The school cafeteria has been in two difficult situations over the past few years. The school lunches have consistently climbed, with the most recent addition of $.50 added to the lunches this school year, leaving the lunches priced at $5. Meanwhile, the Special Nutrition program reports the average school lunch in California only costs $3. And yet, the cafeteria is still hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
The transition from Burlingame Intermediate to BHS has created an impact on freshman, most of who come from BIS, where the lunch price is a reasonable $2.75. Their lunches include a main entree, sides of vegetables and milk. BHS, on the other hand, is pricing the same lunches $2 more. However, it is split as to how the quality of the food compares to BIS’ lunch.
“The [BHS Lunch] looks like something I could buy at a store, which I like about the lunch...And [BIS’] lunches were just nasty,” freshman Dean Belhoucine, said.
However, other students have an opposing view regarding the BHS’ lunches.
“For me, BHS’ [lunch] is pretty trash... Plus it’s $2 more,” freshman Bilel Harrat said. “I just feel that BIS’ lunch was much better for its price than BHS’.”
Although some students may feel cheated by their costly lunches, the Nutrition Services have a far different stance on the situation. Vicki Ottoboni, the Nutrition Services lead at BHS claims that the high lunch price is still not high enough to support the lunch program, even with the additional $.50 added to the lunch price this school year.
“$5 for a meal is really not that expensive,” Ottoboni said. “Because if you walked Burlingame Avenue and bought a Caesar salad, for example, you would probably pay 10 or $11.”
“We don’t raise prices every year…even though we should,” Ottoboni said, citing labor costs, food costs and benefits.
“But we are a break-even program so our goal is to break even… but we’ve never broke even. We’ve always been hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. But at this school and throughout the district, we seem to be selling more meals, more snacks or drinks,” Ottoboni said. “So hopefully it’ll be better.”