Seymour schools’ lunch prices increase

Lunch prices at Seymour Community School Corp. are on the rise again.

Families will pay $2.45 per meal beginning in August, an increase of 10 cents from the current price of $2.35. Adult meal prices will go up the same amount to a cost of $3.45.

Those who are signed up to receive reduced price meals will continue to pay just 40 cents.

The overall increase for students who pay full price equals around $18 if they eat lunch each day of the school year.

Prices for breakfast will not change, remaining $1.25 for full price and 30 cents for reduced cost for students and $2 for adults.

Bonnie Burbrink, food services director, said the lunch price increase is needed to meet requirements of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

That legislation requires schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program to make their paid meals more equal to the reimbursement rate for free meals.

To get to that level, the corporation would have to be charging $2.78 per lunch, Burbrink said.

Instead of jumping immediately to that price, the district has been increasing prices gradually, she added.

This makes at least the fifth year the district has raised its lunch prices.

The last increase made was for the 2014-15 school year.

“Last year we didn’t raise our prices,” she said. “We had enough of a cash balance available. If you have over a 3 month operating balance you aren’t required to change it. But that 10 cents really catches up with you.”

For the 2017-18 school year, the price will likely go up 20 cents, she said.

“We are trying to make it so that all of our meals bring us the same income,” she said. “This is making our paid meals more equal to the income we get for our free meals.”

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.