School lunches may experience cutbacks

May 11, 2008 4:07:04 PM PDT
Local school systems are busting their budgets and it may end up hitting parents in the wallet, especially at lunchtime.

Before schools raise prices, Wake County school leaders are going to keep cutting back on fresh fruits, desserts and anything else that's expensive and not mandated by health guidelines.

"Nutritious foods come with a price," said Director of Wake County Schools Child Nutrition Services Marilyn Moody. "Whole grain for example bread price went up 8 cents for whole grain slice a bread another 80,000."

Milk alone caused the budget to increase by $700,000.

Moody says soaring food prices aren't the only problem. Gas prices to deliver the food and labor costs are also breaking their budget. And since they can't legally cut corners on nutrition, they may soon need help from parents or preferably the state.

"As important as those new nutrition standards are, we feel like the state that mandated them must also fund them," Moody said.

Parent Michael Smith says an increase in the cost of lunch could take a toll.

Some parents say they may start packing bag lunches for their children.

The problem with brown bag lunches is if fewer children buy lunch at school, that also breaks the budget.

School leaders hope the state legislature will come up with $25 million to help offset costs.


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