Lunch prices could go up again in District 196
Increases are due to federal mandate, officials say
Lunch prices may go up slightly in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District due to a new federal mandate and rising food costs.
The School Board is considering a 10-cent increase for lunch at the district’s elementary and high schools. The proposal made April 30 would also raise lunch prices by 10 cents for adults in the district.
If approved, the price of lunch would increase to $2.20 at the elementary schools and to $2.35 at the high schools. The price of lunch for adults would jump to $3.40.
Lunch prices for middle school students would remain the same at $2.25, and breakfast and milk prices would also be unchanged.
Board Member Rob Duchscher noted that the district wouldn’t have to raise its lunch prices had it not been for a recent federal mandate.
“I think the federal government has forgotten what local control means,” he said.
The federal Healthy Hunger-Free Act of 2010 requires more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole-grains and low-fat dairy items be served on all school menus.
District 196 has voluntarily used healthier products, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, for several years, district officials say.
The mandate also strives to ensure schools have equity in school-lunch pricing by providing the same level of financial support for all students.
Lunch prices were increased by 5 cents for the 2011-2012 school year as a result of the first year of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act requirements.
Prior to the mandate, the district subsidized its lunch program, in part, through its a la carte program. The mandate prohibits such an exchange, said Jeff Solomon, finance director for District 196.
The latest proposal will go before the School Board May 14 for a vote. If approved, it would go into effect during the 2012-2013 school year.
District 196 could lose its federal funding for the lunch program if it decides to reject the proposal.