Some Indiana school corporations may have to increase the price of school lunches every year until they satisfy a new mandate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Indian Creek Schools are already raising prices.
The USDA administers a program that pays school districts $2.86 per meal for low-income students. But officials at the department say some districts charge less than that amount for lunch, meaning the program is helping pay the cost of more than just lunches for poor children.
Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Matt Prusiecki says the USDA is mandating the district increase meal prices until they reach their new target amount, $2.59 per meal.
“Since our lunch is $2.35 this current year we are required to continue to raise our lunch prices by the USDA until we reach that threshold,” Prusiecki says.
The school corporation will be increasing lunch prices by ten cents and breakfast prices by five cents.
About 47 percent of Indiana students receive free or reduced lunch prices.
Prusiecki says the increase in meal prices could cause more families to apply for these reduced-cost meals in the future.