Nutrition Services



 A Free and Reduced Meal Application MUST be completed ANNUALLY for your student to receive meal benefits.

Use the link (in RED) below to complete the meal application online today.

Access will be available July 22 2024

2024-2025 School Meal Applications 
Complete the Free & Reduced Application Today


Free & Reduced Lunch Online Application

Online applications for Free and Reduced Meals are open for the 2024-2025 School Year.
Paper applications may be completed and mailed to:

ISD Nutrition Services
14001 East 32nd Street South
Independence, MO 64055 

Access the Free and Reduced Meals paper application here.

Qualify For Free or Reduced Price Meals

Your child may qualify for free or reduced-price meals.  Families that meet the Eligibility Criteria should complete or download an online application, or request a meal application from the Nutrition Services Department, or school office.  All students who qualify receive meals free of charge or at a reduced rate.  To apply online select On-Line Application or view and print an Application from the District Web site.

For those families that qualify for FREE meals, breakfast and lunch will be served at no cost.

For families that qualify for REDUCED price meals, the charge for breakfast is $.30 and the charge for lunch is $.40.

Parents/Guardians are responsible for all meal charges incurred prior to qualifying for Free or Reduced Meal Status.

Middle and High School students can choose from a variety of entrée choices from the traditional, grill, or grab and go service lines.  By adding a milk or side item it completes the balanced meal.  Entrée selections that qualify are traditionally called “value meal” selections.  

If your student qualifies for free or reduced price meals, discounted or free school services may also be available.  Ask your school for more information about benefits available as benefits vary from school to school.

Households will be notified of their children’s eligibility status for free or reduced price meals.  If any children were not listed on the eligibility notice for families receiving SNAP, TANF or FDPIR, the household should contact Nutrition Services (816-521-5371) to have free meal benefits extended to those children.   


Paying for School Meals

We offer a variety of convenient ways to pay for school meals.  Checks and cash are always accepted by the manager of the school cafeteria either as a pre-paid deposit to a student's account or for purchasing individual meals or ala carte items such as milk or juice.  The Point of Sale System tracks your student’s purchases and alerts the cashier of any potential food allergies. Parents can conveniently pre-pay online student accounts by registering and using MySchoolBucks.  The MySchoolBucks program fee for loading funds into a student's meal account is $3.25 for all cafeteria credit/debit card payments beginning on July 11, 2024.


Refunds/ Transfers/ Donations

Upon request of a refund of an account, the district will check for obligations owed to the district. If there are obligations owed to the district, the obligation amount will be deducted from the refund. If there are no obligations owed to the district, the full amount will be refunded. Obligations owed to the district may include, but are not limited to technology fees, activity pass, lost books, prior year meal balances, childcare fees, etc. If fees are owed to the district in different categories, this same list will be applied in order.  

By law, Food and Nutrition Services funds cannot be used to cover bad debts such as unpaid meal charges.  Therefore, positive meal balances remaining at the end of the school year will be submitted to the State as Unclaimed Funds.

All refunds must be requested within 90 calendar days of the last day of the current school year.  To request a refund, please click on this link    Positive Balance Form  


Pagando las Comidas Escolares

Ofrecemos una variedad de formas convenientes de pagar las comidas escolares. El manager de la cafetería de la escuela siempre acepta cheques y dinero en efectivo, ya sea como un depósito prepago en la cuenta de un estudiante o para comprar comidas individuales o artículos a la carta como leche o jugo. Los Point of Sale System rastrea las compras de su estudiante y alerta al cajero de cualquier posible alergia alimentaria. Los padres pueden convenientemente pagar por adelantado las cuentas de estudiantes en línea registrándose y usando MySchoolBucks.

Reembolsos / Transferencias / Donaciones

Al solicitar un reembolso de una cuenta, el distrito verificará las obligaciones que se le deben al distrito. Si hay obligaciones adeudadas al distrito, el monto de la obligación se deducirá del reembolso. Si no hay obligaciones contraídas con el distrito, se reembolsará el monto total. Las obligaciones que se le deben al distrito pueden incluir, entre otras, tarifas de tecnología, pases de actividades, libros perdidos, saldos de comidas del año anterior, tarifas de cuidado de niños, etc. en orden.  

Por ley, los fondos de los Servicios de Alimentos y Nutrición no se pueden usar para cubrir deudas incobrables, como cargos por comidas no pagadas. Por lo tanto, los balances de comidas positivos que queden al final del año escolar se enviarán al estado como fondos no reclamados.

