Singapore: School Meal Prices On The Rise, Government Promises To Keep Them Affordable

Jody Seah, who is in Primary 4, spends a significant portion of her lunch money on fruit slices from the school cafeteria. However, as of late, these treats have caused the 10-year-old girl’s wallet to feel progressively lighter.

The price of a slice of watermelon has increased to 40 cents from its previous price of 30 cents, while the price of a slice of dragon fruit has increased to 60 cents from its previous price of 30 cents.

Her mother, a public worker named Jeslyn Seah, who is 39 years old, said that she has not had to raise her child’s $2 daily allowance as of yet, despite the fact that she is aware that the cost of food is increasing. “With increased costs in oil, electricity and other things, increased canteen food prices are imminent,” she said, referring to the impact from factors like war and supply chain disruptions.

It was announced on July 2 that the Ministry of Education (MOE) has amended school canteen pricing standards in light of rising prices both domestically and internationally. The most recent evaluation was conducted in 2018.

The goal of these standards is to keep school cafeteria meals reasonable while yet allowing stallholders to make a living, it said.

It is recommended that schools routinely change the pricing of their canteen meals to reflect the true cost while yet keeping the selections accessible, as stated by MOE. “Canteen stallholders who feel that their food prices are unsustainable can approach the school with proposals, and the schools will evaluate such requests in line with the guidelines,” it added. Food costs have increased somewhat in certain elementary, secondary, and junior college institutions.

There have been price increases in the canteens of elementary schools in both Chinese and Western cuisine.

Parents are keeping a careful eye on this trend, stating that the price rises are tolerable at this point.

During the month of May, Singapore’s core inflation rate rose to 3.6%, the highest since December 2008 when it reached 4.2%.

On July 4, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said the government would do more to mitigate the effects of a planned increase in the goods and services tax in January of next year if the economic situation worsened dramatically.

Students from low-income households may expect considerable subsidies from the MOE or from school-based help to keep meals affordable. There is a $2 subsidy for seven meals per week for students in government and government-aided schools whose monthly gross family income is less than $2,750, or the monthly per capita income is less than $690.

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