Lunch prices to increase this fall at Ypsilanti elementary schools
Ypsilanti Public Schools officials are hopeful the district’s new, more expensive lunch prices will bring the district one step closer to breaking even in its food services department.
Last year, Ypsilanti conducted a review of its prices and determined a slight hike was necessary. Rather than implement one large hike all at once, officials decided to incrementally move prices up, Martin said.
This fall, elementary meal prices will increase from $1.25 to $1.30 for breakfast and from $2.25 to $2.35 for lunch. All other meal prices will remain the same.
“This will get us a little closer to a break even,” Martin said. “Right now, I believe, it might be a little short of the cost per meal (to prepare).”
Prior to the 2011-12 academic year, Ypsilanti had not raised prices since 2007-08.
Ypsilanti Treasurer and Financial Consultant Cathy Secor said it recently was discovered the district had not been using all of its United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) foods, which are called commodities and include fresh produce, grains, beef, chicken and dairy products. Secor said school districts lose whatever they do not use in commodities from year to year.
“This is where we really will reduce our food costs because those things on the commodities list are substantially less than buying canned peaches and pears ” she said.
The school lunch prices below will be effective at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year:
Elementary meal — $2.35
Middle school meal — $2.75
High school meal — $3.00
Breakfast — $1.30
Milk — 50 cents
Adult meal — $4.00
Dexter Community Schools also increased its lunch prices for the upcoming school year. Students will pay 25 cents more per meal at Dexter, making the price of an elementary lunch $2.50 and a middle or high school lunch $2.75.
Superintendent Mary Marshall told AnnArbor.com the district was required to raise lunch prices to meet new federal mandates, so the district does not expect to be bringing in any additional revenue from the increase. Recently-passed legislation changed how federal subsidies for free and reduced lunch students could be disbursed, leading to the increase, Marshall said.
Ypsilanti school board members, who approved the 5-cent increase Monday night, said they are eager to see the savings that will be generated this year. Vice President Kira Berman asked about the free and reduced-price meals for low income students. Martin said the administration will recommend an increase to these prices as well, but that the proposal will be brought back to the board at a later meeting date.
Ypsilanti had 2,341 students, or 64 percent of its total student body, qualify for free or reduced-price meals in 2011.