Federal funding for free school lunch gets cut

A cafeteria worker sets up the cafeteria before lunch. Photo by Isaac Janiak Stein

Students that don’t qualify for free or reduced lunch have to pay for school lunches again this year. 

During COVID, schools around the country were giving free school lunches to students due to the pandemic. The federal government provided extra funding for schools to ensure families struggling financially would have access to meals at school, even if they had not qualified before. 

Paying for lunch came back due to inflation according to the Bloomberg News. Students can still get free or reduced-price lunch if they qualify based on family income and federal poverty guidelines

Riverside’s lunch price this year is $3.75, and some students aren’t happy about it.

“It definitely makes me bring from home more,” said sophomore Atticus Kenya.

“I’m not a big fan of it because there are people who want lunch but they can’t bring money to afford it,” said senior Daisy Eller.

Some students also said that they could get a much healthier lunch under $4 than Riverside’s options, but others said that they still enjoy their favorite foods that the cafeteria hands out during lunch, which include pizza, mashed potatoes,and mac and cheese. 

Durham Public Schools still offers free breakfast to any student who wants it, regardless of family income. Several students believe these programs are important for the school and hope they continue to grow. 

“It allows less fortunate students to get healthy and safe meals instead of nothing at all,” said junior Andrew Oakley.

“I’ve noticed that more students have started to bring their own lunch since they can’t really afford it,” Said sophomore Jose Vargas-Baron Leon.

Leave a Reply