Why are lunch prices rising?


Ben Lombardi

Lunch Ladies at HB hard at work

Ben Lombardi, Staff Writer

Why are school lunch prices rising? Only about a dollar is spent on an average school lunch by the school system. So where is the rest of the money going? According to the organization School Food 101, “around 45% of the cost for school lunch goes to labor”; which includes administrative labor. While “another 10% goes towards supplies, contract services and other indirect charges.”


Though the prices fluctuate between lunches, one day a lunch can cost the school only 97 cents, yet we are still getting charged $2.70, and the prices seem to keep climbing every year.  The 97 cent lunch consists of the following:

Chicken Nugget: $0.30

Bread Roll: $0.12

Corn: $0.10

Salad: 0.12

Fruit: $0.13

Milk: $0.20

Total: $0.97


With the slight rise in price every year, there are some changes to the food being made as well. According to the New York Times, “The federal government is making school meals more nutritious this year, but also more expensive.”. From a student’s standpoint each year, there has been a slight rise in food quality as the price goes up. Last year, school lunches at Hollis Brookline cost $2.60, and this year we have raised the prices by the maximum amount allowed by the law, making school lunches cost $2.70.


The CavChron recently talked to the head of Hollis Brookline high school’s cafeteria, Lyn Bill, about the slight rise in prices and actually it is not up to them at all, they are set by the federal government. Bill said that even though prices have risen the past three years, she “does not think they will be rising again anytime soon.” With the raise of prices, there actually is not any room for different food because the raise in prices is put in place to balance out the fact that a lot of people are eligible for free or reduced lunches. But, even though they are not being funded to receive different foods, Bill said that she and her staff are trying very hard to figure out how to get a wider variety of foods available for the students of HBHS.