Expense vs. Quality: Are Minnetonka High School’s Lunches Overpriced?

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Amy Renchin

Autumn Eversman, Staff Writer

When comparing prices from school lunches at Minnetonka High School to the average high school in the country, Minnetonka obviously has a higher prices. The average lunch price at Minnetonka is $3.15, while at most American high schools charge an average of $2.74; this means Minnetonka staff and students pay 31 cents over the national mean. Recently, Minnetonka High School was rated the best public high school in Minnesota, and the district is known for its wealthy residents. In fact, it is one of the richest districts in Minnesota. So it makes sense for the lunch prices to be higher, right? Or does it?

It shouldn’t be a big deal considering Minnetonka is a rich district. The parents should be able to afford lunches, shouldn’t they? Just because Minnetonka has some wealthy residents, that  doesn’t mean all district memebers have higher incomes; no matter upper or lower class, district members should not have to pay more than other schools. Fortunately, Minnetonka is able to help families pay for lunches with the money raised at events, such as the musical telegrams during ‘Heart Week’. Regardless of earnings, the prices adds up over time. 

According to Luke Rowan ‘23, he “[goes] through $100 every two weeks.” 

But, when prices from Minnetonka are compared to other schools, the quality of Minnetonka’s lunch food should also be compared to other high schools. Rowan, a former student of Breck Private School, comments on the quality of the food. 

“The food here is pretty close compared to [Breck]. But, I mean, this school has to feed fifty times more people because this is bigger,” he said. 

Considering that the tuition at Breck Private School is a little over $30,000 per year and Minnetonka has more mouths to feed than Breck, it is amazing that the quality of the food is comparable. 

According to Derek Nelson, a local employee at Minnetonka High School’s very own Olive Cart, “lunch is reasonably priced for what you can get for $3.15.” He also said “[Minnetonka is] one of the best districts for nutrition and the nutrition guidelines that [they] follow,” based on what he “[has] heard.” 

It is also important to acknowledge that the famed Cove at Minnetonka has baked goods bought from a local bakery. The school’s famed banana bread may be $1.60, but after considering it’s from a bakery, the price makes sense. To determine if a price is fair,  it’s important to consider the resources needed to make and transport it. If the price of school lunches needs to be lowered at Minnetonka, it needs to be lowered everywhere else as well. 

Minnetonka’s food may be higher priced compared to other high schools in the United States, but overall, it has better quality compared to other districts, making the food worth the price.