FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) – The first day of school is right around the corner for Wake County students, and some changes are coming the county’s school lunch program.

Families will pay $0.25 more per meal, with prices changing from $3.00 to $3.25 at the elementary school level and from $3.25 to $3.50 at the high school level.

“We did need to increase meal prices for this year. This is primarily because the reimbursement rates do not meet the expenses we have in order to provide service,” said Paula De Lucca, Senior Director of Child Nutrition Services for Wake County.

Eligible families can apply got free or reduced meals online or pick up an application at their child’s school. 

“Those students who qualify, some will receive a meal at no cost. Others will pay a reduced price, which is essentially 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch,” said De Lucca.

Any unused funds on a student’s account rolls over into the next school year. Families can also request refunds online or transfer those dollars to another student.

De Lucca said anyone looking for a refund needs to request it by Sept. 1.

Child Nutrition Services is also highlighting new menu options this year, as well as the school meal program’s commitment to teaching students about North Carolina agriculture. This farm-to-table approach will source many produce items, such as watermelon, sweet potato and apples from local farmers. 

“We’ll be introducing a sweet cracker that aligns with our farm-to-school item of the month. As well as a calendar for families that teaches kids about the growing and harvesting of these fruits and vegetables,” said De Lucca.

For more information on school meals, click here.