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School lunches go up

| Tuesday, July 6, 2004

FORD CITY -- School children will get an economics lesson next year, but not in the classroom.

They'll learn about supply and demand in the cafeteria.

The price of a school lunch will increase next year, going from $1.50 for an elementary school lunch to $1.60 and from $1.75 to $1.80 for high school students.

The reason for the increase is due to higher milk prices and the increased price of fuel, according to LuAnn Fee, food services director for the Armstrong School District.

"Just for milk alone it's going to cost $50,000 more (than last school year)," she said. "I need at least $100,000 to balance the budget."

Fee said food suppliers raised prices because of higher costs associated with transporting it to the district.

The increase in the cost of milk was more acute though, she said.

"This is the first time since I've started that I've seen milk increase like that," Fee said.

Normally, school lunch price increases are due to higher labor costs, she said.

Roughly 70 percent of all students in the district buy lunches at the school, rather than pack their own, according to Fee.

Even with the price increase, she said a school lunch is still a better value than a packed lunch.

"Every once in awhile we price out a bag lunch to see what it costs," she said.

"A whole school lunch is still cheaper than a bag of potato chips."

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