4/22/16 Board mulls lunch price hike

Board mulls lunch price hike
The Times-News 4/22/16  
Reprinted with permission.      

   The Alamance-Burlington School System could raise school lunch prices by 10 cents to $2.55 for students not receiving free and reduced-price lunches.

   The federal government reimburses ABSS’ child nutrition services for both paid and free lunches, but much less for paid lunches. Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, school districts are required to make up the gap between the amounts the USDA is paying for the paid and free lunches, but districts can raise lunch prices only 10 cents at a time.

   School systems that charge less than the target price are required to increase prices gradually until they meet the requirement, or return thousands of dollars to the USDA.

   Schools may choose to cover the difference with nonfederal funds instead of raising paid meal prices. They also can charge more than the target price if they choose.

   Some districts get waivers to avoid raising prices — ABSS has in the past — but they have to meet requirements, such as having three months of operating expenses on the books of their child nutrition departments.

   The Alamance-Burlington Board of Education will vote on the price increase Tuesday at its meeting in the boardroom of the ABSS Central Offices, 1712 Vaughn Road, Burlington.