School lunch prices going up

Created: 07/22/2014 5:45 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

You may have to pay more for your child’s lunch next year. Prices in several suburban school districts are on the rise. People say it is because of a federal law. What does the law require school cafeterias to do?

East Rochester is one of several local school districts that will be raising the price of their school lunches next year. The biggest reason isn’t the price of food; it is the cost of some of the most sweeping changes to the school lunch program in decades.

The 2010 Hunger Free Kids Act raised the nutritional standards of school lunches requiring everything from more whole grains and more fruits and vegetables on lunch menus. The point of the federal law is to target obesity among children. One in three children in the U.S. is considered overweight or obese. 

The healthy foods cost more than junk food. Many districts say this has left them with no choice but to pass the costs on to parents.

Jodie Sigel, Monroe County School Boards Association, said, “I think that if people pay close attention to what food service directors across the nation say works and what had been successful in schools where these transitions have had a lot of creativity and recognize problems that people say are problems that are real and not just ignore them, then we have a chance of having the law rewritten."

Sigel does not think the prices will ever go back down. She says next year, parents can expect to pay anywhere from a dime to 30 cents more.

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