School districts to increase lunch prices

TUPELO – Elementary students in Tupelo and Lee County schools will have to bring an extra quarter for lunch next year, in response to new federal guidelines.
Both school districts will increase the cost of student lunches at their elementary schools from $2 to $2.25. The increase was required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law by President Obama in December.
Among other provisions, the law requires school districts to charge $2.46 for lunches, which is the difference between the $2.74 the federal government reimburses them for free meals and the 28 cents it reimburses them for paid meals. Students whose family income falls below a certain threshold receive free lunch.
The law allows districts to gradually reach that rate by increasing prices at least 10 cents each year.
The price of lunch will remain $2.25 for middle school, junior high and high school students in both districts.
That means all students will pay $2.25, except pre-K students in Tupelo. The cost of their lunches will increase from $1.65 to $2.
The cost of staff lunches will remain $3 in both districts.
Breakfast prices also will stay the same, $1 for students in both districts.
This is the first time either district has increased its meal prices since 2009-2010.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal