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School lunch prices to increase

Article Date: 
11 May, 2012 (All day)

School lunch prices are on the rise.

Next school year, elementary lunches will cost 15 cents more (total new rate $1.70) while the middle and high school lunches will increase 20 cents (total new rates $1,90 and $2.05 respectively).

Changes in the federal nutrition program, as well as federal legislation, call for the increase.

Federal legislation from July 1, 2011, mandates that any food service programs receiving free or reduced subsidies must increase their paid lunch prices, ensuring that federal money is not covering paid lunch revenue.  Federal and state funding pays $3.19 for each free lunch given to students who qualify.

The result is an increase of 4.18 percent, or 10 cents.  Similar increases are expected each year for the next several years.

The remainder of the increase comes from a change in the nutrition program, requiring more fruits and vegetables on every lunch tray.  That means a “drastic” change to meal plans in the district, Business Administrator D’Lynn Poll said.

“Other districts in the state have started this, and they have seen food costs increase 30 percent,” Poll said.  “Since we’re not along the Wasatch Front, it costs us even more to have fresh produce delivered up to us.”

However, Morgan’s lunch prices are well below those of neighboring school districts.

The state average is $1.95 for elementary lunch, $2.21 for junior high lunch, and $2,19 for high school lunch.  The average of Box Elder, Davis, North Summit, Park City, Tooele, Wasatch and Weber school districts is $1,69 for elementary lunch, $2.02 for junior high lunch, and $2,19 for high school lunch.

District officials don’t expect an increase in school breakfast costs.