School lunch prices at many LCPS schools will be increased for the 2017/18 school year, while full-price breakfast charges of $1.00 will stay the same, said Nancy Cathey, LCPS executive director of operations and nutrition services. The new prices will be in effect on the first day.
Several LCPS schools which participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Program (CEP) will not be affected by the price increase, since those schools serve free breakfast and lunch to all students, every day, Cathey added.
- Regular prices for students: Elementary lunch – Price increasing from $1.80 to $1.85; Middle school lunch – Price increasing from $2.10 to $2.25; High school lunch – Price increasing from $2.25 to $2.30. Cathey said the price of lunches served to parents and other school visitors will remain at $3.00.
- Reduced-price meals, based on eligibility: Breakfast for all students $.30 (no change); Lunch for all students: $.40 (no change).
- Free breakfast and lunch, based on eligibility: No changes.
Cathey said the price increases for regular-priced meals are part of LCPS’ compliance with United States Department of Agriculture regulations that compel school districts to charge students as much for a lunch as the district receives from USDA for a student who receives free meals.
“The USDA has mandated this price increase so that the amount paid for regular-price meals is closer to their actual cost,” Cathey said. “We want families to know that the free or reduced-price meals are staying the same as last year.”
There are a total of 26 schools that will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s CEP program. The 26 schools that will offer free meals as part of the CEP program are: Alameda, Booker T. Washington, Central, César E. Chávez, Columbia, Conlee, Doña Ana, East Picacho, Hermosa Heights, Hillrise, Jornada, Loma Heights, MacArthur, Mesilla, Mesilla Park, Monte Vista, Sunrise, Tombaugh, University Hills and Valley View elementaries; and Lynn Middle, Picacho Middle, Rio Grande Preparatory Institute, Vista Middle, Mesa Middle and Mesilla Valley Leadership Academy.
“Based on the number of low income families, this program helps thousands of children who can get a healthy breakfast and lunch at no cost,” Cathey said. “Parents do not need to fill out an application to be eligible for the meals.”
At Fairacres Elementary and Sonoma Elementary, all students will be served free breakfast in each student’s classroom, but lunches must be purchased for families who are not eligible for free- or reduced-price meals, Cathey said. In addition, snacks will be provided free to students who participate in eligible after-school programs at all LCPS schools.
To apply for free or reduced-priced school meals, parents must pick up an application from the school cafeteria cashier or the front office secretary. The completed application should be returned to the school cafeteria and not to a child’s teacher. Cathey said parents will receive a letter notifying them of eligibility for free or reduced-price meals within 10 days after receiving the completed application. The application information is kept completely confidential, she added.
Parents may request that their family’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals be reviewed by school officials at any time during the school year. If a parent does not agree with the decision made by the school about his or her application for free or reduced-price meals, the parent may wish to discuss the matter with Cathey who can be reached at (575) 527-5996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact: LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, email@example.com, (575) 527-5808.