Food Service

Operated by Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE)

General Manager of Food Service
Tynissa Harris l  l  248-746-8683

View Your Child's Meal Account

MiStar ParentPortal - For access, please contact your child's school to sign up. Access allows you to view your child's meal account, balances or negative balances and purchases.

Breakfast is served every day in all buildings beginning a half-hour before the start of school. The price of breakfast is $1.25 for all grade levels at non-CEP schools. The price of breakfast is $.30 for students who qualify for reduced-price meals and free for students who qualify for free meals.

Parents and guardians may pay for meals, view your child's meal account and purchases through MiStar ParentPortal (your portal login and password can be obtained from the secretary at your child's school).  

  • To add money to your child's meal account, click on "Cafeteria", Pay for "Cafeteria Meals."
  • You may pay by debit or credit card. Please contact the food service office at 248-746-7709, if you need assistance.

Meal Charge Standard Practice/Procedure

Students who are unable to pay for their meal at the time of the meal service will be allowed to charge a meal.  Students will not be allowed to charge a la carte items such as cookies, etc.

When a student’s account has reached a negative balance of more than $20, the parent or guardian of the student will be contacted by mail or a phone call from the district. The principal will be notified of all students with a high negative balance to determine if there are extenuating circumstances and may also contact the parent to discuss the negative lunch account.

Student account balance reports by building will be monitored by the purchasing supervisor. At the end of the fiscal year, the foodservice fund will be reimbursed by the general fund, gift funds or activity funds for negative balances of all inactive students.  Active student balances will be carried over to the next fiscal year.   


Payment plans for negative balances are available. For assistance contact Martha Ritchie, purchasing supervisor, 248-746-8519. 

This school year Adler Elementary, Kennedy Learning Center, Levey Middle School, Stevenson Elementary, Thompson K-8 International Academy, Southfield Regional Academic Campus, ASPIRE Leadership Academy and Vandenberg Elementary have been approved to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision. All students in these schools (even those who did not qualify in the past) will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch without submitting a free and reduced lunch application. Families at these buildings are asked to complete a Household Information Report.

Students attending Birney K-8 School, McIntyre Elementary, MacArthur K-8 University Academy,  Southfield High School for the Arts & Technology, University Middle School Academy and University High School Academy are not CEP schools, however, students may qualify for free or reduced-price meals with the approval of a free and reduced lunch application or a direct certification letter.

Southfield Public Schools Community Eligibility Provision Questions & Answers
For additional information contact (248) 746-8683.

Children need healthy meals to learn. Southfield Public Schools participates in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs and offers healthy meals every school day. Students may purchase lunch for $2.30 (elementary), $2.65 (middle school) and $2.75 (high school) and breakfast for $1.25. Reduced-price lunch is 40 cents, breakfast is 30 cents, and milk and juice are 50 cents. Students may qualify for free meals or for reduced-price meals with an approved application. You may apply for free or reduced-price meals anytime during the school year. For students receiving free and reduced-price meals, the grace period ends October 13, 2020. All students who have not reapplied will be charged full price for meals. 

How to apply for Free and Reduce Price Meals

How do I apply for free and reduced meals?
Applications are sent home at the beginning of the school year. Students/families can also pick up a blank application at any school. One application should be filled out for each household, listing all household members and their income. Foster children are the only students who must have a separate application per federal guidelines. All students must have an approved application on file, each school year, in order to receive free or reduced-price meals.  Parents can also apply online.

Once the application is filled out, it can be returned to any school or returned directly to the Food Service office. The information is entered into a computerized meal application system and a notice is mailed home to the address on file. (If you have moved, please be sure to register your child’s new address at Pupil Registration, 248-746-7601). This is a computerized system, so once the application is approved, the tabulator at the school will know that the child has been approved for free or reduced-price meals. Incomplete applications will NOT be processed and will be returned home delaying the approval process, so please follow all directions and fill out completely. Please note parents are responsible for meal charges until the application is processed and approved.

Who can get free meals?
Children in households getting Food Stamps, FIP, or FDPIR and most foster children can get free meals regardless of your income with an approved application. Also, your children can get free or reduced-price meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.  Please fill out an application.

Will the information I give be checked?
Yes, we may ask you to send written proof of income.

I would like to apply for the meals program, but am concerned that my child may get embarrassed if the teachers or other students learn that we need assistance. How can this be avoided?
The district is charged with keeping the eligibility of each student confidential. We may not disclose individual student eligibility to anyone except the students’ parents, guardians, school tabulators, or the cafeteria managers. School lunch lines are designed to maintain confidentiality by using student ID numbers. By using this system, there is no way for any student to know if a classmate’s lunch account is being charged or if the student is receiving a free or reduced-price meal.

My child was eligible for free meals last school year. Do I need to apply again?
Yes, households must apply every year to determine if they are eligible. Federal income guidelines change each year, and it is likely that most household situations change each year. To avoid interruption in meal benefits while new applications are processed, student eligibility is carried over temporarily from the previous school year until the new application can be processed in September of the new school year. Once the new application is processed, the eligibility that is determined will be in effect. Failure to reapply will result in having to pay full price for meals.

I got a letter this school year saying my child is approved for free lunch. Should I still fill out an application?

The State of Michigan sends an electronic database of students’ who are receiving Food Stamps. Approval letters are generated from this database. If you receive a letter stating your child has been approved for the 2020-2021 school year, then you do not need to complete an application. Please note, if you do not receive a letter for every child in your household, then you will need to contact our office at 248-746-8518 so that he/she can be approved for free meals. (Siblings and kindergarten students are sometimes omitted from the state database).

Can homeless, runaway, and migrant children get free meals?
Please call the homeless liaison or migrant coordinator at (248) 746-7601 to see if your child(ren) qualify if you have not been informed that they will get free meals.

My child brought an Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals form home and said I must complete and return it to school. Are all families required to fill out the application?
No. Families are not required to fill out the applications. Only families who need assistance and fall within the federally set income guidelines should apply (If they attend a non-CEP school).  Applications are automatically sent home with students within the first few days of school. Guidelines are printed on the back of the application to help parents/guardians determine if they might qualify for the program.

Why was my child’s application determined to be not eligible for the program?
Applications are evaluated solely on the number of household members and gross income — no other circumstances can be considered. If you believe your gross income (amount before deductions) is at or less than the maximum income limits for your household size that is listed on the back of the application, you should contact the Food Service Office to be certain that you have completed your application correctly.

My family situation has changed, can I reapply to the program?
Yes, please complete a new application. Families whose household situations change may reapply at any time during the school year.

How can I contact the Food and Nutrition Services to discuss the Free and Reduced Price Meals program?
The main phone number for the Southfield Public Schools Food Service Program for Free and Reduced Price Meals is (248) 746- 8683.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) website provides information on Pandemic-EBT.  The P-EBT Food Assistance Benefits for Families page is set up to help the general public find information on P-EBT. 

Updating Student Addresses
The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is not able to update student addresses; they must be updated at the school district. Families who are requesting an address change are being directed to send proof of Southfield/Lathrup Village residence (see below) to or

Proof of Residency of Students K-12

  • House Closing Papers or Mortgage Documents
  • Apartment or House Rental Lease 


  • Two (2) Current Utility Bills (within 30 days) or Connection Notices