By GRAYSON LEE MAXWELL
Rutherford County Schools
For much of the past two years during the pandemic, schools have offered free breakfast and lunch through a federal United Department of Agriculture program.
The USDA has announced an end to the Seamless Summer Program beginning in August.
Rutherford County Schools has announced the new breakfast and lunch prices for the 2022-2023 school year. There is an increase in the meal prices partially caused by the end of the federal program and affected by inflation in food prices.
Meals will still be available to purchase for teachers and guests, but with a similar price increase to that of students.
Beginning in August 2022, meals will be priced as follows:
Student breakfast price - $2.00 all levels
Student lunch price - $3.25 elementary and $3.50 middle and high schools
Teacher/Guests - $2.50 breakfast and $4.25 lunch
“The increase in meal prices is largely due to the dramatic increased cost in food, food prep, and cost of labor we are all seeing,” said Doug Bodary, assistant superintendent for Budget and Finance with RCS.
All students are encouraged to submit a Free and Reduced Meal Program application. Submitting an application is easy and convenient. To apply, use the online link HERE.
“Parents will want to work with their student’s school, even if they think they might not be qualified for free and reduced lunch, and put an application in,” Bodary said.
Once an application is submitted parents will receive a notification letter from their child(ren)’s cafeteria manager stating if the application is approved. Please allow for 10 working days to process the online application.
During the month of March 2022 nearly 30 percent of all RCS students were served breakfast and 60 percent of all students participated in lunch – a dramatic increase compared to 2019-2020 school year. This is the first meal price adjustment since the beginning of 2019-2020 school year, Bodary said.