Government Regulations Force Increase in School Lunches

July 29, 2016

 

 

by Len Lathrop

The Hudson School District’s lunch program is self funded, which simply means that no tax dollars are used in its operation. However, if you have a student at Alvirne High School you will be called on for 25 cents more every day, and for our smallest learners at the Early Learning Center, Nottingham West Elementary and Hills Garrison schools the increase is also 25 cents. The Hudson Memorial School lunch costs were increased last year and are in line with the federal guidelines.

The Hudson programs, which serve both breakfast and lunch for our students, are mandated to meet a price standard set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The intent of this regulation is to ensure sufficient funds are provided to run highly nutritious programs. While increasing the cost of lunches for a program that shows a positive fund balance each year seems unwarranted, the district is placed in a position where it has no options. If the district does not meet the price standard, it will face a loss of federal reimbursements of approximately $437,000.

The funds generated by this price change will be used to improve the quality and variety of food offered throughout the district, specifically, as mentioned in a memo to the school board from Hudson Business Administrator Karen Burnell and Food Service Director Carla Anger that the food program will provide a wider selection of fruits and vegetables at all levels.

For parents whose child buys a meal each of the 180 days that it is available can expect an increase of $45 per year. Students in the elementary school will see the price moving up from $1.90 to $2.15, and at Alvirne the price rise is $2.50 to $2.75.

The Hudson School Board approved the suggested changes during their meeting on July 25 with a 4-0 vote. Member Ben Nadeau was excused from the meeting.