Food Services

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    (845) 943 - FOOD - (3663)  

    Breakfast and Lunch Offered at No Cost in All Schools

    The Kingston City School District (KCSD) now provides universal breakfast and lunch at no cost to all students in all schools. This expansion is made possible by the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) designation granted to the District by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and will be effective immediately, starting with its 2023 summer programs.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: What is the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)?
    A: The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a funding option under the National School Lunch Act that allows eligible schools to provide free meals to all students. 
    Q: Do I need to fill out an application for my child to receive meals at no cost?
    A: No, families do not need to fill out an application for their child to gain eligibility for breakfast and lunch at no cost.
    Q: What does CEP cover for my child? 

    A: With the CEP designation, all children in all Kingston City School District (KCSD) schools can receive one healthy breakfast and one nutritious lunch per school day.

    Q: I’m new to the District and/or the Food Services program - what does a healthy lunch entail for my child? 

    A: A healthy lunch always consists of five components: a protein, grain, fruit, vegetable, and milk. To be considered a full meal, children must choose at least three of these components, including either a fruit or vegetable. 

    Q: Can my child still purchase snacks and à la carte items? 

    A: Yes, snacks and à la carte items (including milk) are available. However, students will need cash or funds in their prepaid accounts to make these purchases. You can add funds by sending a check or cash to the main office of your child's school or virtually through MySchoolBucks, an online school meal payment system. To avoid the fee, students can always pay with cash for their purchase.  In addition, parents may send in a check or cash to be added to the student’s prepaid account.  Please have your child take the check or cash to the kitchen during breakfast or lunch. 

    Q: What if I already have money in my child's account for meals? Can I get it back?

    A: Parents can either request a refund from the Food Services Department or leave the funds on their student’s account for à la carte items or snacks. Please send an email to to request a refund.

    Q: What if my child brings their own lunch and just wants some milk or a piece of fruit? 

    A: According to State guidelines, in order to access the free meal benefit, a child must take what counts as a full meal, which means choosing at least three of the five components (including a fruit or vegetable) that make up the meal. Food Services staff will guide your child in understanding what constitutes a full meal.

    Q: What if my child has dietary restrictions? How will KCSD address their safety? 

    A: KCSD offers a variety of food options. If your child has dietary restrictions, you can provide a doctor's note, which will be kept on file and incorporated into your child's official account.

    Q: Does funding for school meals come out of my school taxes? 

    A: No, meals and food at schools are not funded by your school tax dollars. Instead, the funding comes from Federal and State taxes.