Southampton’s lunch prices to climb

Published 1:18 pm Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Southampton County Public School system will increase the cost of its school lunches by 5 cents per meal for the 2015-16 school year. This marks the third-consecutive year that the cost of lunches will see an increase because of a federal mandate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, which the school board was compelled to approve at its meeting earlier this month.

That means that the cost of an elementary school lunch will rise to $1.95, while the cost of a secondary school lunch will be priced at $2.15. The increase only applies to student lunches and will not affect staff, faculty and visitor lunches.

The reduced-price for lunch, 40 cents, will remain the same for those who qualify based on income guidelines.

The mandate was issued by the USDA as part of the National School Lunch program, and will put the school’s prices in compliance with the department’s reimbursement plan. Schools within the program are reimbursed by the federal government a specified rate for each meal that is served in its cafeterias.

Southampton will receive $3.06 back from each free lunch served, $2.66 from each reduced-price lunch and 36 cents from every full-priced lunch.

More than 45 percent of students at Southampton County Public Schools receive free or reduced-price lunches.