Kern High School District

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Business Division » Food Services » Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program

Please fill out a Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application and submit it to the Food Service Department, or return to your student's school in order to see if you qualify for free or reduced meal benefits. Previous year's applications are not renewed; a new Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application must be submitted each school year for those interested in participating in the meal program. Returning students are eligible to receive meal benefits from the previous year's status temporarily for the first 30 operational days of each new school year, and until the current year's application is submitted.  After the 30 day grace period expires, students without a processed application on file for the new school year will no longer be eligible for the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program and will be returned to a full pay status. Parents/Guardians are responsible for the payment of all student meals including those charged, until an application is processed and approved for free or reduced meal benefits. In order to avoid meal charges and to prevent any disruption in meal benefits, please complete and submit an application as soon as possible to determine your student's eligibility for the new school year.
An application cannot be approved unless it is completed with all required information, so please fill it out completely to avoid any delays in processing. Application forms are mailed annually to all households towards the start of school, and are available during the entire school year at all school site registrar offices and cafeterias. Applications are also available at the Food Service Office located at 3701 E. Belle Terrace, Suite B, Bakersfield, California, from 7:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.  As an alternative and for your convenience, applications can be completed and submitted online by clicking on the link below.
Apply Online
Apply In Person or by Mail
All households with children attending the Kern High School District will receive an annual notification regarding the KHSD Food Service Department Meal Charge and Collection Policy.
Payment for Meals


  1. Children may pay for their meals at the point of sale with cash.
  2. Any child attending the KHSD also has the availability to set up a pre-payment account for the purposes of meal payment. Cash or checks may be deposited into their child’s meal account at the school cafeteria or Food Service Office during normal business hours. Pre-payment accounts are offered and encouraged to help avoid meal charges.
  3. A child’s pre-payment account fund balance will be carried over every month. Notices will be sent to households on a monthly basis advising of the child’s remaining positive account balance.
  4. All positive account fund balances remaining at the end of the fiscal year (June 30th), will be rolled over into the child’s meal account for the next school year for use as needed. Parents may request a refund of a child’s meal account balance at any time.
  5. All graduating children with a remaining positive account balance, will automatically be issued a refund at the end of each fiscal year. Refunds will be generated and mailed by the Kern High School District Office.

Meal Charge Policy


  1. All children participating in the School Nutrition Breakfast and Lunch Program who are unable to pay for their meals at the time of meal service, are allowed to charge their meals without limitation. This is inclusive of students who do not qualify for free meals or have not applied for the meal program.
  2. No children who are unable to pay for their meal at the time of meal service, shall be denied a reimbursable meal or served an alternate meal in its place. All children have access to the same dining area and serving lines. This will ensure that all children have access to the nutritious food they need to learn and succeed in the classroom.  

Debt Collection Policy


  1. Invoices will be mailed to each household on a monthly basis by the Food Service Department for any child who has incurred a balance owing of five dollars ($5.00) or more due to meal charges during the current fiscal year.
  2. Parents may contact the Food Service Department with any questions or concerns regarding invoices received for meal charges. In certain circumstances, families may be allowed the option to set up a payment plan for any debt incurred.
  3. Food Service staff will make every attempt to recover unpaid meal charges on a monthly basis, for any debt that has been incurred during the current fiscal year including that which may have accrued during the last 90 days of the fiscal year. Delinquent debt must be resolved by the end of the fiscal year ending on June 30th. 

Meal Applications


  1. The current year’s Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications are mailed to every child’s household prior to the beginning of each school year. In addition, applications are available at the Food Service Office and at each school site’s office and cafeteria. Parents also have the choice of completing and submitting a meal application online for an easier and more efficient way to get their application processed at:
  2. Parents who require assistance may contact the Food Service Office at (661) 827-3190 during the hours of 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.