On the rise

Global crises result in higher cafeteria prices

Jessie Norwood and Caroline Ohlandt

Cafeteria prices at South are rising as sanctions are placed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, Tim Almy, Quest Foods General Manager, said. Additionally, he noted ongoing supply chain issues due to the pandemic are complicating food production throughout America.

“When you stop the supply chain, it’s like stopping a river,” Almy said. “Industries, factory workers, [and] transportation all affect the foodservice industry, and [global conflicts] stop the supply chain.”

Like other goods, dairy prices have risen 21 percent since September, Almy explained.

“Since the fall, gas has risen $1.60 and those charges are passed on to [Quest],” Almy said. “It’s greatly affecting us and we have to try and make up those costs as a business. It’s tight right now.”

Junior Dana Thurnell found herself unable to justify buying food from South’s cafeteria due to the increased prices this year.

“I used to buy lunch at school fairly often [my] freshman year, but [now] it’s so expensive that I can’t [buy] it [anymore],” Thurnell said. “It makes more sense [for me] to go out for lunch since the food will be cheaper. I am lucky to be able to get lunch from home, but I would have a legitimate problem with getting lunch if I didn’t.”

Despite increasing prices, South strives to serve all students and provide financial aid for those unable to afford food being served in the cafeteria, Chris Gilmore, Quest District Manager, explained.

“Quest will adjust as much as we can to make sure we’re limiting the amount of price hikes that we have to pass on to [South] students,” Gilmore said. “Our responsibility [is] leveling the playing field [for students] as much as possible by providing nutritious, cost-effective meals.”

Gilmore maintained Quest’s intention is to ensure price inflation is not affecting students’ decisions in regards to food options in the cafeteria.

“We provide multiple options [for free and reduced meals],” Gilmore said. “We try to offer a [number] of things so there’s more choices and students [can] make their own choice about what they want to eat.”

Noah Oberbroeckling contributed to this story