Some local school districts are increasing the price of school lunches for the 2017-18 school year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture sets guidelines for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, a federally assisted meal program providing free or reduced price meals to low income children, according to the USDA. The USDA reimburses schools in the program for each meal served.
Schools that participate in the program must ensure funding is provided to cover the cost of meals served to students who aren’t eligible for free or reduced lunch, according to the USDA.
School districts may need to raise meal prices based on a weighted average formula provided by USDA, or transfer funds to the food service program.
The Rock Hill school district is increasing breakfast and lunch prices by 10 cents for the next school year. If the district did not increase prices, $167,261 would need to be transferred from the general fund, according to the district.
That brings elementary prices to $1.10 for breakfast and $2.20 for lunch. Middle and high school students will now pay $1.10 for breakfast and $2.45 for lunch.
On May 16, the Fort Mill school board approved a five cents increase to meal prices, bringing the cost of breakfast to $1.35 for all grades, said Leanne Lordo, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
Elementary lunch will be $2.25 and middle and high school lunches will be $2.50, Lordo said.
The York school district also has approved a 10-cents increase to lunch prices for next school year, bringing the price of elementary lunch to $2.35 and middle and high school lunch to $2.45, said Tim Copper, public information officer for the district.
The school board approved the increase at its May 9 meeting. Breakfast will remain priced at $1, Cooper said. Reduced and adult meal prices are set by the state each year.
At the May school board meeting, the Clover school district recommended keeping lunch prices the same for next year, said Bryan Dillon, public information officer for the district.
If approved at the June 26 meeting, elementary lunches will stay at $2.40 and middle and high school lunches will still be $2.65. Breakfast will still be $1.65 for all grades.
Clover already meets USDA requirements and will not need to transfer funds to the food service program, Dillon said.
On May 16, the Lancaster County school board approved a 10-cent price increase for elementary lunches, a 15-cent increase for middle and high school lunches and a 25-cent increase to breakfast prices for all grades, said David Knight, director of public information for the district.
The Chester County school district will not raise meal prices next school year, said Becky Crouch, administrative assistant.
Elementary lunch will stay at $1.85, with middle and high school lunches still priced at $2.10. Breakfast is $1.10 for all grades.