View Full Version : How much do you pay for school lunch?

04-29-2008, 12:01 PM
Teachers pay $1.75 for lunch here. We get the same things the kids get, just more of it. We also have the choice of a salad, but must call the lunchroom before 9:00 am tolet them know we want one. Sometimes we get extra treats like homemade bread or cake :). Kids pay $1.25 here. Our lunchroom staff still makes all our hot rolls, peach crisp, cakes, etc. from scratch.

04-29-2008, 12:21 PM
I have never eaten in our cafeteria, but I am pretty sure it is $2.50.

alrac llennod
04-29-2008, 12:28 PM
Where I am, the teachers pay $2.35 or if we get dessert, $2.85. The students pay $1.75 or $2.25 if they get dessert.

04-29-2008, 12:32 PM
Wow, I'm feeling ripped off. I seldom eat school lunch, because teachers pay $3.10, and most lunches are made up of premade items that are simply heated and served. Our elementary students pay $1.85 and high school students pay $2.25.

Chef Dave
04-29-2008, 12:55 PM
Our school cafeteria charges adults $2.00 and high school students $1.50. Portions remain the same.

The student operated restaurant in our culinary arts department sells meals for $1.00-$2.00 depending upon the item being sold. We do not differentiate between students and teachers.

Today we offered:

Slice of deep fried turkey with mashed potatoes, gravy, mixed vegetables, and buttered corn on the cob for $2.00

Pizza bread or pepperoni hot pocket or sausage pizza: $1.00

Unlike the cafeteria, the cost of a beverage is not included with the meal. We offer 16 oz. medium drinks for $.50 and large 24 oz. drinks for $.60.

Beverages include: Pepsi, root beer, Dr. Pepper, coke, sierra mist, fruit punch gatorade, fruit punch, energy sobe, peach punch, grape punch, and Crystal Light orange-pineapple.

04-29-2008, 01:51 PM
holy crap, I lose, we pay 3.25 for basically the same crap the kids get. They pay $2.

needlesstosay, I bring my lunch and just eat it in there with friends.

04-29-2008, 02:27 PM
Wow. We have to pay $3 and it is the same crap they feed the kids. I do not eat the food at school!

Chef Dave
04-29-2008, 03:04 PM
When I was an elementary teacher back in Texas, students paid $1.50 and adults paid $3. What ticked me off was that adults were paying for what was essentially a child's portion.

I recall one year when my class was one of the last classes to get a plated meal. The cafeteria had severely underestimated how much beef stew to make - so my kids got gravy with no meat and just one or two pieces of vegetables.

I complained - not just on behalf of myself since I was paying $3 for milk, gravy, and bread ... but for my kids, many of whom relied on the Federally funded breakfast and lunch.

I essentially had to shame the cafeteria manager into giving each of my kids a cheese sandwich to go along with their pathetic little tray.

04-29-2008, 05:12 PM
i eat last lunch and it pisses me off when they run out of food for the teachers. I remember one time, when I actually as eating lunch in the cafeteria, I was reaching for ahamburger as a lunch lady was attempting to take the tray of burgers away. She told me "wait, I need that for the kids, we are running out, out there."

I told her, "too bad so sad, it's my lunch, too, and I get first dibs over a student on the last burger" she was upset but I ate myself a burger.

The lunch staff better start projecting better in the future. I learned how to do that at wendy's in college at 18 y.o., I think they can figure it out themselves.

04-30-2008, 05:30 AM
As a parent, I want to point out something to the teachers, and it is something we pick up on in dealing with the school staff. Some are very caring and put the children first (See Chef Dave's post #8), and some are still relatively immature and compete with the children (See ChocolateNew Orleans post # 9).

I use the contrast in those two posts because they are right together, and the attitudes were so opposite.

I really like to see the "kid's first" attitude in a teacher.

04-30-2008, 06:07 AM
In a pinch, a teacher can get food sent to the school office via take-out. At least, I would hope it would be that way. If there isn't enough in the cafeteria, the kids should get it and the adults should get to order in. It probably doesn't work that way, though.

At my level, the children eat in the classroom. The food is free for them. Most of the children are low-income and will recieve free lunch upon entry into elementry school anyway.

Teachers really don't have time to eat. They are serving the children and monitering the tables. During naptime, the adults can have something. However, it is brought from home and is usually something small.

Chef Dave
05-04-2008, 09:32 PM
In a pinch, a teacher can get food sent to the school office via take-out. At least, I would hope it would be that way. If there isn't enough in the cafeteria, the kids should get it and the adults should get to order in. It probably doesn't work that way, though ...

It depends upon when your lunch schedule is. When I was an elementary teacher, 4th grade usually ate around 11:30 AM. Pizza places won't deliver until 12 noon ... and since we only had a half hour for lunch ...(grimace)

This is why I always kept a six pack of sodas and some granola bars in the bottom of my desk drawer at school.

