Meals at School FAQs for Return to In-Person Learning

Meal Information Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated April 8, 2021

What about lunch and meals at school? Will these change?

Meals will still be served and there will be changes to how they are served. 

Student Nutrition Services (SNS) has developed new serving protocols for meals using mobile carts. Additionally, SNS will take advantage of the waivers granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to serve all school meals for free to all students and eliminate the use of computerized point of sale accounting. Students, regardless of eligibility, do not need to bring any money for school meals. Visit to view the menu for your school.

SNS is also planning for meals to be served in the classroom to maintain stable student cohorts during the school day. The following is to help ensure safety during meal times: 

  • Lunch and snacks will be delivered directly to each classroom at a designated time using the mobile serving carts. School breakfast will be replaced with a hearty snack this school year.
  • Teachers/staff will support students to approach the meal cart one at a time and receive their meals from SNS staff. 
  • All meals and utensils will be pre-packaged, and fruit and milk will be optional. 
  • Students will touch only their own meals.

Will there be changes to supper and weekend meals?

  • Cold or ready-to-heat suppers may be picked up daily as students leave to go home. Service start date is to be determined.
  • Weekend meals and/or meals for distance learning will be provided at the Grab & Go sites.

Will the Grab & Go Meals program change?

SNS will continue to provide and support the following services: 

  • Grab & Go Meal Distribution: The number of sites and locations will be determined based on Phase 2 enrollment. We will also need to determine if Grab & Go school sites in Wave 2 will stay open when Group 2 students return to in person learning. Starting April 13, the Grab & Go meal service will no longer be open at Elementary Schools. This is to accommodate SFUSD's in-person learning plans. Visit for more information.
  • Door to Door Meal Delivery Program: This program has expanded. SNS will continue to operate this program when students return to in-person learning.
  • SF-Marin Food Bank Distribution Programs: As with Grab & Go Distribution locations, we will need to determine if sites in Wave 2 will stay open when students begin in-person learning. The SF-Marin Food Bank is actively seeking alternative nearby distribution locations to continue service in the event that a Grab and Go distribution location is no longer available. 

Can I continue to pick up Grab & Go meals for my student(s) returning to in-person learning?

Will your student be attending in-person learning?

  • Yes, in-person 4-5 days a week → Pick up free meals on Thursdays only
  • Yes, in-person 2 days a week → Pick up free meals on Tuesdays or Thursdays
  • No, distance learning 5 days a week → Pick up free meals on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays

Can I pick up Grab & Go meals for siblings not enrolled in SFUSD?

  • Yes, free meals are available for siblings of SFUSD students on Tuesday and/or Thursday. Please show the student’s barcode and:
    • For school-age siblings: show a school enrollment letter or student ID card
    • For Younger siblings: provide their birthdate to receive an orange grab-and-go card

What about water fountains? Will these be available for my student to use?

Water fountains will be disabled, and students will be asked to bring water bottles to school and refill at water stations.

Can my student eat outside at school?

Outdoor eating is possible depending on space, food service equipment access, weather and outdoor shelter, air quality, etc. This will be a site based decision taking the following into consideration:

  • An eating area will be designated for each cohort, or will be sanitized between groups. 
  • Mealtimes will be staggered to maximize use of outdoor space and prevent mixing of cohorts. 
  • Students will maintain physical distance while waiting in line for meals.

My child was told not to share food at school because of safety. Is this true?

Yes, given health and safety concerns around the spread of COVID-19, students may not share food items. We know sharing is caring but at this time it is safest for students to not share food with others. We encourage students to share in other ways (a wave, an “air” hi-five, a hello) with each other.