Federal Government policies, rising food prices and labor formed the magic three that brought Emery County School District Food Services Director Jeneane Warren before the school board on Wednesday to petition for an increase in meal prices for the district.
“As much as we hate to,” Warren admitted, “it’s come to the point where we really are needing to.”
The district has raised meal prices for adults in the past, but in the end the raise for meals across the board has been deemed necessary to continue to qualify for reimbursements from the federal level, which are a key part of the program.
The rise in prices, which will be $.10 for meals excluding any reduced meals, is projected to result in an approximate yearly increase of $35.20 per student.
Elementary lunches are projected to run at $1.85, with junior high and high school prices totaling $2.35 and $2.60, respectively. Costs for breakfast will equate to $1.35 for elementary students, $1.50 for junior high and $1.70 for high school. Reduced meal prices, which are established by government officials and not subject to change, will remain at $0.40 for lunch and $0.30 for breakfast.
“In 2014 when I had my administrative review,” Warren shared, “the state had me calculate labor and food costs per breakfast and lunch.” The result, according to the director, was a total of $3 for breakfast and $4 for lunch.
“So, they’re still getting a great deal,” Warren said.
Other lunch and breakfast-goers besides students, however, will be charged either the $3 or $4 as such numbers do not qualify for reimbursements.
“Well,” expressed board president Laurel Johansen, “we want to keep the quality there too. We want to make sure they’re getting what they need.”
The price raise was passed by the board and is projected to take effect in the 2016-2017 school year.