Of course, now that I'm a chef instructor, I have full access to all sorts of food at any hour of the day ... :)

I especially like having a crushed ice dispenser and two beverage fountains that carry a total of nine different products.

avid reader
05-05-2008, 11:57 AM
We pay $1.83 if we get just the main entree, if we get a full lunch it is $3.85 and we don't get anymore then the kids. The students pay $1.50 for lunch and most of our high school kids either buy 2 lunches or extra stuff. We do have a good choice they have chicken wraps, chicken strips, a salad bar, and pizza every day. The best thing they serve is taco salad once every 2 weeks. The rest of it is ok, but for the most part I don't buy because they charge too much.

05-05-2008, 04:43 PM
First, I want to say that cooks have a hard job and they should be applauded for what they do. At my school, we really do have decent lunches. There are days that I can't stomach it, but that's just because I don't like what they're serving and not necessarily because the food is bad.

When I do eat in the cafeteria, it's $3 for a full tray. If you don't get a full tray, you're charged per item.

05-06-2008, 10:14 AM
I would love to buy lunch from my school, but the quality is very poor and they charge teachers over $3 for a very small quantity. When I asked the lunch manager why we pay more than the students for the same amount, she said their lunches are subsidized. After that, I started going to McDonalds for chicken nuggets-3 times the food for the same price. I'm interviewing at a school right now, however, that caters lunch three times a week for teachers-can you imagine! It's a private school-guess they really do have it good!

Hermione-love your screen name!!

05-06-2008, 03:25 PM

05-06-2008, 03:42 PM
Teachers and students both pay $3.00 for lunch. It is very nice quality food, so three bucks is a good deal. We can also pay just $1.50 for pita chips and hummus. There are vending machines with healthy options and prices ranging from 50 cents to $1.50. We also have open campus to teachers and students with a nearby grocery store and several restaurants. Our options are endless!


05-06-2008, 07:41 PM
I have no clue how much teachers pay at our school. I use my lunch hour to grade papers, make copies, etc. I just eat an apple or some peanut butter crackers.

05-07-2008, 07:57 AM
Ah, an apple and the teacher... :)

05-07-2008, 08:15 AM
We had roast beef and gravy yesterday with mashed potatoes and homemade hot rolls. The rolls are the best! Sometimes they have extra dough left and make a loaf of bread for the teachers. Lunch $1.75

05-07-2008, 09:02 AM
I pay 2.50 for breakfasts and lunches... it used to be 2.00 & 3.00 respectively, but they went to a punch card system (due to cafeteria staff stealing cash?) so now you buy a one week card from the front office for 25.00 and it's good for ten meals. (I don't buy breakfast, so lunch prices went down) The kids eat free (private school) but I will be interested to see if our cafeteria goes corporate like Marriott, or Aramark, or something. Then instead of what we get it will be the same food all of you get. Which wont seem like much of a change until we get close to the order of food coming in. Right now, the menus are retched near the end of the month when we get a nasty bologna sandwich instead of sliced ham roast or something similar.

05-11-2008, 03:48 PM
We pay $2.50 and receive the same amount that the kiddos get. I rarely buy school lunch, but I do like their veggies (cabbage, baked potatoes, etc.)


Chef Dave
05-11-2008, 04:01 PM
Given the sharp 7.4% wholesale food costs over the past year, I think food costs for all cafeterias will go up when the new school year begins.

The only reason they haven't gone up already is because prices have been "locked in" by contract either for the year or for the semester. Once this school year ends, the current wholesale prices will be voided. Unless the Feds pick up their funding, cafeteria food costs could go up as much as 50 cents.

05-12-2008, 05:11 PM
I agree with you Deb. What kind of good teacher would cop an attitude like that? Any caring adult would let a child eat before themself, wouldn't they????? But back on topic...Adults at my school pay $2.60 and the kids pay $1.75. We get the same sized portion which I still don't understand. Seems like age discrimination to me!!:)

05-14-2008, 02:16 AM
In the Uk food prices have risen by 19 % and school meals are not protected. Teahcers pay 2.50 per meal the children pay 1.95 but the portions differ substantially so it is all good.
We have been designated " healthy eating school" consequently the menu reflects this there is rarely anything on the menus that involves anything not deemed healthy by the powers that be.
Having visited America...albeit it was Florida I find your notion of portions to be slightly large for the average person I do not think I ever finished a meal I had there.

Chef Dave
05-14-2008, 06:41 AM
Having visited America...albeit it was Florida I find your notion of portions to be slightly large for the average person I do not think I ever finished a meal I had there.

Yes, portions in an American restaurant tend to larger than those found in Europe. Many of our fast food restaurants also offer "super size" options which have contributed to a national obesity problem.

If you were to visit a school, you would find that portions are geared towards children. Several of the recurring comments in this thread have been complaints from teachers who have paid "adult" prices only to receive "kid" portions. Having been an elementary teacher, I can attest to the fact that this problem is prevelant at elementary schools because child portions are smaller than they would be for high school students.

In the United States, our public school cafeterias receive Federal subsidies to offset the costs for providing free meals to children from needy families. Unfortunately, food prices have gone up so quickly that the production cost of a meal has outstripped the Federal subsidy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture currently gives schools $2.47 per lunch to serve free meals. The average lunch now costs schools $2.70 to $3.10 to produce.

