Frequently Asked Questions

What is my child's Student Number?

The Student Number is a unique number assigned by your school district office. (It is usually not the same as the 3 or 4-digit lunch number that is used in the cafeteria.) It is usually printed on report cards and correspondence that you receive from the school. Please contact your student's school by calling Margaretta Elementary or Margaretta High School.

Why are there fees for this service?

The fees cover the costs of maintaining the secure website and the fees that are charged to us for processing credit card payments. School districts usually do not have funds available for this type of expense.

What does the service cost?

The cost depends on the level of service (Premium or Basic) that you select and the school district that your students are in. When you select your school district during registration, it will show the fees that apply in that district. You will always be provided with the cost information before any payment is processed. For Premium membership, there is a one-time registration fee. This gives you access to your student's lunchroom balance and meal history, and offers e-mail notification when the account balance drops below a limit you have set. The fee varies per school district. With Basic membership, you can still make payments for meals and school fees online, but you will not be able to look up your student's balance or meal history, and you will not receive Low Balance notifications. The regular payment fees will apply but there is no registration fee. You can upgrade to premium service at any time if the service is available in your district. When you make Payments, a fee will be added to cover the cost of processing the credit card transaction. One online payment can be split among all of the students attached to your account, with no additional cost.

What does the processing fee cover?

The payment fee covers the fees that the credit card company charges for processing the transaction. In some areas, the fee is partially paid by the school district.

Do I have to pay a separate registration fee for each student?

No, one registration fee covers all the students in your family who attend school in the same district.

What does the registration fee include?

The registration fee gives you access to your student's lunchroom balance and meal history, and offers e-mail notification when the account balance drops below a limit you have set. It includes all the students in your family who attend school in the same district.

How long from the time I register as a New User can I make a lunch payment?

This process usually takes less than a day. Students must be verified before we can accept payments. This can usually be done instantly; however, in some cases it can take up to 24 hours. Once this process has completed, you can make payments directly to your student account from

Why is the verification process necessary for lunch payments?

This is how we make sure that your payment is credited to the correct student's cafeteria account. We check for a match on the student's last and first name, school, and student Number. This can usually be done instantly; however, in some cases it may take up to 24 hours. Once a student has been verified, lunch payments are processed by a service that runs automatically throughout the day. If it has been more than 24 hours, please contact your school district office and ask for the Student Nutrition Department. They will be able to assist you.

How long does it take for the payment to show at my student's school?

Generally, all lunch payments are applied within 24 hours.

How do I know it is safe to enter my credit card information on the online payment website?

The online payment site has 128 Bit Encryption provided by Thawte. Thawte is the most trusted name in online shopping. All information submitted is protected by our secure server, which automatically encrypts your personal information so that it cannot be read while traveling over the Internet.

What do I do if I do not see all my students listed on the payment screen?

If all the students you have entered do not show up on the payment screen, it is possible the information you supplied could have been typed incorrectly. Please go to the Manage Student page and check the student's first and last name, school, and Student Number. Correct any errors and save your changes. This student account will be available as soon it is verified with the school's information.

Why do I not see my district name listed under Participating Schools?

If your district name is not listed under the Participating Schools page, then they have not signed up with Education Management Systems, Inc. use this online payment website. Please encourage them to contact us.

What if my student's school is not listed?

If your student's school is not listed in the dropdown box you will need to check with your school district directly. They will be able to tell you if the school will be added to our program.

How do I set up a low balance notification?

Go to Manage Profile and enter the Low Balance amount. Check Send Notifications. You will receive an e-mail when the balance drops below the amount you set. (You must have Premium service to use this feature.)

How do I find out what my student has been buying for lunch?

On your home page, click on Meal History next to the student's name. (You must have premium service to use this feature.)

How do I pay School Fees?

Log in to your user account at It doesn't matter whether it is Premium or Basic. If you have verified students associated with your account, any fees that the school has assigned to your students will display. If your school or district has other fees that are not student specific, those can be viewed by clicking on "View All Fees." Click Add to select the fees to be added to your shopping cart. You can enter multiple quantities if desired. Click Shopping Cart to view the list of items. Click Make Payment to process your payment. The school will be notified that the payment has been made.

What if I forget my user name or password?

Click on "Forgot Login Info?" on the Login screen. Send us your registered e-mail address and we will send you a return e-mail with your information.

What if I can't remember what e-mail address I used or it is no longer available?

Contact your school district administrator and they will assist you.

During the summer, why does my student's account show up as Not Verified?

Over the summer months, the link between the online payment website and the school's cafeteria server is down. Most schools are out for summer break and the cafeteria staff and teachers have the summer off. We take this opportunity to update the website and add features. Usually about a week before school starts, the cafeteria staff returns to work and the online payment website reconnects to the cafeteria servers. When this happens, you will need to login to your account, go to Manage Students and update your student's school. At that point your students will automatically be re-verified, as long as the Student Number still matches your district's records. If your student's Student Number changed over the summer, please go to the Manage Students page and update the Student Number and school accordingly.

My student should have meal history/money in their account, so why does the balance show N/A?

There are a couple of reasons that the online payment website displays balance as N/A. The most likely reason is the link between our website and the school's cafeteria server was broken during a nightly upload. When this occurs, we display N/A to avoid showing inaccurate information or because no information is available.

Using this online payment system and am transferring to/from another district that also uses the web

What if I am currently using this online payment system and am transferring to/from another district that also uses the website?

Please send an email to [email protected], requesting your school district to be changed. Please provide your username and email address when contacting us. The change will be made within 24 hours. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS CLICKING ON CONTACT US ON THE WEBSITE. Any money left in your student's account cannot be transferred between districts. You must withdraw any outstanding balance from the school cafeteria you are leaving. Contact your student's cafeteria for more information.

I have a question about one of the charges on my student's account. How do I dispute it?

If you suspect a cashier error or wonder if another student may be borrowing your student's account number, please contact your school district directly.

I'm getting some sort of error while trying to make a payment. What do I do?

It's possible that your credit card information that you've entered on the website does not match the information on file with your credit card company. Delete and re-enter your credit card information, paying particular attention to your address and name. If that does not work, send an email to [email protected]. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS CLICKING ON CONTACT US ON THE WEBSITE.

If I make payments in the cafeteria, will they appear on the online payment site?

When you view Payment History, the page only displays the payments made through our website. Any payments made in the cafeteria will be shown on the Meal History page for each student.

Why do I sometimes get an error while making a payment, then find a charge on my credit card anyway?

All credit cards are processed through a third-party service that verifies all the credit card information and payment amount. The service verifies that your name, address, card number, and card code match exactly to what your credit card company has on file. If there is a mismatch, the service sends a message to us that the charge failed. Depending on your credit card company's policy the payment amount may still show as a Pending or a Temporary Hold against your account. Again, depending on your credit card company's policy, it may take a day or two for the temporary hold to be removed. Please note that has no control over this process.
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