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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Meals to cost more at Lafourche schools

Meals to cost more at Lafourche schools

Lafourche Parish students who do not qualify for the free- or reduced-price school lunch program will pay more for their meals this coming school year.

Parents can expect to pay as much as 30 cents per meal.

Elementary students will be charged $1.25 for breakfast and $1.65 for lunch – 30 cents more.

Middle school breakfast prices will be $1.55, while lunch will increase to $1.55 – 20 cents more. High school meals are $1.60 for breakfast and $2.10 for lunch – 10 cents more.

Adult meals will increase by $1, making the new price $5.

According to Lauren Fletcher, director of the district’s child nutrition program, approximately 60 percent of the entire Lafourche public school student body participates in the free- or reduced-cost program.

Fletcher said the National School Lunch Program helps subsidize a portion of the deficit between dollars collected for the meals and the actual amount spent making them.

Currently, 55 percent of the Lafourche public school student body receives free meals. Five percent are enrolled in the reduced-price program. Fletcher said 20 percent of the district’s student population pays the full price to eat breakfast and lunch.

The remaining students bring meals from home or opt out of the school program, she said.

According to a report in the Daily Comet, Fletcher said the school district served 2.5 million meals last school year.

Lafourche spent on average $4.26 to produce each meal. The cost, the nutrition director said, includes ingredients as well as maintenance and labor. Fletcher said each lunch, for example, was sold at a loss of $1.26 per meal.

The district spent more than $1.5 million to support the meal program, Fletcher said.