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Frequently Asked Questions

Free & Reduce Meals Program

Can a student be approved for free or reduced price meals without an application from the parent or guardian? 
Yes. Under special circumstances, a school official may fill out an application for a student whom they have reason to believe would be eligible if the household were to apply. However, the school must first attempt to obtain an application from the household. It should not be indiscriminately used to claim ineligible students for free meals or to generate aid for other federal programs. 

How can a school show that attempts have been made to obtain the application from the household? 
Copies of mailings to the household and documentation of conversations with the parent/guardian or a responsible adult in the household must be kept on file. An administrator cannot arbitrarily qualify students from families who did not reapply from the prior year. 

If the parent/guardian of the student cannot be reached or communicated with due to language barriers, etc., who may be contacted for household information? 
An employer, a Social Service official, immigration official, or a relative suggested by either the student or the student's teacher may be contacted to urge the household to apply. 

Is there a specific time-period that the school must allow to pass before attempts to obtain an application are deemed unsuccessful? 
No specific time-period is required. The process should be facilitated as quickly as possible so that the student is not going without meals in school. 

Can an administrative prerogative be implemented during the period of time in which the school is attempting to obtain an application from the household? 
If the school has reason to believe that the student is going without meals in school on a regular basis due to financial need, the school may implement an administrative prerogative immediately. 

Can a school official simply write a note to the food service manager to add a student's name to the list of eligible students? 
No. The school official must complete an application that contains the name of the student, the household size, an estimated family income, and a signature of the school official. The source of information must be noted on the application. 

How should the school tell the student and the household that the student would have access to free meals in the school cafeteria? 
The household must be informed of the decision via phone, correspondence, or in person. The student may be told by the teacher, school nurse, or other school official. 

Is an application completed by a school official handled in the same way as those submitted by households? 
Yes. Like other applications, it must be counted for purposes of the claim for reimbursement and retrievable by building during a review. However, the application should not be included in the verification process. 

Can the administrative prerogative be implemented for families or groups of students who appear to be lacking proper nutrition? 
No. Applications must be completed on an individual basis. 

Can an application be completed for a student who appears to be lacking proper nourishment, if the household has indicated that it is not eligible for benefits? 
No. An application can only be completed for students who appear to be missing meals for reasons of financial need. Other problems occurring in a household that may result in poor eating habits, but are not a reflection of family economic status, should not be resolved by this measure.

Lunch Box Program TOP

What if my child brings home the school's reusable containers? 
The child should return them to the cafeteria dishroom window in the morning to be washed. Will need them to fill other student lunch boxes.

Can my child participate if they are in the Free & Reduced Meals Program? 
Yes. Every child can participate. Their financial status will not be disclosed to anyone.

How does my child pay for the meal? 
When the lunchbox request form comes from home, another list is generated by the food service staff. From this list, the staff will charge each student's account. Those who are free will be charged zero. Those who are reduced will be charged twenty-five cents.

What is the process to place an order? 
Log onto the PCS Food Service website, click on the Lunch Box link and use the downloadable form or the online form to submit the request.  If using the downloadable from, print it out and send it in with the lunch box.  Have your child bring their lunch box to the cafeteria first thing in the morning.   We will then prepare the meal.

What is the price for the meal?
Full price is $2.00, Reduced price $0.25, and Free is $0.00.

Where do I get the lunch box request form?
Right here on our website. 
Lunch Box Request Form

How does my child's lunch get to him/her?
The lunch box is dropped off in the cafeteria in the morning, filled with lunch and dropped off on the student's lunch table just prior to them coming in to lunch.

Menu TOP

What should the school official be looking for as evidence that the student is not getting proper nourishment? 
The student's teacher, the school nurse, or other school personnel in direct contact with the student may notice behavior indicating under nourishment, such as irritability, listlessness, complaints of headache or stomach ache, and absenteeism. School cafeteria personnel may notice that a student has no food during the lunch period or is constantly requesting to charge lunch.


Prices TOP

How are meal price set?
Each year meal prices are discussed and decided upon at the Board Of Education's summer reorganizational meeting.

