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.

Reduced Lunch Price
Menus Prices
Elementary Breakfast Menu $2.75
Elementary Lunch Menu 
(Nutrition Information Aug. - Oct. 2016)
Middle School Brunch $2.75 
Middle School Lunch
(Nutrition Information)
High School Brunch Menu $2.75
High School Lunch Menu $4.75
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 breakfast 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 $4.50 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. You can also set your own low balance reminder threshold at that site. There is NO FEE to open an account.

Meal Charges Policy

While schools are not obligated to provide meals to children eligible for full-priced meals, our District offers meal charges. Elementary students can charge up to $36.25 and secondary students can charge up to $7.50. When a student’s account has reached its credit limit, only fruit and milk will be provided until full payment is received. We do not know which students do not have permission to purchase or charge school meals. If you do not want your students to purchase or charge school meals, please discuss that in advance with them.


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

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.