Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the list below, please call 651-403-7320.

***For questions regarding the Application for School Benefits (free/reduced price meals), click here.***

How do I put money in my child’s meal account? 
Funds may be deposited in student accounts in the following ways:

  • By Cash or Check (drop-off or mailed)
    Families may add funds to their child’s meal account by dropping off cash or a check at the district’s Child Nutrition Office, which is located within Henry Sibley High School. Payments can also be mailed to School District 197 Child Nutrition, 1897 Delaware Ave, Mendota Heights, MN 55118. Please make sure checks and cash are accompanied by a note that includes the student’s full name, PIN or student ID number and, if applicable, how the money should be divided between multiple students’ accounts.
  • Online via MyPaymentsPlus -
    MyPaymentsPlus allows parents and guardians to make online payments to their child’s meal account. the software also enables parents and guardians to view their child’s account balance, check payments and view purchase history. Confirmation of payments and low balance reminders can be automatically emailed to parents. The Auto-Replenish features allow parents to set a low balance amount that will automatically replenish their child’s account when it reaches a specified balance. Parents need not make deposits via MyPaymentsPlus in order to register an account and enjoy the benefits of receiving low-balance reminders and viewing student purchase history. MyPaymentsPlus accepts MasterCard, VISA and Discover credit or debit cards; or you may pay by electronic debit from your Checking or Savings account by providing account and routing numbers.  
Note: Credit card payments can NOT be processed over the phone by calling the Child Nutrition Office.

What happens to the money in my child's account at the end of the school year?

If there is a remaining balance in your child's account, it will stay there and carry over to the next school year.

If a child is moving from 4th grade to 5th grade (middle school) or 8th grade to 9th grade (high school), their account balance will follow them to their new school.

Similarly, negative balances will also carry over to the next school year/school unless they are paid.

If a family withdraws their child from District 197 or a student graduates, can they request a check for the remaining funds in their child's account?

Yes. Families may request a refund by contacting Kelly Wegener at 651-403-7320 or

If the student has a sibling who will remain enrolled in a District 197 school, the balance may also be transferred to that student's account.

Can money be transferred from one student's account to another student's account?

Yes, as long as both children are enrolled in School District 197. Transfers may be requested by contacting Kelly Wegener at 651-403-7320 or

Does my student's 4-digit PIN change each year?

No. Each student's PIN stays the same from each year to the next.

When depositing money for my child, what is the difference between a General Account and a Meal Account? 
Parents have the option to deposit funds into the General Account or Meal Account.  Funds in the Meal Account may only be used to purchase breakfasts and lunches.  Funds in the General Account may be used to purchase breakfasts, lunches, and A la Carte items, including additional entrees and cartons of milk. Families are encouraged to use the General Account, unless they wish to restrict their child's A la Carte purchases.

Keep in mind that if you have set up low balance alerts that you must set the notification for the account--Meal or General--in which you are depositing money (or both).

How will I know when my student’s meal account needs more money?
Families are expected to monitor the funds in their child's account at all times. The easiest way to do this is through the district's online payment system called MyPaymentsPlus. Parents and guardians can choose to receive an email alert when their student’s account balance reaches a specific level, which they set. Learn more about MyPaymentsPlus and create an account at

Account balances can also be obtained by contacting the Child Nutrition representative at your child’s school.

The Child Nutrition office sends out letters and emails to families who have low and negative account balances on a weekly basis.

What is the district's policy for unpaid, negative account balances?
The District 197 School Board adopted Policy 534 - Unpaid Meal Charges in 2017.

Is there a way to see what my child purchases for lunch?
Yes. Parents/guardians can see everything their child purchases by date and meal, along with the amount spent, in the Meal Purchase History of MyPaymentsPlus. Learn more about MyPaymentsPlus and create an account at

I don't have a credit card. Can I still use MyPaymentsPlus?
Yes. Families who do not electronically transfer funds into their child's account can still use MyPaymentsPlus to view their child's account balance, review purchases, receive low-balance alerts and more.

Can I access MyPaymentsPlus during the summer?
Yes. Families may login to MyPaymentsPlus over the summer when school is not in session. Low balance alerts and auto-replenish are suspended from June to August each year. Learn more about MyPaymentsPlus and create an account at

How do I notify the staff at my child's school about their food allergy or special dietary needs?

Parents/Guardians with students who require a dietary accommodation should submit a Special Dietary Statement. Click here to learn more.