Board hikes school lunch pricesPublished 11:02am Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The peas and carrots on the trays of Fergus Falls Public School students just got a little more expensive in the hope that they will become a bit more nutritious as well.
The School Board passed a resolution Monday to raise lunch prices for K-12 students, following mandates from amendments in the federal government’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
In the elementary K-5 schools, lunches will be $1.95 per meal for the 2013-2014 year, and 6-12 secondary school prices will be $2.10 per meal – an increase of 10 cents for both from the previous year.
To encourage healthier school lunch programs, the federal government has mandated an increase in lunch prices, with a set goal of an average $2.59 per meal.
Schools are allowed to increase the prices incrementally, meaning more price hikes are to follow.
Board member Matthew Lemke pointed out that, because the school’s lunch program has broken even financially to date, there would be a surplus in the future.
Superintendent Jerry Ness explained that the increases are most likely an attempt to get more fresh fruits and vegetables on school menus, and to enhance the quality of equipment to prepare foods more nutritiously.
The resolution did not pass unanimously, despite the regulation being part of federal law.
“This is really an increase of several hundred dollars for some families,” said Darrel Tungseth, the only board member to vote against the measure.
“I realize we have to do it, but we have people getting wound up about little tax increases. I’d like to see them getting wound up about this and contact their congressman and senators to see if we can’t get some sense into the program.”