School Lunch Fees Going Up in Austin
By Emily Zendt
The price of lunch in Austin schools will go up 10 cents next year, thanks to a new federal mandate.
The district now charges 20 to 40 cents below the new base rate requirement. As a result, the price of school lunches will increase over the next few years and help pay for healthier options.
“We’re increasing the portion sizes on our fruits and vegetables, and that’s to not only encourage the children to make those selections but to fill up on those items instead of the items they’ve had a tendency to possibly fill up in the past,” said Debbie Bading, president of the Texas Association for School Nutrition.
The increases will bring prices closer to what the government pays schools in reimbursement for free lunches. If districts meet the new regulations, they will be eligible for an extra 6-cent reimbursement come October 1.