WAKE COUNTY (WTVD) --The Wake County Public School System is increasing meal prices for the first time in six years - each meal will cost a quarter more.
Child Nutrition Services Director Paula De Lucca says they need to increase prices to balance the budget.
"We've had some (state) mandated wage increases and interestingly enough, the 25 cent increase only matches the cost to provide the additional wage increases and the bonus from last year so we still have to do really well to use our resources to the best of our ability," De Lucca said.
If a child purchases lunch at school every day, it will cost parents $45 more per school year. Parents with children attending schools in the district have mixed reactions about the increase.
"I know that there are people that struggle to afford to pay for the lunch prices as they currently are so I think it's unfortunate that prices do have to rise," said mother Andrea Overfield, whose 5-year-old daughter, Alta, starts kindergarten next week. "It's our first experience in the school. We were planning on packing our lunch to send to school anyway just so I can make sure that she's getting a very nutritious lunch."
"I don't see it being that big a concern being that it's only happened in 6 years," said father Chris White, who has a 5-year-old son, Jonah, and 2-year-old daughter, Ailey. "They do have things in place where if you need assistance in getting lunch for your kid you can do so but $0.25 not that big a concern."
Children will see other changes in the cafeteria. De Lucca is working on adding seasonal items to the menu, such as a turkey pot pie and chicken soup for the fall.
New Wake County Public School System meal prices are:
$1.25 for elementary school students and
$1.50 for middle and high school students
$2.25 for elementary school students and
$2.50 for middle and high school students