Todos los reembolsos deben solicitarse dentro de los 90 días calendario posteriores al último día del año escolar actual. Para solicitar un reembolso, haga clic en este enlace

 Positive Balance Form  


Medical Statment for Special Meals

To download a copy of the Medical Statement follow this link.



Unpaid Meal Charge Policy

The Independence School District recognizes that adequate nutrition is essential to students’ mental, physical, and academic growth.  However, unpaid meal charges place a large financial burden on our Nutrition Services Department.  The District participates in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  District students, whether at the free-, reduced-, or paid-rate, will receive a full reimbursable breakfast and/or lunch meal that meets USDA requirements regardless of whether they have, or do not have, adequate money in their student account or in-hand to cover the cost of the meal at the time of service.  No reimbursable meal will be taken from any District student in the event there are no funds or a negative balance in a student’s meal account.  Ala carte purchases will not be allowed if a student does not have enough funds in their account or in-hand to pay for the ala carte item.

If a District student has money in-hand to purchase a reduced-price or paid-meal at the time of the meal service, the student will be provided a meal and those funds will not be utilized to pay-down a negative balance.  The Nutrition Services Cashier will key a reimbursable breakfast and/or lunch meal charging the student’s account accordingly. 

Although a District student may carry a negative balance, it is the student’s parent/guardian that is responsible for payment in order to keep the student’s balance from becoming negative.  If a student has a negative balance at the time they become classified as eligible for either free or reduced price-meal status, having moved from full-pay to either reduced- or free-status or having moved from reduced- to free-status, the parent/guardian is still responsible for the negative balance accrued under the previous meal payment classification.  To accommodate students who purchase school meals, payment options include an online payment system that will take credit and debit cards, or cash and check payments may be made at all school sites.

Parents/guardians of students with negative account balances will also receive School Messenger phone calls Sunday-Thursday to remind them to make a payment to cover their student’s negative balance. 

A District student’s balance, whether positive or negative in nature, will follow the student throughout their academic career.  The parent/guardian is still responsible for the negative balance accrued even if the student graduates at the end of their senior year or transfers out of the district.  Upon request, positive balances may be refunded or moved to another student’s account(s).  

If charges continue without repayment:

  • Parent/guardian may be contacted by school staff to offer services or assistance as needed.
  • Parent/guardian may be encouraged to submit a Free- And Reduced-Priced Meal Application which can be found here.

Employees are not allowed to charge meals and must provide payment at the time of service.

This policy outlines the District’s approach to a meal charge policy in order to ensure a consistent and transparent approach to this issue.  Communicating such a policy will prevent confusion for students and families and help promote effective financial management of the school meal programs.  Key policy considerations include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide children with adequate nutrition to focus in school;
  • Maintain the financial integrity of the programs operated by the Nutrition Services Program within the District;
  • Minimize stigmatization of children with meal charges;
  • Address the serving of reimbursable alternative meals;
  • Debt collection and debt collection efforts;
  • How to communicate the policy, in writing, to families at the start of the school year;
  • How to communicate the policy, in writing, to families transferring into the District throughout the year, and
  • Additional communication strategies: “back-to-school” packets, website, and student handbooks.

This written policy will be provided, through mail or email, to all District household families at the start of the school year and to all families transferring into the District throughout the course of the year.  When enforced to a particular student, this written policy will be provided again to the District household through mail or email. 

This written policy will be provided to all school staff responsible for policy enforcement including, but not limited to:  school food service professionals responsible for collecting payment for meals at the point of service, staff involved in notifying families of low or negative balances, and staff involved in enforcing any other aspects of the meal charge policy, school social workers, school nurses, the family school liaison, and other staff members that may assist students in need, principals, assistant principals, and any other administrators.



What Is a National School Lunch Program, or NSLP, Meal?

For lunch, all meals must provide five components:  fruit, vegetables, meat/meat alternates, grains, and milk.  For a lunch to be a program meal, the meal must contain ½-cup fruit or vegetables and at least two other servings from the five component groups.  Three of the five components must be chosen with one of those components being either a fruit or vegetable for the meal to be reimbursable.

What Is a School Breakfast Program, or SBP, Meal?

There are three component groups that make up the breakfast meal pattern:  grains (with optional meat/meat alternate allowed), fruit, fluid milk.  For the breakfast meal to be a program meal the three components must be served.

What Is a Charged Meal?

A charged meal occurs when a student enters the cashier line with a program meal and does not have the funds in his/her account or in-hand to sufficiently pay for the program meal.  These meals are not taken from students.  Extra items, or a la carte items, are not allowed to be charged and will be taken from students with insufficient funds in their account.


