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Lunch prices going up in Chambersburg school cafeterias

June 16, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The menus at Chambersburg Area School District schools have been getting healthier in recent years, one reason the district is increasing prices for the first time since the 2001-02 school year.

The school board Wednesday approved an administration request to raise prices on breakfasts and lunches. The cost of an elementary school breakfast was raised 20 cents to 90 cents and a secondary school breakfast increased from 80 cents to $1.

An elementary school lunch went from $1.50 to $1.70 and the cost of a secondary lunch was raised 25 cents to $1.85. Adult lunches increased from $2.60 to $3.

Business Manager Rick Vensel said the price of a meal is still a good deal compared to one from a fast-food restaurant or other eatery and the prices will still be among the lowest in Franklin County. The increase will mean an additional $172,000 in 2006-07 for the Food Service Department, he said.

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Food Service Director Ann Ziobrowski said the inclusion of more fresh fruits and vegetables in the meals served in the district's cafeterias is one reason an increase was needed.

Vensel said Thursday that the cost of supplies and maintenance and providing health-care coverage for the employees were also factors. Program changes, such as the addition of a fourth lunch period at Faust Junior High School, also added to costs, he said.

"It's difficult to run a system when you're serving 17 elementary schools and three secondary schools," Vensel said. The Food Service department, however, is one of the few in the state that operates on the revenues it generates without additional funding from the district, he said.

While the cost of a traditional cafeteria meal had remained steady for four years, some items on the a la carte menu had increased during that time, Vensel said.

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