Price of school lunch to increase

DALLAS -- Starting January 3, 2012, school lunch prices at all Department of Defense Education Activity schools Outside the Continental United States will increase.

On November 10, 2011, the military services approved an increase in the price of school lunches at DoDEA schools in order to keep pace with increasing operational costs and comply with The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296). The Act requires participants in the USDA meal program to raise paid student lunch prices to a level comparable to the state subsidy rate used for USDA reimbursement.

"As the designated School Food Authority, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provides school meals on a non-profit, break even basis. In order to keep pace with increasing food and operational costs, and to be compliant with this new law, school lunch prices will increase for the first time in seven years," explained U.S. Army Lt. Col. Thomas Shrader, an Exchange spokesman.

The last price increase was a $0.10 per meal in 2004. The new increase is $.35 per full price meal making the new prices starting on January 3, 2012, $2.40 for Elementary Students and $2.55 for Secondary Students. Families qualifying for the Free and Reduced Meal Program will not be impacted by the meal cost increases. The cost of a reduced-price meal will remain unchanged at 40 cents per meal.

Wholesome, balanced meals are vital to the academic achievement of school-aged children. The DoD School Meal Program meets the same USDA guidelines as CONUS schools by providing all of the important nutrients children need to be successful in school and healthy in the future.

For more information on Free and Reduced meal eligibility requirements, contact your installation School Liaison Officer. For more information on the School Meal Program, visit