New School Year, New Lunch Prices

On July 22, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the free school lunch grant that expanded throughout the entirety of last school year will not be happening again this year. Freedom Area School District has increased the price for school lunches so they have the ability to continue feeding us healthy and nutritious meals.The cost for a full price school lunch is $2.55 for K-8 and $2.66 for 9-12, while the staff members’ lunches have been bumped up to $4.00. 

The Free and Reduced Lunch Program is also now up and running in the Freedom Area School District. Last year this was not needed because all lunches were universally free, but now students are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. This program allows kids who cannot afford school lunch a better price and option for their lunch. The original price of the lunches in this program was $0.40, and breakfast was $0.30. Although now with a new grant from the USDA, we are now able to serve kids free breakfast in the morning before school. 

“When the meals were free we served 30,000 more meals than we typically do,” Mr. Randy Walker, FASD Food Service Director, said. Most kids were more persuaded to buy lunch last year because it did not cost money. Now that they are being charged again, kids stated that they are less likely to buy lunch. In a recent survey conducted by the Bulldog Barker,  more than 50% of students who responded said that they are less likely to buy a school lunch because of the increase in pricing. 

I always pack a lunch so I don’t usually buy but if I did buy it would make me want to pack more because the cost is more for school lunches and some kids might not have much money so if they use it all on school lunches it might cause them to pack more,” stated a student in an anonymous survey. There are more kids who also state that the price of school lunch has caused them to buy more. The new cost is affecting our school in good, and bad ways.