The school cafeterias use a computerized cash register system. Every student in Montgomery County schools has an account to use. All students have a PIN (personalized identification number). To access the account at mealtime, a student enters his/her PIN on a keypad. At high schools with photo identification systems, the student passes his/her student ID card through a card reader. Once the account is accessed, all students use the system in the same way. When a cashier rings up breakfast, lunch or a la carte items, the total amount of the sale is deducted from the prepaid balance in the account. When a student owes money, or does not have enough on the account, the student may pay with cash at the time of purchase.

Deposits into the account can be made by any student. The system is programmed to know which students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. A student’s status is always confidential. Students eligible for reduced price meals may prepay or pay with cash at the time of purchase.


MySchoolBucks is an optional service for parents to view recent purchases and make prepayments to your child's cafeteria account for breakfast, lunch and a la carte meals via the Internet with a credit/debit card. This service is offered as a convenience for interested families. By creating a secure online account, parents can manage their child's account.

MySchoolBucks instructions in PDF format:

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For more information:

Household Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals 2022-23

Online Applications are available now for Free and Reduced Meals for the 2022-2023 school year. If you have any questions, please call 240-740-7400.

Meal benefit eligibility from last school year will remain current only through the first 30 scheduled school days OR until a 2022-2023 application is processed.

  • FOR FASTER PROCESSING APPLY ONLINE. Households who apply online should not submit a paper application.
  • Please complete paper applications in black ink (not pencil).
  • If you ARE applying for free or reduced-price meals, first, last name, and middle initial are required.
  • Please provide birth date, grade, and school to expedite processing.
  • Use ONE application for ALL students in the household—including Pre-K, kindergarten, and foster—even if they attend different schools.
  • If any child you are applying for is homeless, migrant, or runaway, please call your child's school or contact the MCPS Homeless liaison at 240-740-4511.

Montgomery County Public Schools serve breakfast and lunch every school day. If your total household income is the same or less than the amounts on the Income Chart below, your child may qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

The following students may be eligible for free or reduced-priced meals:

  • Students in households participating in Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)

The following students qualify for free meals:

  • Foster children
  • Students certified as homeless or runaway
  • Students enrolled in the Migrant Education program
  • Students enrolled in the Head Start program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), or Medicaid.