"There needs to be a reality check," said Diane Duncan-Goldsmith, director of food services for the Iowa City school district. "Is this something schools can do? Maybe if we want to have $4 or $5 lunches."
Not to sound cavalier, but that sounds cheap to me. I spend most of my income on food these days, but given that it has helped me cure my illnesses, I don't think it's a bad deal. No $12 a week Prilosec or $30 a month asthma medication. People discount health too much. An extra dollar or two for a child's lunch might mean thousands of dollars saved if that child can avoid the health problems that plague typical Americans.
It does leave less money for other things though. I'm sitting here typing wearing a skirt from my freshman year of high school and a shirt from last year's dorm lost and found "abandoned and free" box. I spent spring break working on a farm instead of in Cancun.
If I didn't live in a "slave cell" AKA graduate student housing, I could spent a lot less though. I know a couple that spent less than their usual budget on food when they ate 100% local because they had to stop eating out and going to bars. Keep your own garden and it goes down even more.