Westford School Committee members voted unanimously to increase school lunch prices by 50 cents this fall.
The district lost $128,026 last year from a decline in school lunch sales, according to a recap of Monday night’s meeting The Lowell Sun. Lunches have become more costly to make because Westford has been providing meals with higher-quality ingredients.
Up until this fall, lunch prices had not increased in four years.
According to The Sun, Superintendent of Schools Everett “Bill”
Olsen said reduced-price lunches will also increase slightly, but free meals to
households that qualify will continue to be offered. The highest price now paid
for lunch will be $3.25 for “super meals” available at the high school.
Lunches for high school students in the Concord-Carlisle district cost $3.50.
“Nobody likes to see prices increase or anything, but the nutrition enhancement does cost money,” Olsen said at the meeting, according to The Sun.
Westford’s new Food Services Director Colleen Wallace, who proposed the price increases, said only 60 percent of the 5,300-student population buys lunch.
Wallace said she would like to launch a marketing campaign to increase those numbers.
The district is planning on charging staff $3.60 a meal, but School Committee member Arthur Benoit said he would like to see staff to pay more.
“A $5 lunch at work is reasonable for most people,” Benoit said at the meeting, according to The Sun.
What do you think? Will it be cheaper to buy school lunch or prepare lunch for your child?