Child Nutrition

Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday     8 a.m. - 4 p.m.  

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Alvarado ISD Child Nutrition Program to serve each student meals that are appealing, nutritious and appetizing in an environment that is safe, clean, and cheerful. The child nutrition program is designed as a service organization and, as such, has a primary obligation in making this service available to all students and staff. The program works to see that students are taught the value of proper nutrition and good food habits. Meals that are well planned and nutritious reflect the standard set by the child nutrition program. Students are the backbone of the child nutrition program, and as such, always require a caring word and a pleasant smile.

Child Nutrition Goals

1. To offer well-planned meals that are appealing, nutritious, and appetizing.
2. To serve meals that encourage the students to expand their choice of acceptable foods.
3. To educate students and the general public about good nutrition and good food habits.
4. To serve food that is fresh and is in the best condition.
5. To maintain safety and sanitation habits that result in food that is of the highest possible quality.
6. To encourage each employee to always be professional and dedicated in his/her service to the school and the community.
7. To encourage each employee to enhance his/her professional potential by attending child nutrition training and educational classes.
8. To conduct the child nutrition program in an efficient and professional manner at a minimum cost to the student.
9. To be friendly and courteous and to treat everyone with dignity and respect at all times.

School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program

The School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch program are federally assisted meal programs that provide low cost or free meals to students who qualify.

Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals any time during the school year by submitting an application directly to your school or our child nutrition office. You may ask for an application any time during the school year. If you’re earning at or below current Income Eligibility Guidelines, you are encouraged to contact your school or our child nutrition department to fill out a school meal application. Applications are reviewed by our child nutrition department before granting free or reduced price benefits.

Remember that you may have applied for free or reduced price meals and have a pending application, but you must pay for all school meals until you receive an Approval Letter. We receive thousands of applications each year, and we work hard to process them as fast as possible. It, however, may take up to thirteen days to begin receiving benefits after the application is received by the Child Nutrition Department.

School Meal Applications expire, so you will need to complete a new meal application each school year unless you receive a letter for the current school year stating that you are categorically eligible.

Thirty Day Rollover

Because of the time it takes to process applications, students who were free or reduced in the previous year remain at their previous year’s status for the first thirty days of the new school year or until a new application is received and processed. One a new application is processed the new status takes over, so if a child was free last year, and an application is processed in the second week of school that qualifies the student for reduced meals, the student’s status will be changed to reduced status on the date that the application is processed not at the end of the thirty day period.

Students, who do not turn in an application that can be processed within this thirty day window, will roll over to paid status and will be responsible for paying for all meals consumed. For this reasons it is very important for parents who feel that they may qualify for free lunches to promptly complete and return an application at the beginning of each school year. Parents, who do not qualify for free meals, may qualify for reduced price meals. Reduced price breakfast costs 0 cents, and reduced price lunch costs 0 cents.


A fundraiser is an event that includes any activity during which currency, tokens, tickets,
donation for, or other forms of payment are exchanged for the sale or purchase of a product.  This includes payment that is made toward a future purchase. There is no limit on fundraisers that meet the Competitive Food Nutrition Standards. Any food and/or beverage item that meets the standards may be sold on the school campus during the school day.

Campuses may sell food and/or beverages as part a fundraiser that does not meet the Competitive Food Nutrition Standards during the school day for up to six (6) days per school
year on each school campus. Food and/or beverages sold during an exempt fundraiser must not be sold in competition with school meals in the food service area during the school meal service.

Exemption Day Requests should be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent of Operations at least fifteen business days prior to the date of the anticipated event.  Principals are encouraged to submit these dates for approval as early in the school year as possible. 

School Meal Prices

2019-20 School Meal Prices
































Universal Breakfast

We are pleased to inform you that because our elementary schools have a high percentage of students participating in the free and reduced meal programs, we are planning to implement a universal breakfast program that provides a free breakfast to our elementary school students at Alvarado Elementary North, Alvarado Elementary South, and Lillian Elementary.  

The free reimbursable breakfast will consist of three components – a fruit (ex. Orange or assorted fruit), a grain (ex. cereal, sausage biscuit, or toast) and a milk (ex. chocolate, white, or strawberry). All three components must be on the tray in order for the breakfast to be free. If not, students must be charged a la carte pricing.

Students are admitted into the school buildings, and we begin serving breakfast at 7:20.  Classes begin at 8:00.  We encourage parents wishing for their elementary students to take advantage of the school breakfast program to get their students to school as close to 7:20 as possible to give them time to get their tray and enjoy their school breakfast.

 Parents of elementary school students will still need to complete an application for free and

reduced meals to qualify for free and reduced lunch benefits.  If you have any questions, please visit our child nutrition website or contact us at the number above.    

School Meal Charges

Did you know Food and Nutrition Services is an enterprise fund that does not receive General Fund support? As a result they must earn money through meal and snack sales in order to pay all operating expenses.

The child nutrition department has a charge policy which has been adopted at all schools. Unpaid charges reduce revenue which affects our ability to pay food bills, employee salaries, and many other expenses. Unpaid charges and the costs associated in collecting these charges may result in higher meal prices for all students.

Alvarado ISD meal charge system goals are:

  • To treat all students with dignity and respect;

  • To maintain a positive experience for your child during meal service;

  • To establish practices that are age appropriate; and

  • To promote parents’ responsibility for meal payments.

    Payment in advance for meals enables the district to achieve these goals.

Charge Policy

In order to make sure our students have every opportunity to eat a meal, we have decided to allow students to charge up to $10.00.

