DALLAS – All Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools outside the continental United States (OCONUS) will adjust school lunch pricing by 25 cents for the 2019–2020 school year. This change is due the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Public Law 111-296) which requires participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture meal program to raise paid student lunch prices to a level comparable to the rates used for USDA reimbursement.
Every year, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s school meal program provides 2.5 million lunches to Warfighters’ children at 80 Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific. The Exchange provides affordable school lunches as a service to the military community, pricing each meal, on average, approximately $2 below the actual cost of $5.50 per plate. DoDEA and USDA reimburse the Exchange for direct costs of the school meal program not recouped.
Nutritional standards for Exchange student meals are set by the Exchange’s registered dietitian in accordance with USDA guidelines. All menu items are baked and never fried, and meals must have zero grams of trans fat. All meals served must include a fruit or vegetable and adhere to nutrient standards for calories, sodium and fat for different age groups.
The lunch price for elementary (kindergarten through fifth grade) and secondary (sixth through 12th grades) students’ for the 2019-2020 school year will be $3.25 and $3.50 respectively. Breakfast prices (at participating locations only) for all grades will be $1.75. Per federal guidelines, families who qualifying for free meals receive lunch and breakfast at no cost, and families who qualify for reduced meals will still pay $0.40 per lunch and $0.30 for breakfast.
For more information on the Exchange’s school meal program, visit http://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/school-lunch-program.