School lunches see first price increase in 7 years

Starting Jan. 3, school lunch prices will increase at all Department of Defense Education Activity schools outside the continental U.S.

On Nov. 10, 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 and Air Force Exchange Service provides school meals on a nonprofit, 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 10 cents per meal in 2004. The new increase is 35 cents per full-price meal, making the new prices $2.40 for elementary students and $2.55 for secondary students.

Families qualifying for the Free and Reduced Meal Program will not be affected by the meal cost increases. The cost of a reduced-price meal will remain unchanged at 40 cents.

Wholesome, balanced meals are vital to the academic achievement of school-age 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. Actual meal preparation costs range from $5 to $6, depending on the region, day and meal selection.  

For more information on Free and Reduced meal eligibility requirements, contact the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart School Liaison Officer at 430-7465/civ. 0711-680-7465. For information on the School Meal Program, visit