Balance Notification

Below are the notification steps we take so you and your student know when money is needed:

  1. Alvarado ISD Cafeteria Staff tell each student the balance in their account as they go through the line each day.

  2. We provide parents the ability to check their child’s balance online using family access.

  3. We provide parents the ability to turn on a low balance notice that calls or emails the parent when a student has a low balance.

  4. Our point of sale software automatically calls parents each Wednesday if their child has a balance of zero or less.

Methods of Payment

Parents may prepay for their child's meals with a check or cash at the Operations office located at 110 South Bill Jackson Drive, Alvarado. Parents may also pay using a credit card through Family Access. Students may prepay for their meals before school, or they may pay for their meal at the time of service. We accept cash or check payments at both the school cafeterias and the Operation’s office.

Payment Responsibility

Payment for a child's meals is the responsibility of the parent. We take every step possible to try to make it easy for parents to stay informed about their child's account balance and to make payments. We also participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program to further assist our parents. Please assist us by staying informed about your child's balance, and by making regular payments to keep your child's balance above the charge limit. Please do not put anyone at the school in the position of having to deny your child a meal – NO ONE wants to do that! If you make sure your child has adequate funds for purchasing school lunches, this can be avoided. Thank you

Alternative Meals

Principals may approve an alternative meal for a student, if a child does not have money in their account, and the principal feels that there is a special circumstance that warrants the purchase of an alternative meal. An alternative meal has three components and it consist of items that are being served on the menu for that particular day.

NSF Checks

When a check is returned to the Alvarado ISD Child Nutrition Department for NSF, a letter will be sent to inform the parent(s) from the CN Office. The deposit to the child(ren)’s account will be reversed, and an additional fifteen dollar fee for processing the NSF check will be posted to the child(ren)’s account. Payment must be received within ten (10) days of the date of the letter. If payment is not received, the matter may be turned over to the County Prosecutor’s office.


For any student who is withdrawn or graduating, a written request for a refund of any money remaining in their account must be submitted to the Child Nutrition office in order for a refund to be issued. The letter must be from the child’s parent/guardian. The letter must request the refund, list the child’s full name and date of birth, and list the address where the refund is to be mailed. Funds can also be transferred to a sibling’s account with a written request.

Unclaimed Funds

All refunds must be requested within one year. Unclaimed funds will then become the property of the Alvarado ISD Child Nutrition Department.


Donations for student meals will be accepted in accordance with Board policy CDC(Legal) and CDC(Local).  If the donor makes a specific request, we will try to honor their request.  If the donor does not make a specific request as to how the donation is to be applied, we will apply the donation to the students who have the largest negative balances first. 

Special Dietary Needs

Upon registration the parent will be provided a copy of the Request for Food Allergy Information Form to provide them with an opportunity to disclose whether their child has a food allergy or severe food allergy.  

A Food Allergy is a hypersensitivity from an abnormal response of the body’s immune system to food or food additives that would otherwise be considered harmless. Many of the true food allergy symptoms often resemble allergic reactions to other substances, such as penicillin, drugs, bee stings, hives, and itching.  Anaphylaxis is a rare but potentially fatal condition in which several different parts of the body experience food-allergic reactions at the same time. Symptoms may progress rapidly and include severe itching, hives, sweating, swelling of the throat, breathing difficulties, lowered blood pressure, unconsciousness, and even death.

If the parent indicates that the child has a severe food allergy (food anaphylaxis) on their form, they will be given a letter with instructions on how they can assist the school in developing an Individualized Health Care Plan for their child and two forms forms that they will need to have their child’s doctor complete.  

The first form is the “Eating and Feeding Evaluation: Special Dietary Needs” form. This form is for children who require substitutions or modifications to school meals because of the restrictions associated with their disability.  It would be completed for a child with a disability as defined under either Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or for a child with a severe food allergy whose
physician certifies that the child’s food allergy may result in a severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reaction.  This form must be completed by the child’s doctor.

The second form is the “Allergy Health Care Action Plan”. The purpose of this form is to assist the staff in addressing an allergic reaction.  

Once the school has received the Eating and Feeding Evaluation form, the school will review the form for the required information, and a 504 or ARD committee meeting may then be scheduled to develop an Individual Education Plan to address the child’s special meal requirements. The Alvarado ISD Child Nutrition Department will be present at the ARD or 504 meeting to assist in the development of the IEP. Once the IEP is developed, a copy of the IEP and Eating and Feeding Evaluation form will be placed in the cafeteria along with an allergy information card that will be completed by the CN Director. The Allergy Health Care Action Plan will be given to the school nurse. If a child has a food allergy, the school will only be able to make substitutions or modifications to the child’s meal when the child’s allergy is properly documented by a physician as being a severe food allergy (food anaphylaxis) and approved by the ARD or 504 committee.

Summer Meals

With the Summer Meals Program, children and teens ages 18 and under, and enrolled students with disabilities up to twenty-one years old can continue to eat healthy throughout the summer at no cost, just by showing up at the participating meal site.  The program will be offered at Alvarado Intermediate School, 1401 E Davis, Alvarado, Texas from Monday, May 26 through June 30, 2020.  Meals will be served Monday through Friday with weekend meals served on Fridays.  Meals will be served from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM in a grab and go format just as we have been doing with our COVID meals.  For more information see the SSO Meal Flyers in the documents folder on this page.   Flyers are provided in both English and Spanish.      


Alvarado has elected to outsource their child nutrition services to Chartwells School Dining Services. Chartwells manages child nutrition services for over 550 school districts and has been in business around 65 years in the United States. You may find more information about their company and nutrition information at their website by clicking here


chartwell's logo

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:

and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) Fax:

(202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


2018 © All Rights Reserved | Website Design By: School Messenger | Login