Food prices at elementary and secondary schools have skyrocketed — up 296% in April compared to the same time last year, according to new consumer price index data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The significant increase in school meal costs is much higher than the overall uptick of U.S. food prices, at 7.7% in the same year-over-year period.
Increasing food prices in schools was the No. 1 challenge reported by nearly all (99.8%) of the 1,230 school meal program directors surveyed for a January report by the School Nutrition Association. Additionally, 88.5% of respondents called these costs a “significant challenge.”