Negative Balances-Student Accounts

If a child has money to purchase a reduced-price or paid-meal at the time of the meal service, the child will be provided a meal.  SFAs may not use the child’s money to repay previously unpaid charges if the child intended to use the money to purchase that day’s meal.  Children who qualify for free meals will never be denied a meal, even if they have accrued a negative balance.  Free And Reduced Meal Application is included in this policy and can be found here

No school program meal will be taken away from any District student in the event there are no funds or a negative balance in a student’s meal account.  These meals are processed as program meals.

All students will receive a program meal during a negative balance period and be charged accordingly.  If a Middle or High School student comes through a cashier line with a reimbursable meal, but does not have funds in their account, the student will be charged for the reimbursable meal and be reminded discreetly of the charge policy.  All meals will be processed as program meals and will be charged to the student’s meal account accordingly.

Parents of student(s) with negative account balance(s) will receive ParentSquare phone calls Monday-Friday to remind them to make a payment to cover their student’s negative balance.

Site Manager Responsibilities-

The Site Manager will run the Account Balance report for accounts with negative balances in excess of $5.00 and will take the following actions, logging all steps on a Student Account Log (form attached):

  1. Send a copy of the student’s Customer History report, a Free/Reduced Price Meal application, and Negative Balance letter home to the parent via email, the school secretary or teacher once a week for two weeks.  This information is to be sent in a plain, white, un-marked envelope.  Documentation of information and process is to be made and kept on-site.
  2. By the third week, if the account is still negative, and no payment has been made, the Site Manager will contact the School Liaison, in regards to:
    1. The Site Manager will give the Liaison the student’s Customer History report, and
    2. The Site Manager will ask the Liaison to follow up with the family to see if they have any questions and find out if help is needed in filling out the Free/Reduced Price Meal application.


District employees are mandated by the State of Missouri to report any instances of suspected abuse or neglect to the Children’s Division (CD) of the Department of Social Services.  District personnel will report to the CD any instance where a student’s arrival at school with no provision for food leads to a reasonable cause to suspect neglect.


Individuals wanting to donate may make donations to individual schools to pay off all or some unpaid meal charges.  Parents/Guardians of students who are graduating or transferring out of the district can donate the positive balance in their student’s meal account to pay off other students’ unpaid meal charges.  Requests should be submitted to the Nutrition Services Department with the student’s name and ID number.

Unclaimed Funds

All refunds must be requested within 90 calendar days of the last day of the current school year.  To request a refund, please click on this link    Positive Balance Form  

By law, Food and Nutrition Services funds cannot be used to cover bad debts such as unpaid meal charges.  Therefore, unpaid meal charges remaining at the end of the school year will be paid by the school where the student accrued the debt.


Nutrition Services

The Nutrition Services Department is dedicated to providing students with quality meals, nutrition knowledge, skills and values they need for healthy growth and academic success.   Each day we serve nearly 14,000 nutritious meals that meet the recommended dietary allowances for school-age children.  Our menu plan includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.   Please view School Lunch Menus to learn more about the nutritious breakfast and lunch choices offered daily at your child’s school. 

We are proud to be meeting award level nutritional requirements of The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Healthier US School Challenge.  The USDA Food Pyramid has a new look called MyPlate. Learn more about MyPlate by reading our monthly Nutrition Education Series that offers simple healthy lifestyle tips for your whole family.  


USDA Non-discrimination Statement:

 In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Nutrition Services Department


Nutrition Services

14001 East 32nd Street South
Independence, MO 64055-2506
(816) 521-5371
Office hours: 7:00am - 4:30pm Monday - Friday

Free and Reduced 2024-2025


You may apply for benefits at any time during the school year. If you wish to review the decision further, you have the right to a fair hearing. This can be done by calling or writing the following official:

Brad Kramer, Nutrition Services Director
14001 East 32nd Street South
Independence, MO 64055-2506
(816) 521-5371

Meal Prices

Meal Prices 2024-2025

Elementary Students

Breakfast $TBD
Lunch $TBD
Extra Milk $TBD

            2nd Meal                           $TBD

Middle and High School Students

Breakfast     $TBD
Lunch $TBD
Extra Milk $TBD

            2nd Meal                           $TDB

Adults and District Staff

Breakfast      $TBD
Lunch         $TBD


Elementary, Middle School and High School

          Reduced Price Breakfast   $ .30   

          Reduced Price Lunch         $ .40