Food & Nutrition Services
The Food Service department operates under the regulations and standards of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National School lunch and Breakfast Programs. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.
|Food Service Department Office||Lincoln Elementary|
|Director: Alexandra Epstein-Solfield||Cashier: Mary Phelps|
|Mt. Stuart Elementary||Valley View Elementary|
|Cashier: Tina Engel||Cashier: Lynn Grieve|
|Morgan Middle School||Ellensburg High School|
|Manager: Val Snyder||Manager:Carrie Anderson|
|(509) 933-7625||(509) 925-8373|
Need to add funds to your child's account?
What is a Student ID Number?
Upon enrollment, students are assigned an ID number. Your child’s ID number will remain the same as long as they are within the Ellensburg School District.
How do I make a deposit?
Cash or check deposits can be made in person to the lunchroom cashier or you may leave it with the school secretary if the cashier is not available.
Can I make deposits online?
Ellensburg School District has chosen MealTime Online to provide the opportunity for you to make credit/debit card deposits into your student's cafeteria account or view your student's purchase history online.
- Create a MealTime Online profile. Select "Create New Profile" and create a Username and Password.
- Add your student. Login to your MealTime Online account (using the Username and Password that you created in Step 1). Select “Meal Account Deposits” then select "Add New Student" and add your student by entering their first name only and their Student ID number with the leading zero. Repeat to add more students.
- Make a Deposit. Select "Make Deposit" to make a deposit into a school account. Select "View Details" next to your student's name to view their cafeteria account balance and purchase history. There is a $25 minimum deposit and a small transaction/convenience fee for making deposits online. A deposit can be divided between multiple accounts.
Note: Online deposits are retrieved and added to your student’s balance at their school every five minutes. Student information, such as purchase history and their current cafeteria account balance are updated on the web site every four hours.
- Online — Mealtime Online (mymealtime.com) — You can track your student's account via the online service as well as set-up low balance notifications to remind you to add funds to your students account.
- In Person — Please feel free to check with your school’s cafeteria cashier. They will be happy to assist you.
- Notifications via Email — Please make sure your email address is updated with your child’s school. Our Elementary School Cashier will send out low balance and negative account balance notifications on a weekly basis. (Please note email notifications do not include funds borrowed from parent group accounts.)
- Contact the Food Service Department Office — Please feel free to reach out to our main office by phone (509) 925-8217 or email Alexandra Epstein-Solfield@esd401.org.
We can provide up-to-date account information as well as assist you with registering with Mealtime online.
Can a parent check account balances?
Yes. It is the student’s/family’s responsibility to maintain a positive account balance. The lunchroom cashier can give you your child’s balance or you may also contact the Child Nutrition Office at (509) 925-8217.
- Go to MyMealtime.com and sign in
- Select the "Meal Account Deposits" icon
- Select "Update Your Email Settings" on the Profile page
- Verify your email address is correct, select "Low Balance Notification"
- Enter the amount you want to use. When the balance falls below this amount, you will be sent an email. You will only be notified by email once.
Note: You can enter amounts from 0 to 99.99.
Once you have set up the email notification, you will no longer see the announcement on the Payments page. To change your low balance notification settings, select Profile at the top of the page.
What happens when a child is short money? (Elementary Schools Only)
Meal accounts need to be kept current to ensure your student is able to obtain a meal. There are several ways to keep track of your student’s account.
Understanding that an occasional mishap may occur, students are allowed to charge a Maximum of two (2) meals to their account. Accounts that exceed the maximum number of borrows will be referred to the parent group fund, a limited fund to assist with emergency purchases of meals. The parent group is a limited resource and may not always be available if being regularly utilized by households.
What are Free or Reduced Meals?
The Ellensburg School District participates in the National School Breakfast & Lunch Program.
- You may apply for Free/Reduced meals at any time during the school year
- Applications are available in your school office, the Child Nutrition office, or the lunchroom cashier
How do I request an account refund?
Refunds are available upon request or when students withdraw from the district. The parent must initiate the request for a refund by contacting the school lunchroom cashier or calling the Child Nutrition office (509) 925-8217. Upon receipt of your request, a check will be issued at the next available check issuing period (30-60 days).
What happens to leftover balances in accounts?
Account balances carryover to the next school year. If your student changes schools within the Ellensburg School District, their money and free/reduced status will follow them there.
What is considered a disability (for the purposes of meals)?
Any person who has a physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- drug addiction and alcoholism
- heart disease
- mental retardation
- multiple sclerosis
- orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments
- cerebral palsy
- emotional illness
- food anaphylaxis (severe food allergy)
- HIV disease
- metabolic diseases, such as diabetes or phenylketonuria (PKU)
- muscular dystrophy
- specific learning disabilities
My child has a food allergy/intolerance which is not severe. Is the school required to prepare my student a special meal?
