I want to discuss a “hidden gem” in our school system. Our cafeteria serves breakfast and lunch to our students that exceed the current nutritional guidelines for school breakfast/lunch. The school district has a very high participation rate for lunches with almost 85% of our students purchasing lunches from the cafeteria. Approximately 250 students buy breakfast from the cafeteria and around 850 students buy lunch every day. The cafeteria offers a wide variety of choices to our students every day including fresh fruit and vegetables. 51% of our students qualify for a free/reduced rate based on the income of their parents.
The cafeteria employs 11 employees with 6 full-time and 5 part-time. The school district gets reimbursed from the federal government for every student that qualifies for a free meal. The school district is reimbursed $2.78 for every lunch served to a student that qualifies for a free lunch and $1.56 for a breakfast. The price of a breakfast for a student is $1.00 in the high school and .90 in the elementary school while lunch is $1.60 in the high school and $1.35 in the elementary school. You will notice that the school district is reimbursed more from the Federal government than what we charge our students. There is a proposal in Congress to force all schools to charge all lunches at the reimbursement rate for a free student. If that passes, that would force the school district to increase lunch prices for all students. I am very proud of our cafeteria. The food is nutritionally sound and tastes good. There is a variety of foods for students to choose from and the cafeteria exceeds the State nutritional guidelines.