Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. What are the 2019-2020 school meal prices?
     
    A. Breakfast Prices
    • Student $1.20 (Elementary, Middle, High) 
    • School Staff $1.50 
    • Guest $1.50
     
    A. Lunch Prices 
    • Elementary Student $2.70 
    • Middle & High Student $2.80 
    • School Staff $3.75 
    • Guest $3.75  
     
    Q. What foods are included in a complete school lunch and breakfast?

    A. At lunch, all students may select an entrée, up to 2 vegetables, 2 cups of fruit, and a milk as their meal. Students must select a minimum of 3 items, with one of those items being a fruit or vegetable. At breakfast, students may select a main dish along with one milk and one fruit or fruit juice. A fruit or fruit juice must be selected.

    Q. What method can be used to pay for my child's breakfast or lunch?
    A. Cash and checks are accepted at the school. If you wish to pay by bank draft, debit card, or credit card, you may utilize K12 Payment Center.

    Q. What is K12 Payment Center?

    A. K12PaymentCenter is an internet-based service which allows you to place money in your child's account using your VISA, Master Card, or Discover Card. K12PaymentCenter also allows you to sign up for direct withdrawal, which will transfer money from your bank account to your student's meal account at school based on low balance thresholds that you determine. To create a new account, log into www.k12paymentcenter.com. Follow the onscreen directions and register your student using his or her Student ID number. The Student ID number can be obtained by contacting your school's Cafeteria Manager or the School Nutrition offices at (704) 836-9110. If you encounter difficulties completing the registration process, a help desk is available by email at: ContactUs@k12paymentcenter.com.

    Q. Can I pre-pay for my child's breakfast, lunch and extras?
    A. Absolutely! It will be easier for you, your child, and the cafeteria staff if you pre-pay your child's meals. You may place any amount on your child's meal account. K12paymentcenter.com is the quickest way to ensure your child has adequate funds on the meal account.

    Q. Can my child charge a meal?
    A. Elementary students, grades K – 5, can charge up to $13.50 in meal purchases. Middle school students can charge up to $5.60 in meal purchases. High school students are not allowed to charge meals. Extras items and a la carte purchases cannot be charged. Students who have exceeded the charge limits may not purchase extra items.

    Q. What is Meals Plus?
    A. Meals Plus is a touch-screen computer system designed to make mealtime easier for students, parents, and staff. Meals Plus software processes cafeteria sales quickly, which allows students to have more time to enjoy their meals.

    Q. Do I have to complete a free and reduced price meal application each year?

    A. Yes. The federal guidelines require a new application each year for all students. However, Gaston County Schools will automatically qualify (direct certification) children that receive benefits from the Department of Social Services for TANF, or for the Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamp) programs. Students who qualify for free meals through direct certification will not have to complete an application.

    Q. Can I complete an application for free or reduced priced meals by phone or fax?
    A. We are unable to receive applications by phone or fax. All applications must be on an original official form, which can be obtained from the School Office, School Cafeteria Manager, or the School Nutrition Center in Lowell, NC. Completed applications can be turned in at school, or mailed or hand delivered to the School Nutrition Center located at 500 Reid Street, Lowell, NC 28098. Also, you may apply online at www.lunchapplication.com.

    Q. If I do not qualify for free or reduced price meals, now, may I apply later?
    A. Yes, you may apply for free or reduced price meals any time during the school year. If you are not eligible now, but have an increase household size, a decrease in household income, become unemployed, or start receiving DSS benefits for your child(ren), you may re-submit an application at that time.

    Q. Do I have to complete a separate free and reduced price meal application for each of my children?
    A. No, only one application is needed per household. However, you must include all of the members of your household, including the children that attend Gaston County Schools, on the application. The only exception is that foster children are considered a household of one (1), and a separate free and reduced meal application must be submitted for each of them.

    Q. What does it mean if my child attends a school that has been selected to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?
    A. Nineteen schools in Gaston County participate in CEP. CEP provides funding for breakfast and lunch to be served to all students attending that school at no cost to the student or family. A list of CEP schools is available through the following link: CEP school list, or by contacting the School Nutrition office at (704) 836-9110.

    Q. Do I need to submit a free and reduced meal application if my child is attending a CEP school?
    A. No, students attending CEP schools do not need to submit a free and reduced meals application for SY 17 – 18. However, if they have siblings attending schools that are not qualified for CEP, and their siblings do not qualify for free meals by means of direct certification, then a free and reduced meals application is required to determine those students’ eligibility for meal benefits.

    Q. How can I arrange a special diet to accommodate a medical condition for my child?
    A. You may obtain a Diet Order form from the Cafeteria Manager at your school, the School Nurse, the website at www.gaston.k12.nc.us or by calling (704) 836-9110. Menu adjustments are made only for diagnosed medical conditions. We are unable to honor personal food preferences. We do, however, offer a variety of additional menu choices and a la carte items to accommodate individual likes and dislikes. 

    Q. Is there any way to get the nutritional analysis of food items?
    A. Nutritional values for all items served in the school cafeterias can be found on the School Nutrition page of the Gaston County Schools website, or you may obtain a copy of the nutritional analysis by calling the School Nutrition Office at (704) 836-9110.

    Q. How can I find out what is being served for breakfast or lunch?

    A. Menus are posted at the school or on our website at www.gaston.k12.nc.us. In addition, elementary menus are sent home monthly and listed weekly in The Gaston Gazette.

    Q. Is there a way for parents to restrict their child from purchasing a meal, or a la carte items, in the cafeteria?

    A. Yes, please visit our webpage, download, and complete the purchase limit form. Return the form to the Cafeteria Manager, or send it to School Nutrition, 500 Reid Street, Lowell, NC 28098. The child’s account will be flagged. A form can also be mailed to you upon request by calling (704) 836-9110.
     
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