Thursday, October 15, 2015
WHY ARE SCHOOLS SELLING FEW LUNCHES?
On a typical school day in October 2014, over 30 million U.S. schoolchildren went through the lunch line. 72% received their meals for free or paid a reduced price, while the remaining 28% bought a full-price lunch. In recent years, the share of children paying full price has declined significantly, falling from 40% in FY 2008 to 28% in FY 2014. This drop partly reflects the growing number of students certified for free and reduced-price meals following the 2007-09 recession. But it also reflects the fact that fewer students who are not eligible for free or reduced-price meals are buying school lunches. USDA attributes the decline to a combination of factors—both economic and policy changes. These include rising food prices, reduced reimbursement, and updated requirements for foods and nutrients as well as new rules for revenues that must be obtained for paid meals.
Source: USDA, 10/6/15, School Lunch Participation