This is part of the reason why schools serve dinky portions to teachers while charging them "adult" prices. This is also why some schools, depending upon state school nutrition laws, supplement their lunch sales with the sale of cookies, chips, and other products that are not necessarily healthy (when consumed in excessive amounts) by children.

I estimate that in my department, we've lost about $2500 because our building administration mandated fixed prices for the student operated restuarant run by the culinary arts department.

Insofar as we receive no Federal or State subsidies, we have had to buy everything we have produced. I am pleased to say that my lobbying efforts have finally paid off. Starting next year, I'll be able to sell food products for production costs plus a modest profit.

05-14-2008, 06:59 AM
...and what do you know about coffee sir?

Chef Dave
05-16-2008, 06:51 AM
...and what do you know about coffee sir?

We don't sell coffee at our student restaurant ... but given a choice between tea and coffee, I'd go with coffee.

When I ran my Bed and Breakfast Inn, I only used freshly roasted coffee beans. I ground the beans myself and brewed coffee for my guests.

Are you a coffee drinker perchance?

On the rare occasions that I drink tea, I prefer a hearty brew of tea leaves and spices from the Kashmir province of India. (It reminds me of my boyhood since we summered in Kashmir on old British Imperial houseboats.)

Most tea served in the United States is insipid tea flavored water produced by companies like Lipton.

05-16-2008, 06:56 AM
Yes I am a coffee addict ....columbian and italian beans my favourite.

I do drink tea but prefer Yorkshire tea to anything from the colonies ...you can't beat the great english cuppa ducks! You are very widely travelled, are you american, or do you actually hail from foreign parts?
hmmm why does that sound wrong...ok are you a non american? ok thats pc gone crazy....but you know what I am typing I hope.....

05-16-2008, 06:58 AM
We get free lunches up to $3 a day, and a free drink.

We are on a menu system where parents are billed for it, and it works really well. But, we are a private school.

In Public school, I never ate in the cafeteria. Couldnt tell what it was. lol

Chef Dave
05-16-2008, 07:30 AM
I do drink tea but prefer Yorkshire tea to anything from the colonies ...you can't beat the great english cuppa ducks! You are very widely travelled, are you american, or do you actually hail from foreign parts?

I'm ethnic Chinese but am part of the first generation of my family to have been born in the United States. Insofar as my father was a tropical disease specialist with the U.S. Public Health Service, I was raised in Ghana, Thailand, and El Salvador.

I attended private international schools through the end of my sophomore year in high school. My father then transferred back to the states and I was enrolled in a public school ... what you would call a "state school."

Since public schools are responsible for educating everyone, regardless of whether or not they want to learn, I found the school to be singularly unchallenging. I subsequently graduated a year early and entered college when I was 16.

As a teacher I have worked primarily in Texas but also spent 8 years in the Middle East.

What about you? Have you always lived in the Greater Manchester area? I regret that I am not familiar with this area. During previous trips to the U.K. I typically boarded a train at King's Cross and traveled up to York or Edinburgh.

I must admit that there is nothing quite so pleasant as to enjoy tea time on a train whilst watching the British countryside roll by. The greenery of the countryside was also a welcome change from seeing the endless sand dunes of Arabia. :)

05-16-2008, 08:48 AM
My father was italian and my mother english so I think of myself as more european than british. I was not born in Manchester my parents moved there from the country when my father got his promotion.

I have travelled a great deal and spent quite a lot of time in italy....but england is my home I do not really like hot climates...an english summer is ample heat for me.

York isnt that far from where I am and I love to shop there it is so quaint...edinburgh is a must see for everyone...did you visit the castle whilst there?

Chef Dave
05-16-2008, 09:30 AM
... did you visit the castle whilst there?

Absolutely! I even had tea there! :)

Tea time is one of the many British customs that I heartily approve of. This custom is regretfully almost non-existent in the States.

05-16-2008, 11:07 AM
Absolutely! I even had tea there! :)

Tea time is one of the many British customs that I heartily approve of. This custom is regretfully almost non-existent in the States.

I agree! Whenever I know someone going to Asia or the Pacific Rim, I ask them to bring me back some tea! There is nothing more relaxing than a cup of Jasmine tea while sitting in the pool..........

05-18-2008, 05:28 AM
Here, the students pay $1.75 and the teachers pay $2.75 for the exact same portion. Milk and dessert is included, but if they want chips, ice cream or gatorade, they pay extra. If students don't have money, they can get a free peanut butter and jelly sandwich or grilled cheese, but don't get the vegetables or dessert.

05-18-2008, 07:44 AM
Our school lunch price for students is going up to 2.00 next year...so I imagine it will go up more for teachers as well!

05-19-2008, 12:27 AM
Afternoon tea and fresh scones are the mainstay of our society. You don't call them scones you call them muffins or something else, I think our language really does seperate itself for food. We say crisps and you say potato chips, we say cakes you say muffins, you say burger and we say no thanks...........=)