What are the current meal prices?
For a list of all meal prices click here. PRICES

Gift Certificates TOP

Local Purchasing TOP

Nutrikids TOP

How do I set up an online Nutrikids account?
Go to Click on the New User Sign Up Now link and fill out the required information and click CREATE ACCOUNT at the bottom of the form.

Where do I get my student's Student ID?
A student's Student ID information can be obtained by contacting the school's Food Service Department (265-2000 ext.472) and asking for the student's ID. Your child’s ID number is not displayed on their school ID card.

Why have I not received my confirmation e-mail?
The most common reason for not receiving your confirmation e-mail is due to a typographical error that may have occurred when entering the e-mail address when you created your account. Alternatively, your Internet Service Provider has mistakenly blocked the confirmation email, confusing it with junk or spam email. If you have not received your confirmation e-mail, please contact Customer Support via e-mail at

I received an invalid student ID message, what do I do?
Please contact the Food Service Department at 265-2000 ext.472 or to verify your child’s student ID number.

I forgot my password. How can I get my password?
Click the Forgot Password? link in the login page. Enter the e-mail address you used when you created your account and click Retrieve Password. Your password will be e-mailed to you.

How secure is the payment process? partners with PayPal for online payment processing. The PayPal website utilizes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt data transmissions and to provide website authentication. PayPal has quickly become a global leader in online payment solutions with 100 million account members worldwide. Available in 55 countries and regions around the world, buyers and sellers on eBay, online retailers, online businesses, as well as traditional offline businesses are transacting with PayPal. PayPal has received close to 20 awards for technical excellence from the internet industry and the business community. PayPal is certified by VISA for its CISP/Cardholder Information Security program. This certification is VISA's highest security protocol.

What does it cost to use this service?
A convenience fee of $1.75 is assessed for each deposit transaction. Parents placing money into multiple meal accounts will be assessed the $1.75 fee only once per deposit transaction. Parents may still deposit money by sending in a check or cash. This service is an option.

Can the payment be used for other school fees?
As of this moment, online prepayments are for school meal programs only.

What is an eCheck?
An eCheck is an electronic payment made where a bank account is used as the funding source and the user account has no credit card registered as a backup funding source. You can think of an eCheck as the electronic equivalent of a standard bank check.

How long will it take for my deposit to show up in my child's account?
- Deposits made with PayPal accounts or credit/debit cards typically are available for use by the next business day.
- When an eCheck is used to make the deposit, the banking institutions need to process the Electronic Funds Transfer before the payment is considered complete. Therefore, deposits made with eChecks must clear before the funds are available for use at the schools. Most eChecks take 4 to 7 business days to clear but may take up to 10 business days to clear.

I used a credit card to make my deposit. Why does my bank statement show that a PayPal account was used? uses PayPal as the payment processor for all transactions. What this means is that even if you use a credit card instead of a PayPal account, the payment is still processed by PayPal. Therefore, the description on the bank statement does not mean that a PayPal account was used but rather that PayPal processed a financial transaction.

Can I make payments to multiple children's accounts with one payment?
Yes. You will need to enter a specific payment amount for each child.

My child makes purchases at school everyday. I added my child to my account but when I click on history to view account history, it is blank. Why are there no transactions?
Please allow up to 24 hours for transaction history to be transferred online.

Who should I contact if I have questions about a recent payment?
All questions concerning online payments should be directed to the Food Service Department at 265-2000 ext.472

How do I add additional students after the initial set up of my account?
Students can be added from the Add Student Button located on the MyKids page. Students can be removed on theProfile page.

How do I find out what my child has been buying for lunch?
To view purchases for as many as the previous 30 days, login to and click the History link next to your student's name on the MyKids page.

Can I receive an email when my child's account balance is low?
Yes. You can establish an account balance notification threshold for each child. Once the account balance falls below the established amount, will automatically send you an email notice.

How do I change my low balance alerts? 
Go to, type in your email address and password. At the top of the site, click on the Profile link. On the right side you will see Balance Alerts. Click on Balance Alerts and you can turn the alerts on or off, or change the dollar amount you would like to be notified on.

How do I get money off of my account?
Send a request to the Potsdam Central School Business Office. 
29 Leroy Street
Potsdam, New York 13676