School cafeterias—de facto food hubs during the pandemic—are running out of money

Though schools may be closed nationwide due to the pandemic, many cafeterias continue to churn out meals for students, who rely on free and reduced-price lunches. In some regions, like New York City, grab-and-go feeding sites have pivoted to serve adults in addition to children, while in others, cafeteria workers are providing shelf-stable groceries to households who need them. Yet despite becoming de facto food hubs, school cafeterias are also rapidly running out of money, HuffPost reports. That’s because they are reimbursed by the government on a per-meal basis, and while revenue is lower than ever, costs are steady or rising. Schools still have to cover fixed costs such as nutrition worker pay, and they’re spending a lot more now on disposable packaging and delivery expenses. It’ll take an infusion of government funding to keep them running when the next school year comes around—whenever that is.