COVID-19 School Meal Procedure


The Museum School will be serving meals to students starting the first day of school!

Although the school building is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, breakfast and lunch will be available to students.

Breakfast and lunch will be available to all students during virtual learning. Meals can be picked up outside the building on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00am-noon. Meals will also be served during holiday break weeks (on Wednesday only during those weeks: Nov 25, Dec 23, and Dec 30).

  • Five days’ worth of meals (breakfast and lunch, or lunch only) will be packaged for students to take home.
  • Any Dekalb student wishing to have school meals is welcome to come to the school to pick up meals.
  • No pre-ordering is required. Just show up either Wednesday or Thursday, between 9am and noon.
  • Meals will be a combination of room temperature/ready to eat and frozen/heat at home.
  • Meals are from our meal vendor, Preferred Meals and follow school nutrition guidelines. Regular or Vegetarian options are available.
  • Meals are free to all students 18 and under (and special education students 21 and under) until May 28, 2021, due to a USDA waiver for COVID-19 assistance.
  • Students do not need to be present for meal pick-up – a parent (with ID) can pick up the meals for the student. Contact The Nutrition Department if you have any questions.

Check out this information sheet for more details.

Free & Reduced Price Lunch

Read the Nutrition FAQs for information on free and reduced price meals. Download the program instructions in English or Spanish, fill out the application here:

Nutrition Information for When School Reopens

TMS Meals: Health in Mind

We are pleased to offer meals from Preferred Meals, and meal tracking and payment services from our online portal, Both services keep families fully informed of the menu, allergens, student lunch activity, and payment history.

Meals contain all food groups and nutrients that are required by USDA (under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act). This includes requirements such as a minimum ½ cup fruit and ¾ cup vegetable servings at every meal, whole-grain rich grains, and limits on sodium and trans fats, among other requirements. Preferred Meals’ kitchens are nut-free and pork-free, and are inspected by onsite USDA staff, which assures safe food handling and accurate labeling practices. You can view allergen information by placing your mouse over each menu item on online menus on Preferred Meals website. And, importantly, students really like Preferred Meals’ food. We offer 1 meat and 1 vegetarian option daily. Breakfast is $1.50, and lunches are $4.00 each.

How Does My Child Order Breakfast / Lunch?

Breakfast will be served daily with no ordering needed.  Just show up!

Lunch MUST be ordered by the student in homeroom.  Starting with the 2018-19 school year, lunches are ordered same-day.  No advance ordering is required.  Students order lunches by informing their classroom teacher, first thing in the morning, if they will need school lunch (either regular or vegetarian) that day.

For the first 2 days of school, to make things easier for everyone, lunches will be automatically ordered for students.  To ensure smooth transition, TMS will have plenty of extra lunches on hand while students and families adjust to the ordering procedure.

Some teachers may request that parents do the ordering for their kids, depending on the age (i.e., Kindergarten).  Parents may send in a note to teachers stating which date or dates (you could order a week or a month at a time if you wish) their kids would like to get school lunch.

Menus are posted in classrooms, the front office, the cafe, online on the TMS website, and in weekly newsletters so you will always be informed of what school lunch options are.

How Do I Pay for Breakfast or Lunch?

Please pay for all meals in advance. Payments can be made by cash, check, credit card, or ACH withdrawal.

To pay by cash or check, send payment to the front desk clearly labeled with student name and “Lunch” or “Nutrition.”

For credit card or ACH payments, use You can make payments from your computer or mobile device and set email notifications for when your balance falls below a designated point. It is recommended that everyone set up an account in the portal- even if you don’t plan to use it for payment. It is quick and easy to do.

Please note: if you wish to pay by credit card or ACH, the portal charges a service fee per transaction:
• $1.00 for ACH for under $500.00 transactions. Fee increases by a dollar for every $500.00 additional), or
• $1.00 + 2.3% for credit cards (a $20.00 credit card charge would be assessed $1.46 in fees).
This fee covers the cost of credit card/ACH processing. Therefore, I recommend you purchase lunches in batches, such as $20 or more, to minimize the impact of this charge.
You will not be charged any fees if you pay TMS directly by cash or check.

As always, email the TMS Nutrition Department with any questions or concerns. We look forward to serving the students this year!

Would I Qualify for Meal Benefits?

  • Benefits are based on family size and household income.
  • Meal benefit applications are online at
    NOTE- use SchoolCafe ONLY for meal benefit applications- do NOT pay on this site)
  • Filling out the application qualifies you for 1 volunteer hour per household.
  • All families are encouraged to apply for benefits, even if you think you do not qualify.
  • Paper applications are also available. Contact the Nutrition Department to obtain a paper form.
  • If you have received benefits in the past, note that you must reapply EVERY YEAR.  Benefits from the previous school year expire mid-September.

I Want to Apply For Meal Benefits. How Do I Do That?

  1. Go to
    NOTE- use SchoolCafe ONLY for meal benefit applications- do NOT pay on this site)
  2. If you don’t already have an account, go to the bottom and type “Dekalb” in the school district pull-down menu.
  3. Create New Account- select “I’m a Parent.”
  4. Create ID and password and answer questions.
  5. Select “Apply for Benefits”
  6. View Household letter for income guidelines; click “Next”
  7. Click the box at the bottom and click “Next”
  8. Go to the Dashboard and click the large “Add Student” and enter student information and click both required boxes at the bottom.
  9. Select “Museum School Avondale Charter” (if you do not see our school listed, repeat Step 8 and make sure you are on the dashboard page).
  10. Fill out household information and when complete, you will see your meal benefits status- qualified for Free meals, Reduced-Price meals, or Denied (Full-Price meals).
  11. Note: This system is for applying for benefits ONLY. Do not make any payments to this account as it is not part of TMS’s lunch ordering or payment system. Do not view menus as it is not TMS’s menu.
  12. Once you have registered your child/ren, Use the “Eligibility” menu on the Left and hit “Apply”
  13. To check application status, Use the “Eligibility Info” menu on the Left and select “My Applications.”

Contact the TMS Nutrition Department if you have any questions.

TMS Learning Garden