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Schools in Tokyo exchange fruits for jelly when inflation bites

TokyoFor months, Kazumi Sato, a dietitian at a junior high school in eastern Tokyo, has been notified of rising raw material prices. ..

With the financial challenges faced by many of the student families in mind, local governments are reluctant to pass on the burden of more expensive school meals to them. For Mr. Sato, he constantly adjusts his lunch recipes so that the kitchen at Aoba Senju Junior High School fits within his budget.

She said, "I try to include seasonal fruits once or twice a month, but it's difficult to include them often."

Sato replaces expensive fresh fruits in Japan as follows: Jelly or homemade cake sliver. She decided to use a lot of bean sprouts as the cheapest alternative possible, but she's worried that if prices continue to rise, she'll run out of ideas.

"I don't want to be disappointed that children may find it a sad meal," she said.

Inflation is becoming an increasingly political issue inJapan, a countryunfamiliar with the sharp rise in prices of, and many. Households are feeling pressure.

For schools, rising food prices affect important nutritional sources for low-income Japanese families.

Recently, according to Mr. Sato, 18 liters (4.8 gallons) of edible oil cans are 1,750 yen ($ 12.90) higher than they were a year ago, and the price of onions has doubled. The government imposes strict nutritional requirements on public schools, so there isn't much that nutritionists can do before schools are forced to raise family prices.

Authorities want to avoid it. Because they know that poor families get nutritious meals at home. According to educators and civil servants, some children returning to school from summer vacation are visibly lean.

In Adachi-ku, Tokyo, lunch at a public junior high school costs 334 yen, of which 303 yen is borne by the family.

As part of the bailout, the country announced in April that it would provide funding to help schools absorb some of the rising cost of food. Adachi City plans to utilize these and its own additional budget so as not to burden the family.

However, Mr. Sato is worried about the prospect of further energy and food price increases, especially towards the end of the school year when allocated funds begin to run short.

"The rainy season ended earlier this year, so it could have a big impact on vegetables," she said. She said, "I'm worried about what the prices will be after the fall."