AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – There’s no such thing as a free lunch and for Aiken County students those lunches could cost more next year.
A 2010 law requires schools to charge students the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement.
If the Aiken County Board of Education’s proposal is passed school lunches are going up 15 cents next year.
“Everything is going up all the time,” said Rebecca Shealy, a parent.
Shealy’s daughter Kennedy won’t start school for another year, but the budget-conscious mother is not looking forward to expensive lunches.
“I don’t think they should. I don’t think they should raise the cost, no.” Shealy told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
To comply with the “Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act,” signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, the Board of Education has no option but to increase the school lunch prices.
Aiken County students, who pay for meals, are charged less than the requirement set by the federal statute.
While the prices of breakfast will remain the same at $1.75, lunch prices for elementary schools students will go from $2.30 to $2.45.
For middle and high schools lunch will increase from $2.45 to $2.60.
“That could be difficult for some families, I mean that’s why we pack lunches everyday, because it ends up being less expensive over the week.” Nicole Juhan, another parent, said. “It’s also hard though too, because a lot of families, both parents work, so parents having time to make lunch and worry about that when they have all the other responsibilities is very difficult I’m sure.”
Still parents feel if the school district has to increase the price, they should consider expanding the options for students.
“Also the quality of the lunch is not that great, from what I’ve heard from several different districts.” Shealy told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “It’s not that good quality lunch anyways. So I don’t think they should raise the price.”
This school year lunches went up 15 cents from 2015.
The B.O.E. will be voting to approve the increase in meal prices on Tuesday night.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest details on this developing story.