High Food Prices Affect School Lunches

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It's no shocker that food prices continue to rise across the nation.

Several school nutrition directors say they anticipate up to a 10 percent increase over the next year.

Some school districts are contemplating cutting back on the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables they offer students each week . Other say they are cutting corners in labor costs.

"When we've had someone out we've not been able to hire a sub. Many times we've had to work with one short to cut back on expenses. We've also presented to the board in April a price increase a proposal and given them the reasons," said Rhonda Keve, School nutrition director for Grady County.

Rhonda says since school lunches in Grady County were some of the least expensive around the board approved the increase.

Next fall, lunches will go up 25 cents and a reduced lunch will cost 10 cents more.

"Its a little upsetting to me to see that the kids we see, like I said, this is their only hot meal for the day and if their parents can't afford it and they don't qualify for free or reduced lunch then they're pretty much hounded until they can pay for it. Very upsetting," said Patricia Whitley, a mother whose daughter buys school lunches.

One of the most nutritious items on the menu, milk, is also one of the most expensive.

In Grady County, officials say milk has cost them more than 200,000 dollars already this year...making up 33% of their total food budget.

But nutrition directors say rest assured, nutritional value will not be compromised. School leaders say kids will continue to get the nutrients they need despite the rising costs.

School leaders say they will also continue to offer breakfast to students for free.