APS to raise lunch prices, returning to pre-COVID standards

Published 7:00 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

During Monday night’s Austin Public Schools Board Meeting, the board approved a raise of 10 cents that will affect lunch prices at schools across the district.

However, the move isn’t anything new, but rather a return to paid lunches as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to APS Executive Director of Finance & Operations Andrew Beenken-Adams, APS was able to take advantage of a federal waiver program during the pandemic that allowed for free lunches through the National School Lunch Program.

“When COVID hit, they decided they were going to offer the ability … to basically allow free meals to students all day under a set of qualifying criteria,” Beenken-Adams said.

This waiver was made available to schools with a free and reduced lunch participation in excess of 50%, which APS has.

Lunches were free through the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, but since then those waivers have expired.

“Now we have to transition,” Beenken-Adams said.

The price of lunch for elementary students will now be $2.60, grades 5-8 will change to $2.70 and grades 9-12 will change to $2.80 effect next school year.

Breakfast prices will remain at no charge.