School Districts Increasing Costs Of School Lunches - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/17/04-Chapel Hill

School Districts Increasing Costs Of School Lunches

Long gone are the days when students needed just a nickle for milk money.
Chapel Hill ISD in Titus County is just one East Texas school district raising the costs of school lunches.
The district raised costs by 25 cents. BuLinda Burns, Director of Food Services for Chapel Hill ISD, said the rise in cost is due to new school nutrition standards from the state and higher food and transportation expenses.
"Milk, gasoline, food costs, some food items haven't gone up in a while," said Burns. "Now you are starting to have can goods that are starting to increase."
BuLinda said eliminating junk food and using fresh fruits and vegetables to comply with the new state guidelines can be costly, especially for her district of 865 students.
"You're having to buy 800 oranges, you're having to buy 800 apples, whereas with canned goods you may just use one and a half or two cases.
Texas is also restricting fried food, meaning many school districts must replace deep fryers with other equipment, an expense students are now paying for in lunch costs.
"We had to change and buy a new oven to be equipped and bake french fries for the snack bar," said Burns.
The price increases do not affect children who get free or reduced price lunches, but with continued spikes in food and gas prices, students in other districts may want to prepare to give out a little more at the end of the lunch line.
Other East Texas school districts that have increased the cost of their school lunches include Gilmer ISD where students there are paying 25 cents more for lunch.
Students in Mount Pleasant are paying 25 to 40 cents more for lunch, and in Marshall student lunches have gone up an additional 15 cents.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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