School lunches to increase for 2014 school year

by Celia Shortt

Students and adults will be paying more for school lunches in the 2014 school year, as the Coweta County Board of Education approved a price increase earlier this week.

The school board approved the 15-cent increase per full paying student and 25-cent increase for adult meals at their regular monthly meeting on July 8. With this increase, elementary school lunches are $2.50 and middle and high school lunches are $2.75. Prices for adult meals at all schools are now $3.

“It’s still a very good price for our meals,” said Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker. “Mrs. (Cathe) Nixon and her staff do a great job. Our lunches are well done and prepared well. They do a good job putting a menu together for us.”

A small portion of this increase is to be in compliance with a USDA requirement, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This act works to improve “the critical nutrition and hunger safety-net” for kids.

A larger part of the increase is to make sure the school’s nutrition program remains self-sustaining.

“The majority of the increase will cover the whole cost to prepare and serve full-paying students,” said Dr. Barker. “This will help provide the school nutrition budget adequate cash flow for expenses throughout the year.”

Even being self-sustaining, the school nutrition program does receive funds from free and reduced lunch paying students, but they must be able to sustain the program with the students who pay for their lunches.

“We did hold off on increasing these prices last year … but it is time for us to do that this year,” added Dr. Barker.

The school lunch program will still function the same way it has in the past. The only change is the increased price.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board:

•Approved Strawbridge, Inc.’s bid for the school photos in the fall of the 2014-2015 school year. The four picture packages range in price from $3 to $6. Strawbridge did last year’s school photos, as well.

•Approved the board Governance Training for Plan for the 2015 fiscal year.

•Approved the policy committee’s report and changes.

•Heard Dr. Keith Chapman’s financial report. Chapman is the assistant superintendent for financial services for the school system. He is estimating the school system will use $1.6 million from reserves. He also reported the sales tax numbers are still strong.

•Heard Dr. Barker’s updates on the school system’s construction projects. All are progressing and on track for the start of school.

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