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Lunch prices to go up at county schools

August 08, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Starting this fall, Berkeley County students will pay an additional 25 cents for each school breakfast and lunch they eat, but teachers and other adults who eat at school will not be affected.

Berkeley County Board of Education members voted unanimously Wednesday night to increase the prices for students, but amended the motion so it would not include teachers.

The 25 cent increase will generate $260,000 toward the cost of operating the food service program, said James R. Welton Jr., assistant superintendent of schools.

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The increase will not be applied to students on the reduced meal plan, Welton said.

Last year, Berkeley County cafeteria workers served 550,000 breakfasts and 1,463,000 lunches. Of the lunches, 454,000 were free and 176,000 students paid the reduced rate of 40 cents, Welton said.

Adults ate 33,000 lunches last year, Welton said.

With the 25 cent increase, an elementary breakfast will cost $1, and a lunch $1.25. A secondary education breakfast will cost $1.25 and a secondary lunch, $1.50.

Employees will continue to pay $2 for breakfast and $2.75 for lunch.

The last meal increase for students occurred in 1994, Welton said. The price for adults was raised two years ago.

It costs the school system $2.15 to serve each breakfast and $2.87 to serve each lunch, Welton said. School officials had considered raising prices by 50 cents, but decided against it.

Because schools do not charge enough for the meals to pay for their preparation, school officials had to move about $2 million from the operating budget to the food service budget last year, Welton said.

Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon said the increase allows the district to keep up with costs.

"Still, a school lunch in Berkeley County is a great deal," he said.

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