DALLAS (Dec. 6, 2011) -- Beginning Jan. 3, school lunch prices at all Department of Defense Education Activity schools outside the continental United States will increase for the first time since 2004.

On Nov. 10, the military services approved an increase in the price of school lunches at DODEA schools in order to keep pace with increasing operational costs and comply with The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296).

The act requires participants in the Department of Agriculture meal program to raise paid student lunch prices to a level comparable to the state subsidy rate used for USDA reimbursement.

"As the designated School Food Authority, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service provides school meals on a non-profit, break even basis," said AAFES spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Shrader. "In order to keep pace with increasing food and operational costs, and to be compliant with this new law, school lunch prices will increase for the first time in seven years."

The last price increase was 10 cents per meal in 2004. The 2012 increase will be 35 cents per full price meal making the new prices for elementary school students $2.40 and for secondary school students $2.55.

Families qualified for the Free and Reduced Meal Program will not be impacted by the cost increases and remain unchanged at a cost of 40 cents per meal.

The DOD School Meal Program meets the same USDA guidelines as those DOD schools within the continental U.S.

Page last updated Tue December 6th, 2011 at 00:00