge 3 tray lunches (no a-la-carte can be charged). After 3 lunches are charged, students will receive a courtesy meal.
Can I get alerts with my child’s account is low of funds?
- Yes, you must have an account with SchoolCafe, and set up a notification.
How can I request a refund from unused funds from my child’s prepaid account?
- Under $20.00, you may request with the school cafeteria manager.
- Over $20.00, you may request a refund by calling the Federal Meal Office at 281-988-3388. A form is required and found on the district website.
What do I do if a student needs special dietary accommodations?
- A completed Physician's Statement is required to accommodate diet modifications. The Physician Statement is available at the campus nurse's office or the link on the Nutrition website. A medical authority who is licensed by the State of Texas to write medical prescriptions must complete the form. See Alief Nutrition website – Dietary Accommodations for more information.
Can I bring food for my child’s class?
- Parents cannot bring food or drinks for any student other than their own children. Exception: Parents may bring birthday cake or cupcakes for the class to celebrate the birthday child, with prior approval from principal. Cake or cupcakes must be from an approved source ( bakery or grocery store and not home made). Cakes are served after all students have finished lunch and location must be outside of the cafeteria.
Can adults eat from a student’s tray?
- An adult is not allowed to consume all or part of a meal served to a student. If an adult eats from a student’s tray, that meal is not reimbursable.
Can students take food with them to eat later to decrease waste?
- Reimbursable meals prepared for school nutrition programs are to be served and consumed in the cafeteria or other designated eating areas. However, USDA recognizes that with limited meal periods, some students may be inclined to save some items for consumption at a later time. USDA encourages this practice as a means of reducing potential food waste and encouraging consumption of healthy school meals. However, for food safety reasons (Health Dept. regulations), this practice should be limited to food items that are non-potentially hazardous, such as whole fruit or packaged non-perishable items. Some campuses have share tables, contact campus for more details.
- Will there be a P-EBT available this school year (23-24)?
- No, the state of Texas, is no longer participating in the PEBT program. The COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration expired on May 11, 2023. Visit the USDA website for more information.
Intruducing Alief ISD's New Meal Program..