Should students have to pay for school lunch?

Students and teachers share their opinion on whether students should have to pay for school lunch or not


Genesis Rivera

Mrs. Rodriguez takes lunch money from a student.

Genesis Rivera, Writer

According to, Only 50% of public schools in Florida are eligible for free lunch. This leaves many students hungry from not being able to pay for their lunch.

Schools benefit from students’ success such as test scores, profit, and more. However, some believe that in order for students to succeed in school, they must be adequately fed.

“If by benefiting the school, I believe we are talking about students’ success and if students are adequately fed, the school and the students are both meeting their goals; the students get a hopeful nutrition filled lunch, and the school sees the results from that nutrition,” Social Studies teacher Craig Richman said.

Richman believes that students should not have to pay for lunch due to the student not having any money. He explains his experience of not having school lunch as an example of his opinion.

“When I was a 6th or 7th grader in Middle School, I was an honor roll student, straight A’s. I remember always being able to get lunch by the chief lunch lady, maybe I just was full of charisma. One day, I came home and told my mother that I did not eat lunch one day and she said why, and I said because I didn’t have any money. She called the school and spoke to the principal who said that it was policy that if you did not have money, you should not be able to eat lunch. My mom lost respect for this principal after this incident. This makes me believe strongly that all students deserve a free lunch,” Richman said.

Some students believe there could be a way to benefit both the school and the students by school lunch. Freshman Valorie George shares how the parents’ income could create this balance.

“I think they should base whether or not someone should have to pay for school lunch based on a parent’s income so that the school can know whether or not someone needs to have free lunch or not,” George said.

George also believes that it is a necessity for the school to provide the students with school lunch. She explains that meals such as breakfast and lunch may increase the student’s mood.

“I think this way would benefit the school by providing some sort of income while still being available for students because it’s part of the school’s job to make sure students are safe and happy. Someone can’t be happy if they haven’t had breakfast or lunch all day,” George said.

Others believe that it is irrational to charge students for lunch due to taxes. Social Studies teacher Mr. Jeffery Childers argues that children should not only have the benefit of learning, but to also have the benefit of eating.

“We’ve long ago decided as a society that education is in everyone’s benefit. That’s why even though you’re not my children and I don’t have children, I pay for you to go to school with my taxes. Now I know nobody likes paying taxes, but we so happen to do that because of the intellectual formation and the human formation of the rising generation of people is the business of everybody,” Childers said.

Childers agrees that schools should not charge students for lunch when they are the ones who are going to lead the world after us. He states that eating school lunch is a benefit that every student should have access to.

“If there’s anything more fundamental to the formation of the next generation of people than learning, it’s eating. It seems to me absurd to deny food and drinks to students who are being formed into the people who will lead this world in the very near future when I just waste away and wither with age which I am not long far away from doing,” Childers concluded.