School lunch prices will rise by 25 cents for the 2008-09 school year.

Thu, 07/10/2008 - 4:18pm
By: The Citizen

The Coweta County Board of Education raised school meal prices in response to rising food prices for school system cafeterias.  The prices will allow the school system’s cafeteria’s to continue to be self-supporting.

Elementary school lunches will cost $2,up from $1.75, and middle and high school lunches will cost $2.25,up from $2.  Lunch for school system staff and for visiting adults will cost $2.75, up from $2.50.

Breakfasts will cost $1. up from 80 cents for all students, and $1.50 for adults. The costs of milk and juice will rise to 50 cents, up from 40 cents.

Reduced price breakfasts will remain at 30 cents and reduced price lunches will remain at 40 cents for eligible students.

The school system’s food service program is a self-supporting program, meaning that costs for the cafeterias and meals are covered by the points-of-sale and by some federal assistance through the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program.

Rising food costs are affecting school cafeterias the same way they are affecting families, with costs for most items rising between 10 to 15 percent, said Superintendent Blake Bass.  The increase in school prices will cover the increase in costs for hot lunches and breakfasts.

The Coweta County School Nutrition program is committed to providing students with a breakfast and lunch program that meets student’s nutritional needs and prepares students for an academically successful school day. It is also a large part of school system operations. 

In the 2007-08 school year, the county’s school cafeterias served an average of 15,000 student lunches and 4,000 breakfasts daily over the course of the 180-day school year. The volume of service makes the school system the largest food service provider in the county (including private restaurants).

Student participation in the school lunch program has risen steadily as Coweta County schools have grown.  School nutrition officials believe student participation will continue to rise next year, as breakfast and lunch prices will remain an inexpensive alternative for student meals.

The budget for food service during 2007-08 was approximately $8 million.  Revenues come from points-of-sale in the cafeteria and the approximately one-third of Coweta students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, based on household income or other factors.

Applications for free and reduced price lunch are available for all schools, and can be picked up at the office or school cafeteria manager

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