Soaring Foods Costs and School Food

April 24, 2008

by Rochelle Davis, HSC Founding Executive Director

As most of us have noticed in our weekly trip to the grocery store, food prices have been increasing.  While economists debate the reasons for these increases (rising transportation and energy costs, increased demand to use corn for fuel), a recent article in the Washington Post discussed the impact of higher food prices on schools’ ability to offer healthy lunches. 

Schools receive $2.47 per lunch served – this must cover food, labor and other related costs – which is only a 3 percent increase over last year’s funding, although prices have increased much, much more than three percent. (Milk prices went up 17 percent, bread prices went up 12 percent). 

Next year, Congress will be considering the Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which includes the school food program.  It will be important for them to make sure that schools have the appropriate resources to offer students a healthy meal.