Students will pay $1.75 a day for lunch, up from $1.50. But students whose family income makes them eligible for a price reduction will no longer have to pay anything, according to this week’s Principals Weekly, a bulletin that goes out to the city’s more than 1,700 school leaders.
Mayor Bloomberg’s budget plan originally called for the school lunch price to rise to $2.50.
From the Principals Weekly:
The price of school lunch will change in two important ways beginning on September 30:
§ Students who are eligible to pay reduced-price for lunch will receive lunch for free. Your school will no longer need to collect any lunch fees from students eligible for reduced-price lunch.
§ Students who pay full-price for lunch will pay $1.75, up from $1.50.
Before these changes go into effect on September 30, students should pay in accordance with their meal status from the 2012-13 school year (i.e. students who were eligible for free lunch during the 2012-13 school year should receive free lunch until September 30; students who were eligible for reduced-price lunch during the 2012-13 school year should receive lunch at a reduced price of $0.25 until September 30; students who were not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch during the 2012-13 school year should receive lunch at a price of $1.50 until September 30).
You should begin planning now to inform families of these changes using this letter (translations are here). If your school is planning to send any general school opening information home to families prior to the start of the school year, you should plan to include the letter (and a meal application, if possible) in the mailing. If your school is not planning to send any communications to families prior to the start of the school year, you should plan to backpack the letter and a meal application home with students during the first week of school. Note that meal applications (and most translated applications) were delivered to your school in June.
Beginning next week, families can submit meal applications online at https://www.applyforlunch.com/. Because students who have been eligible for reduced-price lunch in prior years will receive lunch for free when these changes go into effect on September 30, you should highlight that it is more important than ever before for families to complete the meal application. Families should apply online or return completed meal applications to your office by September 30.
You may find the following background information helpful if you receive questions from families about the changes, and you may opt to share this FAQ with your parent coordinator to help respond to questions from families:
§ The price of lunch has remained constant at $1.50 since 2003. This is the first price increase in ten years.
§ Meal costs have risen significantly over the last ten years as food and labor prices have increased and as efforts to improve the healthfulness and taste of food have been implemented; current lunch fee proceeds no longer cover the cost of lunches served.
§ Federal nutrition guidelines have increased the amount of food that students are served, doubling portion requirements in many cases.
§ Breakfast continues to be free for all students.