Perhaps this may be a tad early but schools will be back in session next month. Something going on right now will certainly have an impact on your local school’s lunch room.
This article at The Associated Press confirms something I have suspected…the skyrocketing gas and food prices will be hard on public schools and school lunches.
Even a one-penny increase in the cost of milk can cost the nation’s schools another $54 million, said Pavel N. Matustik, chief food services administrator of the Santa Clarita Valley School in California.
According to the article it costs well over $3 (let’s say $3.50) for a school lunch. The state reimburses the school only $2.57 per lunch. AND remember that $3.50 isn’t just food. That $3.50 has to cover the wages for the lunchroom staff, and operating the lunchroom. When everything is considered this leaves the school with about $1.00 per child for actual food according to Ann Cooper of Lunch Lessons. And that was when food prices were lower. Now that figure may be closer to .85 cents or lower.
How much quality are they getting for .85 to $1? Especially when the operating costs of most lunchrooms leave little room for them to do anything other than microwave convenience foods. This is very scary IMO.
Now might be a good time to start thinking about homemade lunches. Here are some articles and links that may help: