ERIC Number: EJ797210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-7
Reference Count: N/A
As Food Prices Rise, Setting Menus Is Cause of Heartburn for Schools
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v27 n36 p1, 15 May 2008
With food and fuel prices increasing sharply, food and nutrition directors in school districts around the country are finding themselves facing some uncomfortable choices. In some districts, school lunch menus are being pared down to fewer selections, instead of the array of healthy options districts would like to offer. In other areas, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are substituting for fresh. Many meals directors say they are going to have to ask their school boards to consider raising prices to keep up with the cost of the food that is going on plates. The Congressional Research Service, which shares public-policy analysis with elected officials and the public, released a report April 10 that laid out a web of factors that have led to the largest annual jump in U.S. food prices since 1990. Corn for ethanol fuel is competing for space with food and feed crops; poor harvests have reduced food supplies; rapidly growing economies in nations like China and India are increasing demand for food; and transportation costs have increased because of higher fuel prices. The rapid increase is following a period of relatively stable food prices. So, much like retail consumers, administrators of school food programs find themselves squeezed because not only is it more expensive to produce some foods, it also costs more to move the food from one location to another.
Descriptors: Fuels, Transportation, Public Policy, Costs, Food, School Districts, Lunch Programs, Dining Facilities, Nutrition, Federal Legislation, Educational Finance, Budgeting
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States