Meals for Students

  • Update: November 30, 2021

    NKC Schools will transition back to “normal” lunch service when students return from Winter Break. Students will be served their entrée on a normal tray and will then serve themselves fruits and veggies from the self-serve bar as well as condiments from the condiment table. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, COVID-19 is not spread through food or food packaging. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been no credible evidence of COVID outbreaks associated with food. Our neighboring districts across the metro have been operating meal service as normal without incident throughout fall semester. Local restaurants have food out on their buffets and local gas stations are serving food out on their rollers.

    Returning to “normal” will increase our purchasing options for food and reduce our reliance on packaging, which has become scarce due to the ongoing supply chain crisis. Returning to our typical procedures will also allow us to improve quality and service for our students, who are able to learn and perform better when their stomachs are full. Breakfast procedures will remain the same throughout the end of the school year.

    In addition, the Board of Education approved in early November a contract with food distribution partner Martin Brothers. The addition of a new vendor will allow us to better meet the needs of our 21,000 students and continue to provide free, nutritious and delicious meals that fuel learning each day.



    Continuing through the 2021-2022 school year, all students throughout the district will have access to free breakfast and lunch, served at school. 

    The USDA recently announced the extension of the waiver that allowed school districts to provide free meals through the end of the upcoming school year, 2021-2022. NKC Schools will continue to provide meals, free of charge, to all students through our cafeterias on site. 

    Students attending school virtually are welcome to pick up a free meal at their school cafeteria, during scheduled meal times, for free, using their student ID number. Please check with your child’s school for meal times. Parents can pick up meals for their children, using their child’s student ID number. Parents with children at multiple schools can pick up all of their children’s meals at one school. At this time, everyone on campus, including those picking up meals, must wear a face mask.

    NKC Schools pledges to serve as Champions for All Students. Should you have an additional need during this time, please start by contacting your building principal or reach out to us via our Let's Talk system. If your family has specific needs concerning mobility or illness, please contact your building's School Community Resource Specialist. Additional community resources are also available.


    Free & Reduced Price Meal Program

    Families should still apply for the free and reduced price meal program to ensure discounts on for other programs, including testing. A new free and reduced price meals application must be completed each year, after July 1. Apply for free or reduced price meals here: More information is available here.

Current Food Supply Challenges

  • North Kansas City Schools, along with school districts across the country, is facing challenges in sourcing food for school meals. The district's largest vendors have dropped us as a customer. NKC Schools’ commitment to serve healthy, delicious meals has not changed. Even with our offers of support, vendors are unable to meet our needs as we seek to serve 16,000 meals each day. This may impact your student's meal service. See our September 15 communication to families for further details.

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P-EBT Information

  • Starting June 15, 2021 families that were approved for free or reduced price meals in either the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school years can once more apply for Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to help cover food costs they experienced while their student was not doing in-seat learning due to the pandemic. However, the P-EBT 2020-2021 program is very different from last year’s program. Please review the P-EBT Letter to Families. Here are highlights of those changes:

    • All families must apply to get the P-EBT benefit, regardless of whether or not they receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamp benefits.
    • A child may be eligible for P-EBT only if the school was closed, not doing in-seat learning, or had reduced attendance or hours at least five school days in a row due to COVID-19 (in most cases, this includes hybrid modes of learning). 
      1. Elementary Schools were open, so elementary students do NOT qualify for this benefit. 
      2. Middle Schools and High Schools were on a hybrid schedule, with reduced attendance for most of the year, so middle and high school students do qualify for this benefit.
    • P-EBT benefits are available for the months of September 2020 through May 2021.
    • The P-EBT benefit is based on the school’s report of how much of the month was not in-seat learning. If most of the school’s month was not in-seat learning, the monthly P-EBT benefit amount is $129.58. If only some of the school’s month was not in-seat learning, the monthly P-EBT benefit amount is $77.75.
      1. Middle Schools and High Schools were mostly not in-seat learning from September through mid-March 2021.  Hybrid learning ended mid-March and students returned to full time, in-seat learning through mid-May 2021.
    • Families download the P-EBT application (aplicación en Español)
    • Families must directly email or mail the P-EBT application to the Family Support Divisionaddress listed on the application by July 31, 2021.
    • Families must not submit the application to the school district.
    • Each eligible student will get an EBT card in his or her name with the lump sum P-EBT benefit amount for the 2020-2021 school year. Ineligible families will receive a denial letter.


    The application can be found on the website. Please read the P-EBT FAQs.

    If you have questions on how to apply for the P-EBT benefit, contact DSS through the online chat feature at or call 855-373-4636.


    Update, August 26th, 2021:

    Households that submitted an application for Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits and received a denial letter have the right to request a hearing from their local district if they disagree with the decision within ten days from receiving the letter.  Please read the information above.  If you still feel that your denial letter was an error, please contact Suzie Parker at (816) 321-5868 or

    A few reasons why P-EBT benefits might have been denied include:

    1. The Department of Social Services did not receive verification that the child is approved for National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program benefits. In this case, Suzie can review the free or reduced benefit status on file at the school with the household.

    2. If the household was approved for free or reduced price benefits during school year 2019-2020 or during school year 2020-2021, the student may be eligible for P-EBT benefits.  Suzie will send approval information to DSS.

    3. If the student was not approved for free or reduced price benefits during school year 2019-2020, and did not apply for benefits during the 2020-2021 school year, families CAN apply for P-EBT benefits retroactively, using the income guidelines for the school year 2020-2021. Even though the school year has passed the household still has the right to apply for benefits specifically for P-EBT. Contact Suzie to apply retroactively.  If you are approved retroactively, Suzie will send approval information to DSS.

    4. The child’s school was not closed or operating with reduced attendance or hours of at least five consecutive days in the 2020-2021 school year. Elementary schools were NOT closed or operating with reduced attendance or hours of at least five consecutive days in the 2020-2021 school year, so elementary students do NOT qualify for this benefit.  Middle and high schools were operating with reduced attendance, a hybrid schedule, in the 2020-2021 school year, so middle and high school students DO qualify for this benefit.