Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) provides meal services for our students. Lunch is offered at all schools, and brunch is available at all secondary schools, Escondido Elementary School and Barron Park Elementary School. Snacks or a la carte items are offered during brunch and lunch at secondary schools. All students, including students on the Free and/or Reduced Price Meals Program, must pay full price for snacks (sold at secondary sites; some are not available at all sites).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 

Quarterly Newsletter

We publish newsletters quarterly. Please see our latest newsletter (en español).

School Breakfast Facts


Elementary Brunch Menu$3.00
Elementary Lunch Menu | Menu en español
(Nutrition Information)
Middle School Brunch$3.00
Middle School Lunch Menu en español
(Nutrition Information)
High School Brunch Menu$3.00
High School Lunch Menu$5.00
Reduced Lunch Price$.40
Reduced Brunch Price$.30

Students who qualify for free meals get ONE free meal per meal period per day and students who qualify for reduced-price meals get ONE brunch at $.30 per day and ONE lunch at $.40 per day. ALL students need to pay full price for second meals and snacks.

Lunch Procedure

Elementary Schools

We have a preorder system in our elementary schools. Students who want to buy school lunch sign up on a sign up sheet, in class, before 9 am each morning. They go to the lunch area to pick up their lunches at lunch time. (Students need to sign up the day before for pizza.)

Secondary Schools

Students go to the cafeterias to select their choice of food items during brunch or lunch hours.

Paying for Meals
  1. Cash Method - Students pay with cash or checks at time of purchase. (They can pay exact amount or an amount more than their purchase and the extra will get deposited into their accounts for future purchases.)
  2. Account Method - Money is deducted from a student's account each time a purchase is made, provided there is sufficient fund in the account.

Every student has a lunch account. It is simply his/her name or PAUSD student ID#

  • Elementary School Students - The lunch server will deduct $4.75 from a student's account each time (s)he orders and picks up a lunch.
  • Secondary School Students - Students enter their pin numbers in pin pads located next to cash registers and the purchase amount is deducted from their accounts. For your student's pin number, please email or call 650-329-3806.


  1. School sites - Give checks (payable to PAUSD) or cash (cash is not accepted at elementary school offices) to school offices or cafeterias.
  2. District Office - Give cash or checks in person or mail checks to the district office at 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto, CA  94306. Please write your student's name or ID # on the check.
  3. Online - Open an account at (Tel: 616-842-8882) and charge to your credit card. There is a $3 fee per transaction for this service.

We highly recommend parents to open an account. In addition to being able to make deposits online, you will be able to view your student's lunch activities and balance, transfer funds between accounts and set your own low balance reminder threshold. There is NO FEE to open an account.


Families may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. To apply for free or reduced price meals,download a Free and Reduced Price Meals Form (Spanish), pick one up at any school site or at the district office, and mail it to: 25 Churchill Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306; or apply online at

If you child is eligible for free and/or reduced-price meals, he/she may also be eligible for other school program benefits such as free summer session, reduced fee for AP exams, summer camps etc. Please contact your student's school office for more information.

New School Nutrition Regulations Mean Changes for School Meals

You may have heard about a change coming in school lunch this fall. It is true! After much research on school meals, coupled with the recent release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2012, the USDA  announced new government regulations that will substantially change school meal requirements for the first time in decades. Here in the Palo Alto Unified School District, we began making similar changes to our menus a few years ago. Many of our menu items are now made with healthier ingredients such as whole grains. Please take some time and revisit our menus as they offer new items such as soup, tortellini, fish tacos, etc. We have also been modifying recipes to include less sodium and saturated fat. Students will be offered foods from five food groups (grains, fruit, vegetable, protein, and dairy) and they must take at least 3 of the 5 menu items. In addition, they must always take at least half cup of a fruit or vegetable. Please be proactive and talk with your child about the USDA ChooseMyPlate. We will use this identifier to try and help students put into practice the guidelines needed to help them build healthier meals. Visit for more information on USDA ChooseMyPlate.

Sodexo Future Chefs Competition

Every spring, Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) elementary students are invited to show their culinary skills and participate in the Sodexo Future Chefs Competition, a national event that encourages children to learn good nutrition. 

Parents and their children are invited to participate by filling out this Recipe Card. These tips can help the contestants and their parents with earning the top spot. 

Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act

Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit from the Federal Government (Federal EITC). The Federal EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The Federal EITC has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, Federal EITC payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, low-income housing, or most Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments. Even if you do not owe federal taxes, you must file a federal tax return to receive the Federal EITC. Be sure to fill out the Federal EITC form in the Federal Income Tax Return Booklet. For information regarding your eligibility to receive the Federal EITC, including information on how to obtain the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 797 or any other necessary forms and instructions, contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or through its Web site at

You may also be eligible to receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (California EITC) starting with the calendar year 2015 tax year. The California EITC is a refundable state income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The California EITC is treated in the same manner as the Federal EITC and generally will not be used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits under California law. To claim the California EITC, even if you do not owe California taxes, you must file a California income tax return and complete and attach the California EITC Form (FTB 3514). For information on the availability of the credit eligibility requirements and how to obtain the necessary California forms and get help filing, contact the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711 or through its Web site at

CalFresh Food Benefits – Don’t Miss Out!

CalFresh Food helps people from low-income families buy the nutritious food they need for good health. Recipients can buy food at any grocery store or farmers market that accepts Electronic Benefit Transfer.

CalFresh Information