Payment options for school meals

Dear Families,

The federal COVID waiver that had allowed us to provide a free meal program for all students expired at the end of last school year. This is a reminder that our school cafeterias have returned to paid meals for the 2022-23 school year. Below is information about payment options, as well as how to apply for free and reduced-price school meals.

Payment options

K12 Payment Center Prepaid Meal Accounts

We use the online K-12 Payment Center to enable families to pay for school lunches and manage their child’s account online. K-12 Payment Center allows parents to:

  • Make payments for meals online securely using your credit card
  • Deposit money onto the accounts of multiple children with one payment
  • Easily access your child’s account 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • See 120 calendar days of meal purchases and payments
  • Check your child’s meal account balance
  • Get low meal account balance alerts by e-mail and text

To sign-up and access the online service, visit From this site you can create an account and add money to your child’s school meal account. When creating your account for the first time, you will need your child’s name and birth date or student ID #. You can find your student ID number in the PowerSchool Parent Portal on the Student Information page.

Cash or Check

Payments may also be made by cash or check. Checks can be made payable to Niskayuna School Lunch Fund. Please send all cash and checks in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on the front and an indication that they are for school lunch.

Free and reduced meal application

You can now conveniently apply online at for your child to receive free or reduced-price school meals. Your application will be sent from a secure website directly to Niskayuna Central School District. Only one application is required per household and the application must be filled out each year. Paper applications are also available at each school building.

Questions regarding free/reduced meal applications can be directed to or 518-464-5133.

There are additional family benefits for those who participate in free and reduced meals through the National School Lunch Program, including:

  • Discounted home internet service from Spectrum (Click here for details)
  • Free or reduced-cost AP, SAT, ACT exam fees
  • Free or reduced-cost college application fees
  • Free or reduced costs for college courses taken in high school

Reminder about A la Carte items and student ID numbers

Students who wish to purchase “a la carte” items must have funds available in their account or cash to purchase the items. Students must have selected all of the components that make up a breakfast or lunch meal in order to not pay for items at a la carte prices.  Extra items such as drinks (other than the milk included with a meal), chips, cookies, etc are strictly a la carte items and will need to be purchased with account funds or cash.

Students will need their student ID number at the register when purchasing lunch using a prepaid meal account. Please review this number with them.

Please know that we have joined with school leaders from throughout our region to advocate for renewed federal funding to support free meals for all students. We will keep you informed if/when regulations change and funding is restored for these vital school nutrition programs.