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Meal prices will increase in District 833

Meal prices will increase

It will cost more to eat breakfast or lunch at District 833 schools next year.

South Washington County Schools is bumping up meal prices 20 to 30 cents to address escalating food prices, a depleted Nutrition Services budget reserve and federal regulations.

Meal price increases for next year are:

— Elementary school: breakfast, $1 to $1.20; lunch, $2 to $2.30

— Middle School: breakfast, $1.40 to $1.60; lunch, $2.30 to $2.60

— High school: breakfast, $1.40 to $1.60; lunch, $2.35 to $2.65

— Adult lunch, $3.50 to $4

The increases are included in the Nutrition Services Department’s budget for the 2015-16 school year. School Board members approved the budget on a 4-1 vote Thursday. Katie Schwartz opposed it, and Tracy Brunnette and Katy McElwee-Stevens were absent.

Nutrition Services Director Kathy Grafsgaard said they understand price increases are difficult for families. The department will continue to try to control its costs without diminishing the quality of food provided, she said.

Federal law actually requires districts to increase meals by 10 cents to address a gap between what is charged for full-price lunches and the amount that districts are reimbursed by the federal government for those lunches.

Despite the price increase, board members said they support the department’s efforts to provide healthy meals at a reasonable cost.

“I couldn’t make a lunch for that price,” Michelle Witte said.