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No price increase recommended for school lunches this fall

The price of School District 833 lunches will remain the same when school opens in the fall if the Nutrition Services budget is approved when the school board meets May 21.

A $527,264 projected deficit for the 2009-2010 school year is being projected, but it can be covered by unallocated money in the department's budget. In the current economy, it's not a good idea to increase lunch prices, according to Nutrition Services Director Barb Osthus.

The department is self-supporting and receives no money from the district's general fund, according to Osthus.

Elementary student lunches are $1.70 and middle school and high school lunches are $2.

In an effort to continue offering students more healthful food choices, ala carte French fries at junior high schools were reduced from being available every day to three days a week this year and will be totally eliminated next year when buildings become middle schools for grades six to eight.

Osthus said the move was made after a survey of families of middle school students revealed a majority preferred eliminating deep-fried French fries.

"We want kids to have healthy school lunches," Osthus said.

Board Member Leslee Boyd is not sure parents asked for their children's opinions when filling out surveys. She asked if Osthus would survey students in late fall.

If kids don't like it, lunch participation will go down, Osthus said. "I guarantee that we will hear about it," she said.

Boyd said students "should have a voice."

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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