Empire Gardens Elementary
Empire Gardens Elementary

Meal Program

At San José Unified, we believe student nutrition is a key component of a well-rounded education. We constantly strive to meet the nutritional needs of our students while ensuring our schools promote a healthy and active learning environment.

Top Top

Meal Payments

We encourage families to use the MySchoolBucks online prepayment system to pay for your student’s meals. MySchoolBucks is a safe, simple, and secure way to make payments to your student’s meals account. There is no additional cost to you, and funds are available the same day you deposit them. As an added incentive, for every 10 meals you purchase, you will receive a bonus meal!


If you have any questions or need help setting up a MySchoolBucks account, please call at (855) 832-5226.

NO student will be denied a meal due to lack of funds in their account. Students who forget their money for lunch or breakfast (if applicable at your school site) or their account balance runs out of funds, will be able to receive a full meal. Balances owed will be communicated to the parent or guardian every 10 days through the mail.

Cashless Meal Lines

Beginning in the Fall of 2017, San José Unified will introduce “cashless” breakfast and lunch lines in all of our schools. Our goal is to move to a completely cashless system by January 2018.

We understand this transition may cause an inconvenience. That’s why you will still be able to prepay for meals with cash or check, if needed. Here’s how:

Elementary students (Grades TK-5) – You may bring money to the school office or send it with your student to give to their teacher. Please put the cash or check in an envelope that is clearly marked with the following information:

  • Student name
  • Student ID number
  • Amount enclosed
  • Check number (Please make checks payable to: “SJUSD Food Services”)
  • Date of payment

You can also pick up a meal envelope at your school office. Please note that no cash or checks will be accepted on the meal line.

Secondary students (Grades 6-12) – There will be one line designated at each school site to accept both prepayments and cash.


Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Each year, all of our families are asked to complete and return an application to qualify for our Free and Reduced-Price Meals program (FRPM). Regardless of your family’s income or student’s grade level. This will ensure that students have access to all available resources the district can provide.

Income Eligibility Guidelines

AP/IB Exam Discount

When you complete and return the annual FRPM application, the cost of all AP and/or IB exams for your student(s) will be reduced to $5. This offer is available regardless of household income or FRPM program eligibility.