School lunch cost to increase for 2011-12
USDA requires BPS to charge more for meals
BREMEN — The cost of school lunch for a student at Bremen Public Schools will increase 15 cents per meal this fall.
The increase stems from the USDA Child Nutrition Authorization Act Sec. 205, which requires public schools to charge an amount that is equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement.
Bremen Public Schools is reimbursed $2.72 for every free lunch served and 26 cents for every paid lunch served. The difference is $2.46.
While the USDA expects schools to charge that amount, a deadline was not given to implement the full increase. Schools that charge less, such as Bremen, are required to gradually increase their prices over time until they meet the requirement.
While BPS could charge $2.46 for lunch, and will eventually be mandated by the USDA to charge that much, school officials decided to only charge $2.00 for the coming school year. This is a 15 cent increase over the current price of $1.85 per lunch.
“I thought we should just start out with a 15 cent increase,” said Hope Andrews, food services director. “Next year, I may have to up it more, I don’t know.”
Adult meal price is determined by a different formula that includes the average cost per lunch from the previous school year, a 4 percent inflation rate and the meal value of the USDA-donated foods. Next year, adults will experience a 30-cent price increase for lunch, going from the current rate of $2.55 to next year’s rate of $2.85.
For breakfast, both students and adults will see a 5-cent increase. Students will go from $1.05 to $1.10 and adults will go from $1.25 to $1.30.