School lunch prices increase
Lunch prices have increased from $2.75 to $3 for the 2017-2018 school year. Reduced lunches have also increased from 25 to 40 cents.
Each year, Walnut High School adjusts its lunch prices to align with the cost of food for public schools, determined by the state of California. A recent minimum wage increase, which in turn increased the cost of living, may have contributed to this change.
“I suppose [the school] is justified in increasing the prices so that [it doesn’t] lose money. I haven’t noticed [a difference in the food quality], but that’s not saying much because I always get the same thing. The obvious con is that people will have to pay more for their lunch if they aren’t buying the reduced cost lunch, and that’s bound to catch some people’s attentions, but the change is minimal enough to ignore,” sophomore Ken Cheng said.
Reduced lunches are based on socioeconomic factors, and the state sets the regulation for who qualifies for reduced lunches based on income. The school itself generates no profit from lunch sales. Each year, the Walnut Valley Unified School District creates a budget for the three years ahead, which includes nutrition. Then, that budget is fine-tuned every year to insure that the district doesn’t lose money from unsold food.
“Mostly [I feel] annoyed. I understand that the school needs to raise lunch prices, but the price was already increased last year. It’s not worth waiting in such a long line for lunch anymore. I’ve started to bring lunch from home now, [and it] is starting to become a hassle, mostly because I have to make it myself,” senior Emily Wang said. “The food has not improved, and it takes so much longer to actually get your lunch now. Not everyone wants to make lunch either, so they just have to deal with the price increase.”
By Nicole Chiang and Irene Zhou, News editors Photo by Airi Gonzalez