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Meal costs increasing for city school students

The rising cost of food service will soon be passed on to thestudents of the Brookhaven School District, as the school boardvoted Tuesday to raise the price of school meals to adjust for thecost increase.

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrett said childbreakfasts will increase from $1 to $1.25 and full price childlunches will increase from $1.75 to $2 to cover an expected 15percent increase in the cost of school food services.

“If we don’t raise prices, we stand to lose money,” Barrett toldthe board.

Barrett listed several factors that have combined to cause theprice of food to increase.

“We’ve had a huge increase in food costs,” she said.”Everybody’s grocery bill is going up. Wages are increasing, so thecost of personnel is also going to increase. Fuel costs are alsoaffecting the cost of food. That shipping cost is passed on to usas well.”

Barrett said the increase in food service cost in December 2007was $30,000 more than one year earlier. The last time the schoolboard voted to increase the price of school food was two years ago,at the beginning of 2006, when prices increased by 25 cents.

Barrett said that the latest increase was unfortunate, but anecessary response.

“Certainly, I hate it anytime cost goes up for anybody,” shesaid. “But this is not a marked increase, not a huge increase.”