What are your thoughts on free and reduced price school lunches?

As I fill out the paperwork for my daughter to begin another school year, I find myself stuck on this page that tells how to apply for free or reduced price lunches online.

I am stuck not only wondering if I should apply, but also trying to decide how I feel about the program in general.

My daughter’s school charges $1.25 per breakfast and $2.65 per lunch. Reduced price is 30 cents per breakfast and 40 cents for lunch. (Free meals are, of course, free.) … I am going to be honest here and say that the normal prices are hard on my budget. But 2 meals for 70 cents? I am ashamed to pay so little. So where is my happy medium?

I don’t know about other schools, but my daughter’s district has been computerized in the lunch department for several years now. Would it be that hard to add another tier where parents like me pay maybe 75 cents per breakfast and $1.50 per lunch? This is closer to what it would cost me to prepare her food at home, but she would get the health and variety of school lunch.

For now, the obvious answer is to feed my daughter breakfast at home and pack her lunch for school. But I know there are going to be times when she wakes up late, forgets her lunchbox, or simply prefers what the school is serving. What then? Do I set a monthly budget to put on her account and tell her that’s all she gets? Or do I fill out this application so she can eat as many school lunches as she wants?

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