Frequently Asked Questions about Food Services


    What’s new for 2023/2024?

    •  Breakfast
      • Students do not need to sign up prior to breakfast to receive a meal.
      • Students will pick up their breakfast in their school's cafeteria.
      • Building breakfast schedules are listed on the Food Services home page at www.slsd.org.
      • Breakfast is no cost for all students.
    • Lunch prices have not increased and remain:
      • Elementary: $3.00
      • Secondary: $3.35
      • Reduced: No cost 
    • Lunch menus and nutritional information can be found on the Food Services Department page at slsd.org.

    What is a reimbursable meal at breakfast?

    • A reimbursable meal at breakfast consists of 3 components:
      • Bread/Grain (1 oz. of meat/meat alternate can be substituted if weekly grains are met)
      • Fruit or Fruit Juice
      • 8oz fluid Milk
    • A child must take either a 1⁄2 cup fruit or 1⁄2 cup of fruit juice and milk to receive the breakfast meal deal price.
    • Items that are not chosen as part of a meal deal (single milk, single fruit, single main entree item, etc.) must be charged to a student's account as an A la Carte item. All 3 breakfast components, as listed above, must be taken to qualify as a meal.

    What is a reimbursable meal at lunch?

    • A reimbursable meal at lunch consists of 5 components:
      • Meat/Meat Alternative (cheese, peanut butter, etc.)
      • Bread/Grain
      • Vegetable
      • Fruit
      • 8oz fluid Milk
    • A child must take either a 1⁄2 cup fruit or 1⁄2 cup vegetable to receive the meal price.

    Why don’t the lunch ladies put everything being served on my child’s plate?

    • The National School Lunch Program requires Food Service Departments to operate under the “Offer vs Serve” program.
    • Offer vs Serve allows students to take 3 of the 5 components to make a complete meal.
      • This helps:
        • Eliminate waste
        • Allows for mass customization
        • Meets individual needs, giving student’s control of choice
        • Control costs

    How do I pay for lunch or A la Carte items?

    • We recommend personal checks, payable to "Southern Lehigh Cafeteria." They may be sent in with your child in a sealed envelope and dropped off at the school office or given directly to the cashier in the cafeteria.
      • Please remember to write your child’s student ID # on the memo line; post-dated checks are not accepted; returned checks are subject to a $15.00 fee; and one check may be sent in for multiple siblings.
    • “EZSchoolPay.com” is an easy and secure way for parents to add money to their child’s account using a credit card; view their transactions; and receive low balance notifications.
      • Directions on opening an account can be found on the Food Services page at www.slsd.org.

    What happens if my child forgets their lunch money?

    • Students may charge a meal at all buildings. Students are not denied meals.
    • Debts to the cafeteria are expected to be paid in a timely fashion.
    • Parents may notify the food services office in writing of their request to block charging to their child’s account.
    • If a child does not have money, they will not be permitted to purchase or charge a la carte items.

    Does every student have a cafeteria account?

    • Every student receives an account upon entering Southern Lehigh School District.
    • Students keep their same PIN throughout their years at SLSD.
    • Their PIN is their student identification number.

    Can I regulate what my child purchases in the cafeteria?

    • Restrictions may be applied to any child’s account.
    • To add a restriction on your child’s account, please email Mr. Martin at: marting@slsd.org.
    • Once a restriction is applied to an account, an email must be sent to remove the restriction.

    Where did all my money go?

    • Parents may view their child’s account activity through “EZSchoolPay.com.”
    • Student activity history is available for 30 days.
    • Low balance notifications can be sent via email.
    • com is a third-party vendor providing a service for the District. Fees charged through the website are retained by EZSchoolPay.com.

    What happens to my child’s account balance at the end of each school year?

    • If your child’s balance is positive, it carries over to the next school year.
    • At the end of May of your child’s senior year, their balances are withdrawn. The money is either transferred to a sibling or refunded from the account.
    • Account balances can also be donated to another student, if you choose.
    • Refunds or transfers may be requested by e-mailing Mr. Gregory Martin, Coordinator of Food Services at: marting@slsd.orgor by sending a letter to Mr. Gregory Martin, Coordinator of Food Services, 5775 Main Street, Center Valley, PA 18034

    What is the difference between a lunch meal price and an a la carte price?

    • Lunch meal price:
      • It must contain 3 of the 5 components; is reimbursable by the state and federal government; may only be applied once per child per day; and must contain 1⁄2 cup of fruit OR vegetable.
    • A la carte price:
      • Is the price for any item served that is not part of a reimbursable lunch; & the price for an additional menu item (for example, if a child wants to purchase 2 cheeseburgers, the first cheeseburger is part of their lunch, the second cheeseburger would be at the a la carte price)

    If my child packs, may he/she still purchase an item from the cafeteria?

    • All items served in the cafeteria may be purchased on an a la carte basis by any child.
    • A la carte items must be paid either with cash or with money from your child’s account.
    • If a child owes lunch money, they will not be permitted to purchase or charge a la carte items until their debt is paid.

    How do I apply for free or reduced-priced meals?

    • New applications must be submitted each year.
    • Applications are available at: slsd.org on the Food Services page or hard copies can be picked up in your child’s school office.
    • Applications can also be submitted online at: compass.state.pa.us.
    • Families eligible for free or reduced benefits at the end of last school year will automatically receive the same benefits at the start of the new school year, for the first 30 days of school. New applications are required each year, and families have a 30-day grace period, without prior year benefits expiring, to submit a new application.

    How does the food services department budget work?

    • The Food Services Department budget is a separate fund from the general fund.
    • The FS Department operates as a P & L business within the District. It generates revenue from student meals, a la carte sales, federal subsidies, state subsidies, and special events.
    • The department incurs expenses such as wages, benefits, food, supplies, software fees, and equipment repair & purchases.


    Revised 8/10/2023