Frequently Asked Questions
EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS APPLICATION
All families in the district are asked to complete the school meal eligibility form, regardless of income or eligibility.
What if my family exceeds the income limit?
We ask that you choose to opt out of the application online at schoolcafe.com.
Do I need to fill out this form if I received free/reduced meals last year?
Yes, all families are asked to fill out this form every year.
I have a student in my household that does not go to a South St. Paul school, do I include them on the application?
Yes, include all students currently enrolled in the South St. Paul Public Schools district on the top portion of the application where it asks for student information. On the bottom half of the application it asks for household members. Here you will add the information of the person who is filling out the forms along with any spouses, cousins, sister, brothers, aunts, uncles, boyfriends, girlfriends, nephews, nieces, longtime friends, infants - anybody that lives in the house. Their information is included in the household members portion of the application – even if they do not receive any income.
When visiting schoolcafe.com select "Register." Parents will be prompted to create an account that includes a username and a password. They will then be able to select the eligibility tabs in order to complete the application.
I get WIC or Medical Assistance. Can my children get free school meals?
Children in households participating in WIC or Medical Assistance do not automatically qualify for free meals. Children may be eligible for free or reduced-price school meals depending on other household financial information. Please fill out an application.
Who should I include as household members?
Include yourself and all other people living in the household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives, or friends).
May I apply if someone in my household is not a U.S. citizen?
Yes. You or your children do not have to be U.S. citizens for your children to qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
What if my income is not always the same?
List the amount that you normally get. If you normally get overtime, include it, but not if you get overtime only sometimes. For seasonal work, write in the total annual income.
Will the income information or case number I give be checked?
It may be. We may also ask you to send written proof.
How will the information be kept?
Information you provide on the form, and your child’s approval for meal benefits, will be protected as private data. For more information see the back page of the Application for Educational Benefits.
If I don’t qualify now, may I apply later?
Yes. Please complete an application at any time if your income goes down, your household size goes up, or you start getting SNAP, MFIP or FDPIR benefits. Please provide the information requested about children’s racial identity and ethnicity, which helps to make sure we are fully serving our community. This information is not required for approval of school meal benefits.
If you have other questions or need help, call Nutrition Services at (651) 457-9429.
What happened to the money in the PayPams accounts?
All account balances were transferred to the new system.
Once registration is complete parents will be able to view their students previous account balances as well as add funds. Parents can use their registration information from schoolmealapp.com to log into schoolcafe.com. All of their student’s information from schoolmealapp.com will be on the schoolcafe.com website. Parents will not be able to login in to SchoolCafé with their PayPAMS account information. Parents can also register directly with schoolcafe.com though many parents have experienced issues if they had not already registered with schoolmealapp.com. Parents should register as a parent. They will then be prompted to add a student at which point they will need to input their students ID number. Parents can add multiple students to the account. From there they will be able to view account balances and manage the funds in the account.
Did my students PIN number change?
Students' PIN numbers will remain the same and transferred over to SchoolCafe.
Is SchoolCafé.com safe and secure?
SchoolCafé uses 128-bit encryption to secure data transfer between your browser and our server. From the time you login until the time you logout, all data is encrypted. They use the same security encryption as many major e-commerce web sites.
Where can parents find the menus?
Menus will be available on SchoolCafe when school starts.
REFUNDS & BALANCE TRANSFERS
How do I request a refund or balance transfer?
All refund or balance transfer requests may be directed to the Nutrition Services office at (651) 457-9429 or email Erica at email@example.com.
What happens to an account balance at the end of the school year?
Balances remaining in a student’s account at the end of the school year will carry over to the following school year. If the student moves to a new building, the balance will transfer along with that student.
What if a student is graduating or leaving the District?
Parents/guardians may request a refund or balance transfer using the Lunch Account Refund/Transfer form. Parents also have the option to donate the remaining student balance to the Student Support Fund. Requests may be directed the Nutrition Services office at (651) 457-9429 or email Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if the account has a negative balance at the end of the school year?
Payments for negative meal accounts can be made online at schoolcafe.com. We strongly encourage parents to check balances before school starts to ensure that there is enough money in their student's account.
SSPPS staff can register with schoolcafe.com and select "I'm an Employee of this District." Click here for step-by-step instructions to setup your account.
Questions? Please contact the Nutrition Services office at (651) 457-9429 or email Erica at email@example.com.