Archive for Thursday, July 8, 2004

School lunch prices to rise a dime a day in Lawrence this year

District’s food services director says increase needed to keep pace with higher food prices, stagnant subsidies

July 8, 2004

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Lawrence school board members unanimously agreed Wednesday to add 10 cents to the cost of school lunches, the largest increase of three options under consideration.

Elementary students in the coming school year will pay $1.75 per lunch, and secondary students will pay $2.

District food services director Paula Murrish said the increase would generate an additional $65,948 annually for the meal program.

"Primarily, the reason for this is the increase in food costs," Murrish said.

Murrish had outlined three options for increases in student lunches for board members. One option involved a 5-cent increase in the cost of lunches for both elementary and secondary students. Another option had a 10-cent increase in lunches for elementary students and a 5-cent bump in cost for secondary students.

Board member Austin Turney said he felt better about the option to increase lunches for both elementary and secondary students by 10 cents.

"It will provide further protection in this upcoming year," from increasing district expenses, he said.

The district paid about $116,000 more for food during the 2003-2004 school year than in the previous year, Murrish said. Funding from the state and federal governments has remained stagnant, she said. Apart from the federal and state aid, the food program is self-sufficient in that it doesn't take funding from the district's general fund.

Board members Rich Minder, Sue Morgan and Linda Robinson were unable to attend Wednesday's meeting. Present and voting for the increase were members Leni Salkind, Turney, Leonard Ortiz and Cindy Yulich.

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