School Nutrition Services
Payment Information

School Nutrition Services will accept payment for meals by the following methods:
  • Processed Meal Application
  • Direct Certification
  • Advanced Payment or Payment at Time of Service By:
    • Cash
    • Personal Check
    • Money Order
    • Cashier's Check
    • Online Payment by Credit or Debit Card
School Nutrition Services offers meals free or at reduced prices to families who qualify for this benefit. An application for meal benefits can be obtained by clicking here or obtain a meal benefits application packet at your student's school. The completed application must be returned to your child's school or mailed to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools School Nutrition Services PO Box 668847, Charlotte, 28266-8847.

Students who were approved for benefits last year will continue receiving meals under last year's approval until a new application is processed. Students have up to 30 days to reapply for meal benefits. Students who do not reapply for the current school year will need money for meals beginning the 31st school day.

If you received a letter that your child is directly certified to receive meals, you do not need to complete an application for meal benefits. New students must have applications approved before meal benefits can begin.

Account Information

School Nutrition Services uses a computerized cash register system, which has been installed in all of the school cafeterias.

Important information about the system:
  1. All students have their own account.
  2. Personal Identification Numbers (PIN"s) are assigned to all students. The computer randomly assigns the numbers. Please help your student learn his/her number.
  3. Students returning to the same school will use the same number from last year.
  4. Students attending new schools will be issued a new number.
  5. Students will be given a card with their numbers on it on the first day of school.
Refunds on Closed Accounts
Parents of students leaving CMS have up to 90 days to request a refund of money on account or have it transferred to another CMS student. Amounts less than $5 will be transferred, upon request, to another CMS student account but not refunded. Contact the School Nutrition Services office at (980) 343-6041 to request a refund or transfer of money on account.

Students Without Meal Money

Pre-k, elementary, and middle school students who do not have an approved application on file and do not have money in their account will receive a complete meal. The price of the meal will be charged to the student’s account. They will be asked to return any extra items on their tray to the cashier. The parent will be responsible for reimbursing the cafeteria for any money charged to the student’s account, even if an application is approved at a later date.
Parents are responsible for making sure their child has an approved application on file. If a letter detailing the status of a meal application is not received within 10 working days after application is submitted, call (980) 343-6041 to inquire about the status of your application.

Check Acceptance Policy

School Nutrition Services will gladly accept checks for the amount of purchase or for prepayment under these conditions:
  • Checks are to be made payable to the school’s cafeteria.
  • Only checks with preprinted name and address will be accepted.
  • A phone number and driver’s license number must be included on the check.
  • Include the student(s) name along with their student ID or PIN number.

Returned Checks

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, School Nutrition Services uses CheckRedi correct funds from checks returned for insufficient funds. Once the check is returned, CheckRedi will resubmit the check electronically (twice if necessary) to your bank. There will be a $25 charge for returned checks.

If you have a question regarding a returned check contact CheckRedi at 1-866-433-7334. The use of a check is your acceptance of these conditions.

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, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, 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: How to File a Complaint, 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.

Visit us on the web at All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law, which may result in monitoring and disclosure to third parties, including law enforcement.

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.