Moray Council needs to ask secondary school pupils why they are not taking advantage of their free school meal entitlement.
The call comes as figures show 65% of eligible young people are not taking up the offer.
It means about 365 secondary pupils are going without their free lunch.
Elgin Academy has the lowest uptake rate of only 24%.
And while the highest is at Milne’s High School in Fochabers, that figure is just 49%.
365 secondary pupils missing out
Take-up at Buckie High is 29%, it is 31% at Keith Grammar and 33% at Elgin High.
Lossiemouth High has a 47% rate, with 43% at Forres Academy and at Speyside High in Aberlour it is 37%.
Figures were collected between October 31 and November 4 last year.
Chairwoman of the council’s cost-of-living working group Bridget Mustard is keen for young people to be consulted on the issue.
The group is promoting free school meals uptake.
While there has been a slight improvement recently, Mrs Mustard feels take up numbers are too low.
She said: “When young people go to secondary school they get a new found love of freedom. And there’s the draw of the high street.
“When there’s an option of a bag of chips or a salad, the salad’s not always the choice.
“But how do you explain 49% at Milne’s, 47% at Lossiemouth and 24% at Elgin Academy?
Only 24% free school meals uptake at Elgin Academy
“Honestly, if we don’t know why then we have to go back to the young people and ask them what is preventing them taking their entitlement.
“It’s important to understand why – it’s not for adults to speculate.”
Recent figures show Moray’s secondary school roll stands at 5,388, with 561 entitled to free school meals.
The low uptake rate is included in a report going to the education, children’s and leisure committee on January 25.
In the report officers recommend that the free school meal allowance paid onto pupils’ Young Scot cards daily, is released so they can get food at morning break.
The issue was raised first by Buckie High pupils in February last year.
They were concerned some young people were arriving at school hungry, and the impact of that on their ability to learn.