Bidenflation Sends School Lunch Costs Soaring

Ingredient prices are up 50 percent as families struggle to afford price hike

Children buy school lunches in 2002 / Getty Images
November 2, 2022

Following the June expiration of a federal pandemic program to provide free lunch to all students, school districts are raising prices and offering fewer options in cafeterias across the country in the face of soaring inflation.

Ingredient prices are up by 50 percent or higher, and schools are pushing the costs on to families, increasing the price of lunch by as much as 50 cents, while offering fewer meal options.

Many families are struggling to afford the spike in prices, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Sarah Kemmerling, a day care provider in Lafayette, Colo., and mother of two, said the end of free school meals this year and a price increase of 50 cents, to $4 a lunch, put additional pressure on her household finances, which were already tight. 

Ms. Kemmerling's family paid about $140 for school meals for her two children in fourth and seventh grades last month, a figure that was higher than her utility bills, she said. Her household's annual income is about $55,000, she said, including wages earned by her husband, a mechanic. 

As families struggle to pay for lunches, they also face record-high mortgage rates and decreasing consumer confidence levels in the face of a possible recession.

Published under: Inflation , Public School