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As School Year Approaches, Parents Think About Kids’ Lunch Options

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IOWA  --  Parents are getting ready to start another school year, and for some that means deciding whether to have kids buy lunch at school or bring food from home.

Packing a lunch can save some money, but not all parents have the time to put the meals together.

The cost of school lunches at several metro schools are similar. Hot lunch in the Des Moines Public School District is $54 for elementary students and approximately $57 for high schoolers. Urbandale schools charge $50 for elementary and $58 for high school lunches, and elementary meals at Waukee schools are $54.

"It is pricey, though. And they charge per juice, per breakfast, it gets expensive," said Des Moines resident Maria Suvic.

Channel 13 took a look at prices of store brand products at Price Chopper. Packing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, juice, a granola bar, chips, and an apple cost $1.25 a day, or a little over $25 a month. This could mean savings of about $30 a month compared to school lunch prices.

But the monetary difference still seems like a good price to pay for some parents.

"I'm a nurse and I work night and I'm a single mom, so I just don't have the time," said Des Moines resident Emily Adams.

These total figures are based on the cost of 20 lunches per month.