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The price of a school lunch will increase by at least 10 cents in school districts across the region, with additional price hikes to be phased in within the next five years, according to state and local school officials.

Children who buy lunch at public schools across Western North Carolina will face the first of several cost increases this fall, in keeping with a new federal rule released back in February.

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We contacted school officials across the 17-county region to ask about the costs of school lunch and how many students are receiving free or reduced-price lunches. Here’s what we found:

Reporter Susan Andrew contributed to this report.

Hank Shell

Hank Shell is a contributing reporter and photographer with Carolina Public Press. Contact him at

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