Smith County School Nutrition

Meal Payment Procedures

The goal of the Smith County School Nutrition Program is to provide nutritious meals in the school cafeterias every day to all students at both breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is served daily at no cost to all students in Smith County Schools. Parents are encouraged to pay for their child(ren)’s lunches at least one week in advance, but you may prepay for any amount of time you wish – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any extended period of time. Please keep in mind that the money you deposit in your child(ren)’s account will remain in that account as long as the student(s) is/are enrolled in Smith County Schools, even if they transfer to a different school within the county. Prepayments of cash or checks should be submitted in an envelope with the student’s name, and the amount enclosed clearly marked on the front. Due to Federal and State regulations, the cashier cannot cash checks or give back change from checks. Checks will not be accepted after a second returned check is received in the school district.

In order to serve students more efficiently, students should know the last four digits of their social security number. This will be the student’s account number, and he/she will enter that number in a keypad to help the cafeteria lines move more quickly. As meals are served, the amount will be deducted from the student’s account. 

Although breakfast is served at no cost to all students, sometimes it is difficult for families to pay for their child(ren)’s lunches. We encourage those families to apply for financial assistance by completing a free/reduced meal application. All families receive this application during student registration, but you may request a free/reduced application at any time during the school year by contacting the school or by coming to the School Nutrition Office at the Smith County Board of Education. This information is confidential and will not be shared. If you have outstanding meal charges when your family is approved for free meals, you are still responsible for payment of those charges.

When a family does not qualify for free meals, the following procedures should be followed to address unpaid meal charges:

Meal Charge Procedures

Effective Date: July 1, 2017

Students who are unable to pay for their meals at the time of the meal service are allowed to charge up to five days. Students charging school meals within this limit will receive complete reimbursable meals.

Charge limits

Once the student reaches the five-day charge limit, an alternate meal may be given to the student.

Alternate meals

Alternate meals may be provided after the child’s charges exceed five days. Alternate meals may be provided for up to five days, and the student will be charged the regular lunch price for these meals.

The alternate meal will include the following:

Lunch: sandwich, fruit, and milk

Breakfast: Since breakfast is free to all students, this does not apply.

Household Notification

Low balance notification: The School Nutrition cashier will gladly share the current account balance with a student, parent, or guardian upon request. This may be done by contacting the cashier at the school.

Negative balance notification: The School Nutrition cashier will notify households of negative balances by sending printed notifications home with elementary and middle school students at least once per week. High school students will be notified verbally by the cashier. Please communicate with your child(ren) concerning these notices since many students may fail to share this important information with their parents.

Immediate payment is required for all meal charges when notified, and prepayment for additional meals should also be included.

No charges will be allowed the last two weeks of the school year.

“In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  • mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.