Meal Prices

Denver Public Schools recognizes the important link between proper nutrition and academic success. The purpose of this policy is to establish a consistent district procedure for charging meals when students do not have money to pay, preventing meal charges, and ensuring eligible children are certified for free or reduced-price school meals.

Charging Meals

Because hunger is an impediment to learning, no child shall be denied a school meal because of an inability to pay. Children will be offered a school lunch that meets the U.S, Department of Agriculture nutrition standards for school meals.

Preventing Meal Charges

To ensure that households are aware of negative account balances and the potential to accrue meal debt, the school nutrition department will:

  • Send out negative balance letters;
  • Use automated calling system to notify parents of negative balances; and
  • Work with school staff to understand the student and parent’s situation and to work with the family to complete a school meal benefit application and/or to add funds to the school nutrition account.

Collecting Unpaid Meal Debt

Families are required to pay any debt accrued for lunches served to their children.

All communication regarding unpaid meal debt will be directed to parents or guardians. Any household with a negative school lunch account balance will be contacted by school staff by email phone, or letter home to provide information on how to apply for free or reduced-price school meals or to add funds to the school nutrition account (

Families who submit a school meal benefit application are responsible to make a full payment for lunch until the application is approved.

Breakfast Pricing Lunch Pricing
Grade K-5 $0.00 $2.00
Grade 6-8 $0.00 $2.25
Grade 9-12 $0.00 $2.75
Reduced Meals (All Grades) $0.00 $0.40
Adult Meals $2.50 $4.00

The State of Colorado has elected to cover the price of reduced priced meals for students grade K-5 for the SY 17-18.

A La Carte Pricing

Additional items from the daily menu, as well as selected other foods, juice and water beverages that comply with the USDA Healthy Snacks guidelines may be purchased a la carte to compliment school meals or meals brought from home.

All extra purchases require funds to be available (on meal account or in hand) at the time of purchase.

Adult Meals

Student prices are less than adult prices because the school receives federal and state reimbursement money for each meal served that meets regulatory requirements. No reimbursement is available for adult meals. Adults may purchase a meal or individualized items and do not have to follow the same meal pattern as students. Adult portion sizes are the same as students.

Year End Balances

Balances remaining in a student’s account at the end of the school year will carry over to the next school year. If the student moves to a new building, the balance will transfer. We encourage parents to check balances before school starts to ensure that there is enough money in the account to cover your childs meal needs.

What's New?

The 2018-2019 Free and Reduced Meal Application will be availble mid July. Please check back during that time!

Our Partners

Denver Enviromental Health
Slow Foods Denver
Colorado Department of Agriculture
Kitchen Community
Livewell@School Food Initiative

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  Phone: 720-423-5600

  Fax: 720-423-5629

   2320 W. 4th Ave, Denver CO 80223

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