Too Much Out of Your Pocket?


Adam Razzaboni

A very popular school lunch is the chicken sandwiches as shown above. Many students do get double chicken sandwiches due to the amount of food, making this lunch $6.10. “They don’t give us enough food for what we are paying,” said Ethan Smith ‘21.

Adam Razzaboni, Staff Writer

Lunch. The one time in the school day students aren’t studying, solving math problems or reading their new English book. Although lunch is mostly used for socializing, we seem to overlook what the school is providing and charging us for the food we eat during this time.

School lunch prices, in recent years, have drastically increased in the school system. The national average for school lunch is $2.74, but, at Hollis-Brookline, lunch is $3.10. Granted, we do have a variety of snacks, drinks and entrees for lunch itself, but the $3.10 spent for a regular lunch order has students questioning if they are really getting the most bang for their buck.

Multiple students have the same view on this dramatic price difference in school lunch. Back in elementary school, school lunch was previously $2.75 with the same addition of extra purchases, such as snacks and drinks.“Yeah it’s a lot. It used to be $2.75 back in elementary school and now it’s $3.10 [at the high school]. Plus, the quality of lunch is pretty much the same. I can get the same can of Arizona they sell at school for 99¢ at a different store like Harvest or Market Basket,” said Conner Ramage ‘21. The truth is, some of the popular branded items sold during lunch are overpriced compared to other stores. For example, a bag of Dorritos sold at HB is $1.50 compared to 99¢ at the local Monument down the street.

Ramage has totally avoided lunch for the last two years after the change in price. “I pack my own lunch because it is so much cheaper and better in the long run,” said Ramage.

Jack Bergin ‘21, not a regular school lunch buyer, has also realized this increase in pricing. Bergin said, “It’s clear to me now that we are paying too much for the amount of food we are getting. I feel like it could be more; there isn’t that much to really fill me up without getting another serving.” At lunch students can get the entree for the day, a side or sides of their choice and a drink (milk, water, etc.). Due to the smaller portions students receive in their meals, going up for seconds or getting ‘double servings’ has become a reality at Hollis Brookline. In separate cases, students looking to go up for seconds or ask for a double serving get refused because the school doesn’t have enough food for students in the other lunches, thus making students purchase other expensive snacks as alternatives. 

A daily lunch buyer, Ethan Smith ‘21 was surprised to find out the price was $3.10. “[They] are $3.10? You know what you can buy for three dollars? I feel like I could buy a lot more than what I could get at the school,” said Smith. With most student buying school food with their lunch accounts rather than cash, they are unaware of how much they are really purchasing. The lunch account adds for a quick and easy transactions in the lunch line, however students can’t physically see how much they are spending. 

Despite the high costs, the school has made giant leaps in the variety of different entrees supplied for the students compared to last year’s lunch orders. There has obviously been a larger spectrum of different types of entrees everyday, as well as  the usual pizza or salads as regular meals for students. New snack and drink options, seperate from lunch, have students excited for what the school might bring in next. 

However, any student who pays attention to their lunch account notices how easily a mere $50 can dwindle down.