Fort Plain raises school lunch prices for grades
K-3 to coincide with federal regulations
The Fort Plain Central School District Board
of Education voted to increase the cost of lunch for students in
kindergarten through third grade by 30 cents at its regular meeting
on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Lunch will now cost $1.80 for all grades in the
Breakfast costs will remain the same.
The increase coincides with the federal
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which mandates schools to serve
healthier food starting in the fall. The act also requires districts
to maintain their paid school lunch prices on an equitable level
with the free and reduced lunch reimbursements from the federal
National Food Service Program.
The requirement – referred to as the “Paid
Lunch Equity” rule – state that the price of a school lunch paid for
students will be at least the difference between the federal
reimbursement rate for a free and paid lunch. Right now, the
difference is $2.51 a meal.
“The increases in lunch prices are a part of
the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act because the government is trying
to make sure that schools are spending enough money on school
lunches,” said food service director Lauri Dahlin.
“Hardly any districts charge $2.51, but many
have systems in place to increase lunch prices to that. Unless the
reimbursement rates change, the price of a school lunch will
continue to rise.
The new nutritional standards require schools
to offer fruits and vegetables every day of the week, serve only
fat-free and low-fat milk varieties, and include a minimum amount of
whole grains. The rules also set calorie limits for students based
on grade level.
The standards represent just one of the five
major components of the act championed by the First Lady Michelle
Obama as part of her Let’s Move! health and wellness campaign. The
goal of the program is to combat childhood obesity and teach
children healthy eating habits.