Parents will have to pack an extra nickel in school backpacks for the 2012-2013 school year.
The Mason School Board approved the 5 cent price increase on school lunches at last month’s school board meeting.
That will bring the price of lunch to $2.60 at Mason Early Childhood Center and Western Row. Lunches at the intermediate, middle and high school are $2.70.
The increase is a result of a federal legislation that requires school districts to gradually increase school lunch prices until they are more in line with federal reimbursements for free and reduced priced lunches.
The federal mandate also requires more fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains.
“We can’t say it too much — fruits and vegetables will be the star attraction as we start the school year,” said Tamara Earl, Child Nutrition Supervisor. “To make lunch a complete meal, students must take at least one fruit or one vegetable with an entrée.”
Mason Schools’ lunch program is a self-sustaining operation that does not use funds from the district’s general fund, said Earl. The district receives partial reimbursement for “complete lunches served” from the federal government under the National School Lunch Program.
“Our Child Nutrition Department must run like a business,” she said. “We work to make sure that we generate enough revenue to cover all of our costs so that each district dollar can be kept for students in the classroom.”