Important Food Service Changes for 2017-18

In an effort to provide a more efficient way to access all Food Service needs, SchoolCafé will be introduced prior to the start of 2017-18 school year to help better connect Austin ISD families to school nutrition. With this transition comes changes in your child’s lunch line experience, as well as how you will access your student’s meal account, apply for meal benefits, and view menus.

Beginning at the start of the 2017-18 school year, student meal accounts will no longer be managed through MySchoolBucks, but will be accessed by creating a SchoolCafé account. If a student has funds remaining at the end of the 2016-17 school year, they will automatically transfer from MySchoolBucks to SchoolCafé. To view balances or add money to a meal account, a SchoolCafé account must be created.

Parents can create a new account starting July 1, 2017, by visiting www.schoolcafe.com, or by downloading the SchoolCafé mobile application, available on Apple and Android devices. Through SchoolCafé, parents can make payments, view purchase history, receive low balance alerts, apply for free or reduced price meals and view school menus. Accounts will not reflect student’s grade level information for the 2017-18 school year until after August 14, 2017.

SchoolCafé will also host all online meal benefit applications for Austin ISD, making the communication with the Food Service department easier and quicker for families. The digital meal benefit applications will be accessed through the SchoolCafé website or on smartphones through the mobile application. A SchoolCafé account must be created to access the online applications. While online applications are preferred, paper applications will continue to be provided to each campus prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Families will receive instant communication that their meal benefit application has been submitted, and will be able to submit verification documents digitally, as well as receiving meal benefit documentation electronically.

Campuses participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) will not distribute or process meal benefit applications. While applications are accepted year-round, to ensure benefits go uninterrupted, applications should be submitted by October 2, 2017, to receive free or reduced price meals for the 2017-18 school year.

To help streamline Food Service information, in addition to being the source for student meal account management and meal benefit applications, SchoolCafé will also replace our current digital menus and mobile application, YumYummi. The SchoolCafé digital menus and mobile app will display daily menus for each campus, contain nutritional and allergen information, allow for dish feedback and select favorite menu items.

In addition to the change in managing student meal accounts for parents, the process will also change for students and staff in the cafeteria. As the new system is implemented, Food Service staff will be receiving extensive training to help make the transition as smooth as possible. New pin pads will be installed in the lunch lines, where all students will now use their ID numbers.  This will simplify the process for elementary school students, as they will no longer be assigned a separate code to memorize and to help align with the transportation process.

You can find more information about SchoolCafe by visiting their website at www.schoolcafe.com, or the Austin ISD Nutrition and Food Services website at www.austinisd.org/nutritionfoodservices.