School lunches may go up 25 centsBy REBECCA LEFTWICH
Addressing a mandate from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which governs the National School Lunch Program, the Coweta County Board of Education is expected to approve a 25-cent increase in school meal prices for the 2012-13 school year at its Tuesday meeting.
The Coweta County Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. at 237 Jackson St., Newnan.
“This reflects a gradual increase to cover the whole cost to prepare and serve full-paying students,” said Superintendent Steve Barker, who is proposing the 25-cent increase.
A USDA memorandum sent to child nutrition programs across the nation says schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are required to adjust prices to cover per-plate averages.
“They put out guidance on what paying students’ cost for meals should be nationally,” Barker said. “They have a formula they use to calculate that, to equalize the plate cost to the actual cost that we charge the student.”
The USDA’s formula includes not only food, but labor and other costs associated with preparing and serving school meals.
“An increase would get us closer” to the average of $2.51, Barker said.
Board members also are expected to adopt a resolution for Maggie Brown School, Coweta County’s alternative middle school for grades 6-8.
“It allows us to continue that program,” Barker said. “It’s an annual resolution that we send to the state board.”