Purdy School District approves higher meal prices

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Costs to rise 25 cents per meal beginning in August

Meals will cost more in the Purdy R-2 School District this fall, as school board members voted to raise the fee by 25 cents per meal with the beginning of classes.

"With federal requirements for food prices, we've dodged this for several years," said Steven Chancellor, Purdy superintendent. "We don't have a choice."

Breakfasts will now cost $1.25 for students and $1.50 for adults. Lunch will cost $1.75 for elementary students, $2 for high school students and $2.25 for adults.

"The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education audits lunch prices, so they're not giving us more money than we are charging," said Anna Marie Erwin,

board secretary.

Milk prices factor through a separate bulk purchasing agreement with other districts and will not be affected.

To maintain a lower price, Board President Randy Henderson said the district would have to break its contract with Springfield Grocers which includes meal planning and monitoring compliance with federal expectations.

"If we don't raise prices, when we turn in our reports, the USDA will say 'We're giving you too much,' and we could jeopardize our free and reduced meal reimbursement," Chancellor said.

Other districts provide the service at a lower cost per meal by selling more meals, Chancellor added. Last October the district sold almost 400 lunches less than the previous year, or about 100 meals less a week.

"We're definitely not making money with the meals," Chancellor said. "We're likely to lose a little."

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