City schools hike prices for lunch

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Students at Brookhaven schools should pack a little extra changein their book bags for lunch.

The Brookhaven School District has raised its rates for payinglunch customers by a quarter for students and adults.

“We went up (on lunches) to $1.50 this year for paying studentsand $2.50 for adults,” said Tanya McSwain, director of foodservices for the district.

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Lunches last year were $1.25 for students and $2.25 for adults,which includes some faculty and staff.

Breakfast prices in the district also increased – from 50 to 75cents for students and from $1.25 to $1.50 for adults.

“We made those increases to bring us up to the state average,”McSwain said.

School districts each year receive a listing of lunch prices indistricts throughout the state, she said, and the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict was well below the state average.

Free and reduced lunches, federal programs based on householdincome, were not increased. A federal cap of 40 cents for lunchesand 30 cents for breakfasts already had been met.

McSwain cited higher food and transportation costs in theincrease.

The district cafeteria program was not affected by theLegislature’s failure to fully fund education, she said, but theprice increase will allow them to do more.

“We are completely self-supporting,” she said. “The districtdoes not have to fund us.”

It is the first increase in school lunch prices in theBrookhaven School District in at least seven years, McSwain said.She became director at that time.

Beau Simonson, who became director of child nutrition servicesfor the Lincoln County School District on July 1, said the districtis not increasing its lunch prices this year.

Brookhaven’s new prices match those of the Lincoln Countydistrict.

“These are the same prices we had last year,” Simonson said.

Simonson agreed the prices are about equal with the stateaverage.

“If anyone’s is different, it’s only by a quarter or so, but Ithink this is pretty much where everyone is,” he said.

With its higher school lunch prices, the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict joined a trend of hikes occurring nationally thisyear.