Lunch prices to stay the same
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Mar 18, 2013, 14:09
The students of Hopewell City Public Schools will not see an increase in their lunch prices for the next school year. At the school board meeting on March 14, the board members voted to not increase the prices, overturning an action set by a previous board.
Ray Watson, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, told the board the current lunch prices for the district meet the federal regulations. A prior board had set a three-year increment change in lunch prices. Watson asked the board on Thursday night to postpone the third increment.
“You’re really changing the action of a previous board by not having it go up again next year,” Watson said, telling the board that the price can always be changed at a later date should the federal requirements change again.
In accordance with the National School Lunch Program, part of the United States Department of Agriculture, local lunch prices are determined, in part, by the amount of federal reimbursement given back to the localities. While the federal government does not specifically tell localities what to charge for lunches, the amount of the federal reimbursement depends on the prices of lunches.
The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program and under this program, schools receive cash subsidies for each meal that is served. Watson told the board the current price of a paid lunch is $2.30 meets federal regulations. A reduced lunch for students is currently set at $0.40.
HCPS receives back a reimbursement of $0.35 for each full price meal that is served, $2.94 for each free meal served and $2.54 for each reduced price meal that is served.
Another requirement of the National School Lunch Program is that the participating school districts must offer free or reduced priced breakfast and lunches to eligible students. Currently, 74 percent of the meals served at Hopewell City Schools are free and reduced.
The board also voted on Thursday night to change the price of breakfast. Watson told the board that the schools were charging the maximum amount, as set by federal requirements, for breakfast for the reduced price, currently set at $0.30.
“We’re asking you to reduce that amount because we think we can get more students to eat breakfast,” Watson said. “We know we need to get more students to eat breakfast.”
In a motion made to change the price, moved by Dr. Deborah Marks, School Board Member and seconded by Shirl Jefferson, School Board Member, and all board members voting “yes,” the reduced price breakfast will now be offered at no-cost beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.