Nutrition Services

Free meals available to all TPS students in 2021-22 school year

All Tacoma Public Schools students will receive free meals during the entire 2021-22 school year. Students who want to buy individual items or a second breakfast or second lunch will still need funds in their accounts and will not be able to accrue a negative balance.

In-person breakfast
Elementary school: Students will eat breakfast in their classroom.

Middle and high school: Students will have the option to get their breakfast either before school starts in the morning or between their first and second period class. UPDATE: Due to a delay in equipment delivery, the opportunity for breakfast between first and second periods will likely start later in November.  

In-person lunch
Elementary students will sit with their classroom group in the cafeteria. All students will be physically distanced to the greatest extent possible.

Meal pick ups
Tacoma Online students and family members of students in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19 can pick up daily meals from any TPS middle school. Go to a middle school's front office between these times, Monday - Friday: 

Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:15 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Student meal account refunds
A refund for your child’s meal account will be available when school starts. If you had $10 or less in the account, please contact your school’s kitchen cashier (your school's front office can help you find the right person). For refunds of more than $10, contact our Nutrition Services group at 253-571-3370. Please note that students will be able to use their current meal account to pay for additional items or second meals.

Students will receive a notice of their balance at the beginning of the school year.


New process replaces free and reduced-price meal application

While meals for TPS students are free again this year, we will ask families to fill out Household Information Surveys that collect data to support supplemental education programs. This replaces the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application process. 

How can families access the Household Information Survey?

  • Students who receive state benefits such as through the SNAP program may not need to fill out a form. Families who are “directly certified,” or otherwise identified as eligible for benefits, will soon receive an email or letter from the district confirming this and do not need to fill out the survey.
  • Families who are not directly certified will soon get a link or instructions on how to fill out the Household Information Survey. 
  • If you don’t receive this survey or a letter confirming your certification by the end of September, please contact your school’s office coordinator or Patsy Neas, or 253-571-3378.

Do you need a letter to qualify for low-income benefits and discounts?
If you need a qualifications letter for services such as free ASB cards or discounts on certain services, contact Patsy Neas at or 253-571-3378. 

Student allergies

If your student has food allergies that your school does not already know about, please contact your school nurse – even if you don’t plan to have your student take school meals. Schools can make some meal accommodations for students with food allergies; ask your child’s health care provider to complete this form and submit it to your school nurse.  

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, disability, age, 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:, 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: mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; fax: (202) 690-7442; or email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Additional Questions? 

(253) 571-3370
nutritionservices@tacoma.k12.wa.usFax 253-571-3377

Does your student have special dietary needs?

Contact your school nurse to arrange for doctor-recommended food accommodations.