Wichita School Board approves school lunch price increase

Wichita Public School's lunch prices are increasing
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 3:35 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - After nearly two years of free lunches, parents in the Wichita School District can expect to start paying again.

The Wichita School Board approved a $0.25 increase during its meeting Monday afternoon. The district says the quarter price increase is due to the rising cost of food.

“We’ve seen as much as a 65 percent increase in some of our food products, down to 5-10%. So all of this, everybody feels it. As you go to the grocery store, you see increased prices. When you’re buying at this high volume, certain items have gone up significantly, simply because they’re tougher to find,” said Fabián Armendáriz, the Operations Division Director at Wichita Public Schools.

For parents wondering what they’ll be paying for school lunches next year, they will be $2.60 for elementary students, $2.75 for middle school students, and $2.90 for high schoolers.

Before the pandemic, roughly 75 percent of all students qualified for reduced or free lunches.

The district encourages families to apply for that program before the next school year begins. Applications will be available starting July 1, and they will be available when you register your student for the next school year.

Price increases in other districts

Wichita isn’t the only school district that will see the price of school lunches go up.

In April, the Maize Board of Education approved an increase in meal prices for the 2022-23 school year to keep up with rising food costs. Student lunch prices will be $2.55 for elementary, intermediate, and middle school student lunches and $2.85 for high school student lunches. Elementary, intermediate, and middle school student breakfasts will be $1.90 each. High school student breakfasts will be $1.95 each. And, the cost for extra milk will be 50 cents.

Maize Public Schools also announced that it would not offer free meals this summer. However, families can find a list of Summer Food Service Program locations by texting “Summer Meals” to 914-342-7744

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