An Increase in Lunch Prices Sparks Student Animosity


Students are paying for lunch now.

Madelyn Stumbo, Staff Writer

Buying lunch at Sam Barlow High School this year costs $2.80, and students are unimpressed. Compared to the free lunches of last year, this is a big adjustment for many students, who will either have to pay for lunch or bring their own food from home. Although this change hasn’t affected all students, it has left many students abandoning school lunch altogether. 

“Last year I got lunch from school, but this year I have to pack my lunch every morning because I can’t buy lunch every day,” voices one student. Many other students echo her complaints with similar stories of not being able to afford the cost of school lunches, or not being willing to pay the price every day. $2.80 may not seem like much for one lunch, but it can add up to $14 a week, and over $50 a month. Families may run into problems deciding whether to pay the fee or meal plan ahead of time to bring food to school. Some students admitted to not even eating lunch at all, some due to not wanting to pay, and others because they had forgotten to pack a lunch ahead of time. 

Students seem very apathetic towards the quality of food given to them by the school. “The meat tastes raw and is a funny color,” comments one student. “The pizza is too cheesy and the quality is bad,” adds another. Overall, the majority of students aren’t pleased with the food provided, and several of the students were upset that the change in price didn’t increase the quality of the food. The only consistently positive feedback towards the lunches was about the fries and tater tots. They were praised for their color, flavor, and even temperature. The consensus from the students was that if the quality was improved they were more likely to get school food, but the current options provided just aren’t worth the extra couple of dollars. 

The vast majority of high school students who responded about school lunches had started bringing lunch from home, despite getting school lunch last year. The convenience of grabbing a free school lunch rather than packing one has been taken away, leaving more students even more upset about school lunches. The price change will take some time for students to get used to, whether that be paying each day or packing food in the morning. The attitude towards cafeteria food has taken a turn for the worse, and public opinions on school food are much lower than they were before.