Healthier food in schools may mean higher costs, funding shortage

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9 2012 11:07 a.m. MDT

Danely Higuera, left, and Cassandra Aguayo get lunch at Amelia Earhart Elementary School in Provo Friday, Dec. 16, 2011.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

ROGERSVILLE, Mo. — Healthier lunches are good for kids, but maybe not for the pockets of parents.

U.S. schools will soon offer healthier food in the lunch line, but rising prices due to recent droughts may mean the schools can’t afford it, according to South County Mail.

The Logan-Rogersville R-8 School District, located in Rogersville, Mo., saw bids on bread double in cost after switching from white to whole grain. Officials in the district are working with vendors to buy up foods before the price increases hit.

“It won’t be immediately, but into the fall and winter, we’re going to see an increase in food prices,” Dr. Shawn Randles, assistant superintendent for Logan-Rogersville District, told South County Mail.

The USDA says it costs about $2.28 to provide one student lunch, but most schools are already charging less, according to South County Mail. This has led many schools to find funding elsewhere.

Federal regulations from the USDA require schools to raise the cost of lunches or they will lose reimbursements, but prices can only increase by no more than 10 cents per year.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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