Lunches at city schools are not selling like proverbial hotcakes.
Why not? Two reasons, according to discussion at last Wednesday’s School Committee meeting.
First, the price for a school lunch rose this school year at the elementary and middle schools.
Second, students don’t seem to like the menu changes made to comply with anticipated state and federal regulations, particularly the wheat options.
School Committee member John Wells presented that information as chairman of the committee’s Finance Subcommittee.
The number of lunches served is down by “a good amount,” he said. He did not offer a more specific figure. The committee anticipated that fewer students would buy school lunches if the committee raised the prices for this school year, Wells said.
Other communities are seeing similar drops in students’ lunch-buying, he said, based on their food choices.
The committee will look at food choices here in February. The schools’ food and nutrition services manager acted pro-actively in changing the menu, according to Joesph Elia, school assistant superintendent for finance and operations but, he said, Congress did not pass those nutritional requirements.
The price of an elementary school lunch is $2.25, up from $2; and a middle school lunch, $2.50, up from $2.25. The price of a high school lunch is $2.75.
Reduced price and free lunches are available based on a family’s income and other state criteria. Applications are available on line (woburnpublicschools.com). For more information, call the school Food and Nutrition office at 781-937-8210, x 133.
Breakfast is also served at three city elementary schools, Wells noted. They are the Shamrock, Goodyear and White Schools. Breakfast is also available at WMHS and both the Joyce and Kennedy Middle Schools. Breakfast costs $1; the reduce price is 30 cents.
The food served at city schools has to be nutritious, commented School Committee member Denis Russell, and also “what kids like.”