No. Children with food allergies or intolerances do not have a disability as it is defined by the Federal Government. The school Food Service may, but is not required to, make food substitutions for them.
However, when a licensed medical authority assesses that food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child's condition would meet the definition of "disability," and the substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made.
My child is lactose intolerant. Can they be offered an alternative beverage in place of cow's milk?
Only if your student participates in school breakfast and lunch regularly. Darigold Lactose-Free milk can be used in place of cow’s milk. You will need to meet with the school nurse and complete a Special Dietary Needs Request Form. This process may take some time.
Note: Students only need to take three of five items offered at lunch. They have the option to not choose milk and still receive a meal. Free water is available at all schools during meal times.
Children need healthy meals to learn. Your child’s school offers healthy meals every school day. Children from households that meet Federal income guidelines are eligible for the National School Breakfast & Lunch Program. You may apply for Free/Reduced meals at any time during the school year. Applications are available in English and Spanish at your child’s school and online.
Why Should My Household Apply? My Student(s) Choose(s) Not to Participate in the School Meals Program.
We strongly encourage all households that may qualify for free or reduced priced meals to apply regardless of your intent to use the benefit. Our schools may benefit from increased financial assistance, for educational programs, based on the percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced meals. Your households’ eligibility status will be kept confidential.
Do I Need to Fill Out an Application for Each Child?
No. You can use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information. Return the completed application to one of your children’s school. If you need assistance, please contact the Food Services Department at (509) 925-8217.
Who Can Get Free Meals?
All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or States Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), can get free meals regardless of your income. Also, your children can get free meals if your household’s gross income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
Can Foster Children Get Free Meals?
Yes, foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. Any foster child in the household is eligible for free meals regardless of income. The benefit is not extended to non-foster children in the household. Non-foster children may still qualify, based on household eligibility.
Can Homeless, Runaway, and Migrant Children Get Free Meals?
Yes, children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant qualify for free meals. If you haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please call or email your child’s school to see if they qualify or contact the Food Services Department at (509) 925-8217.
Who Can Get Reduced Price Meals?
Your children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Eligibility Income Chart, shown on the application.
Should I Fill Out an Application if I Received a Letter This School Year Saying My Children are Approved for Free Meals?
Please carefully read the letter you received and follow the instructions. Call the Food Services Department at (509) 925-8217 if you have questions.
My Child’s Application Was Approved Last Year. Do I Need to Fill Out Another One?
Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of the current school year. You must send in a new application, unless you received a letter from the Food Services Department stating that your child is eligible for the new school year.
I Get WIC, Can My Child(ren) Get Free Meals?
Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please fill out an application.
Will the Information I Give Be Checked?
Yes, and we may ask you to send written proof. Applications are randomly selected for verification. Households that do not respond to the verification request, within the allotted time, will lose benefits until verification can be completed. You will be notified by mail if selected for verification.
If I Don’t Qualify Now, May I Apply Later?
Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit.
What if I Disagree With the School’s Decision About My Application?
You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing to have the decision reviewed.
May I Apply if Someone in My Household is Not a U.S. Citizen?
Yes. You or your child(ren) do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify for free or reduced price meals. Household information will NOT be used for immigration-related purposes.
Who Should I Include as Members of My Household?
You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends) who share income and expenses. You must include yourself and all children living with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent (for example, people who you do not support, who do not share income with you or your children, and who pay a pro‐rated share of expenses), do not include them.
What if My Income is Not Always the Same?
List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1,000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you make $1,000 per month. If you normally get overtime pay, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
My Family Needs More Help. Are There Other Programs We Might Apply For?
To find out how to apply for other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office.
Return completed applications to your child's school office or to the Nutrition Service Office. You may also mail your application to:
Ellensburg School District
1300 East Third Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926
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Eat Smart from Washington Dairy Council
Resources, materials and more on Washington State Dairy Products brought to you by the Washington State Dairy Council
FISH Community Food Bank
Local food bank, right here in Ellensburg
Let's Move Campaign
Lots of information about what the US government is doing to promote healthier eating in schools and at home
My Plate: A Yummy Curriculum (for teachers)
Ideas, handouts, worksheets, activities, etc. for incorporating nutrition education into the classroom.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
Resources and support for parents and staff with students who have food allergies and/or intolerances.
Tray Talk: Communities for Healthy School Meals
Information for parents on school meal programs in the United States. Brought to you by the School Nutrition Association.
USDA Food Safety Information
Up-to-date food safety information and guidance brought to you by the USDA Food & Nutrition Service.
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