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Students to see small increase in the price of school lunch next year

WORTHINGTON -- Students in District 518 could see a projected 10 cent increase in school lunch prices next year, according to the school board's operations committee which met on Tuesday.

Due to the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama, the government will require school districts to raise its lunch prices to comply with the Department of Education and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) regulations.

The government currently reimburses schools per student meal; however, the price charged by schools is typically lower than the reimbursement rate, which is why schools will now be required to gradually increase the price of lunch in order to meet the reimbursement rate.

The law, which is intended to help address the issues of child obesity and hunger, will also require districts to increase the nutritional value of school lunches.

The district has historically increased the price of school lunches by five cents each year; however, the price was not raised for the 2010-2012 school year.

School lunches are currently priced at $1.45 at Prairie Elementary and $1.60 at Worthington Middle School and Worthington High School.

The legislation will not affect the price of breakfast.

In other business, the committee Tuesday:

* Discussed the upcoming survey-strategic meeting slated for April 18 and 19. Community members and district employees will have the opportunity to contribute in the process of developing this plan.

The public is encouraged to fill out a survey (which can be found on the district's web site by Thursday.

* Recommended the district pursue a contract with American Student Transportation -- a busing company based out of Maple Grove -- as its sole transportation provider for the 2011-2012 school year.

* Reviewed the status of ongoing district projects such as the tennis courts, rebuilding or resurfacing the Prairie Elementary parking lot and possible options for the WHS gym floor.

Items discussed at Tuesday's meeting will be presented for the full school board's approval at its next meeting on April 19.