Breakfast and lunch prices are increasing for the 2017-18 school year, primarily because of the amount of fruit required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.
Breakfast will cost a nickel more, and will run $1.50 for elementary students and $1.70 for middle/high school students. Lunch prices increased a dime, to $2.75 for elementary, $2.90 for middle and $3 for high school students.
At a recent meeting, food services director Rhonda Vincent told school board members the latest changes to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act will have no impact on the meals being prepared for either breakfast or lunch. A few years ago, limits for meat and grains were removed and the schools began serving larger portions, reducing complaints from middle and high school students who said they were still hungry after eating.
"Our meals all exceed the minimum requirements for fruits, vegetables, grains and meat/meat alternatives," Vincent said. "In fact some days we have trouble fitting everything on their trays."
Sodium, fat and calories are still closely monitored under the school nutrition program.
While all schools in the district serve breakfast, the state's "breakfast after the bell" policy requires a nutritious breakfast be provided for all students free of charge if at least 70 percent of students in that school qualify for free or reduced priced meals.
At Lincoln Elementary School, now in its second year of the program, 66,500 breakfasts were served in the classrooms -- an average of 400 per day. This fall the program expands to BELA preschool. Countywide, over half of Delta County students qualify for free or reduced lunches.