Beaufort News

Beaufort County school lunch prices to rise 5 cents next year

Students will pay a nickel more for school lunch next school year.

Prices will raise to $1.50 for elementary students and $2 for secondary students.

Prices will go up an additional five cents in the 2013-14 school year, to $1.55 and $2.05 respectively.

The Beaufort County Board of Education approved the increase Tuesday night on a 8-2 vote. Board chairman Fred Washington Jr. and member Julie Bell voted against the measure. Board member Steven Morello was absent.

The increases are required in order to retain about $6 million a year in U.S. Department of Agriculture reimbursements for the free and reduced-price lunch program.

District chief of operations Phyllis White said federal rules require the district to make efforts to charge within 28 cents of the $2.79 the USDA gives the district for each free lunch.

In an effort to meet that target quicker, board member Bill Evans suggested increasing prices by 15 cents next school year, and 20 cents in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

But other school board members said it would be best to minimize increases given the tough economy. Evans' motion ultimately failed on a 2-8 vote. Evans and Bell supported it.

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