All middle, high school lunches may go to $2.75

Some school lunch prices may go up for sixth- through 12th- grade students when school resumes Aug. 23.

The District 51 school board is expected to decide at its next meeting Aug. 17 whether to eliminate the current span of $2.25 to $2.75 for secondary school lunches and simply have all lunches cost $2.75.

Another option the board may consider would be to charge $2.75 for high school lunches and charge $2.50 for lunches at middle schools.

The second option was discussed at a board work session Tuesday after School Board member Leslie Kiesler said she worried meal price increases would be difficult for some struggling families to adjust to.

District Nutrition Services Director Dan Sharp said at Tuesday’s meeting the $2.75 price tag would help make up for a ratcheting down in the federal reimbursement rate that helps keep school meals affordable.

Having all secondary meals cost $2.75 would raise $95,000 to plug an expected $105,000 gap due to the federal reimbursement change, according to Sharp.

Sharp also discussed new efforts to make school lunches healthier this year, including a garden at Wingate Elementary that will supply vegetables for students there, and asking schools to join an effort to be a USDA Team Nutrition School by emphasizing exercise and nutrition at school.

Board members also asked the district at Tuesday’s meeting to move forward with logistical efforts to start a non-profit foundation that would collect monetary donations for district use. The board also approved a contract extension for First Student Inc. to provide school bus service to District 51 students at least through June 30, 2015.


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