On September 30th the school lunch price for students who qualify of full price lunch increased by 25 cents from $1.50 while reduced-price lunch decreased to free from the previous 25 cents. Now, families with an average income greater than $43,568 for a family of four must pay $1.75 for lunch. The lunch price increase was set in order to account for the increasing portion size of the food as well as raised labor prices for serving the food and other expenses. According to a letter written by the Department Of Education in regards to the 25 cent increase, “$1.75 for lunch is still well below the amount that other large school districts throughout the country charge and continues to remain below the amount the DOE spends on providing healthful and delicious meals.” Though the 25 cent increase does not seem like a large amount, each quarter accumulates, per full priced child, to about $42 for the school year. Nearly a quarter million children in NYC eat full price lunch so a pretty penny is made to pay for the increasing fees.
The reduced price lunch price, on the other hand, which was once 25 cents, is becoming free lunch due to the fine line between families whose finances qualify for free and full price lunch. In order to avoid unfed children, the DOE decided that the small percentage of students who previously received reduced price lunch may as well be treated with the same benefits as free lunch students.