Fast Food Sometimes Cheaper than a School Lunch

Have it your way at Penn Manor?

Maybe not.

These days everyone is trying to cut costs and get more bang for their buck. Food is no exception.  Surprisingly, fast food prices tend to be cheaper than our school lunch prices for many of the same items, but at least one local high school’s lunches are even pricier.

“I pack my lunch because the school prices are higher than I would like them to be,” said Penn Manor freshmen, Anthony Cozolli. “A lot of families apply for reduced lunches but make just a little too much to qualify,” Cozolli added.

Over 30 million students receive subsidized lunches nationwide.

Many fast food prices are lower than ours and many items available to Manheim Township students are cheaper as well.

For example our fries are $1.50 while Manheim Township’s are only $1.00. The same is true for the fries at McDonalds and Burger King.

Lunch prices rise almost every year, but is that increase in price justified?

Penn Manor cafeteria employee, Vonda Smoker, explained that it is costing the school a lot more to provide the same food this year.

U.S. Foods, Reinhart, and Feesers all supply the bulk of Penn Manor’s food, and some of them raised their prices this year, however; our school didn’t increase the price of main line lunches, Smoker said.

“You guys are getting an even better deal this year than last,” said Smoker, noting that the cost of food is higher but not the cost of lunch.

Some students think school lunch costs a little too much. One student is sophomore Ellen Blazer .When compared, Penn Manor’s hamburger, is listed at $2.oo a full dollar more than at McDonald’s.

“That is ridiculous,” said Blazer, “overcharged for poor taste”.

The lunch ladies, including 14 year veteran Lisa Caldwell, don’t agree..

“If kids take advantage of what they get then it’s a better deal,” said Caldwell. “Kids don’t get milk or fruit because they don’t want it and it ends up costing them more.”

Milk and fruit are cheaper in school than almost anywhere else.

Penn Manor’s prices exceed fast food prices and, in some cases, the prices of both Conestoga Valley and Manheim Township’s lunch.  For example those two schools main line lunches cost $2.00, $2.05 respectively. Hempfield’s costs a whopping $2.85. Our main line lunch cost $2.15.

These prices may be driving some kids to steal.

“Yeah, (students are) stealing a lot,” Caldwell said with a grin.

Caldwell explained that once a student is caught stealing they are sent to the administration office for disciplinary action.

Packing and stealing just to avoid high lunch prices? Would Penn Manor be better off sending a truck out to McDonalds, buying bulk, and reselling it?

“It would be nice to have a dollar menu here,” said senior, Kyle Haines

Even if Penn Manor would buy their burgers from McDonalds for 1$, they could resell then for $1.40, which would still be less than the price of burgers on this cafeteria menu this year. They could do the same thing with nachos, which are only $1 at Taco Bell and chicken sandwiches only $1 at McDonalds.

By David Mohimani and Jake Shiner

2 thoughts on “Fast Food Sometimes Cheaper than a School Lunch”

  1. WOW! this is a very good observation. That surprises me a lot. It is hard to believe that fast food can be cheaper. I also think that the school lunches arent high quality at all.

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