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Meal Price Increases Effective March 2

On Monday, February 23, 2015 the Muscatine School Board voted to approve meal price increases for breakfast and lunch. Below is a set of questions and answers regarding this action. The increases will take effect on March 2, 2015.

Why are meal prices being increased immediately?
The food and nutrition program’s costs have been exceeding revenues and by the end of the school year will be operating at a deficit. Despite a series of actions, expenses continue to outpace revenues. The State of Iowa requires that this fund be “in the black.” It should also be noted that state law does not allow the school district to pay for food service expenses (salaries, food costs, equipment upkeep) from the general fund. Iowa food service programs must operate as their own entity.

In addition to these price increases, what is being done to reduce expenses?
Steps include reducing food service worker hours, simplifying menu choices to minimize costs, offering limited breakfast choices, and no longer printing lunch menus.

What are the exact meal increases?
Below is a chart detailing both current and prices beginning March 2, 2015.

Breakfast Lunch
Current 03/02/2015 Current 03/02/2015
Elementary Full Pay $1.35 $1.65 $2.10 $2.75
Middle School Full Pay $1.35 $1.75 $2.10 $2.85
High School Full Pay $1.35 $2.00 $2.10 $3.10
Seconds and Adults $2.25 $3.00 $3.30 $4.50

**Humphries for all levels will remain at $0.85 for breakfast & $1.60 for lunch for students.

What about free and reduced meals pricing?
Using government guidelines, children who qualify for free meals will continue to receive meals at no cost. Likewise, reduced meal prices will continue at $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch.

What about Federal Reimbursement for Free/Reduced Meals?
This stays the same. The government reimburses the district $3.10 for each free lunch, $2.64 for each reduced priced lunch, $1.96 for each free breakfast (Mulberry & Hayes $1.65), and $1.66 for each reduced priced breakfast (Mulberry & Hayes $1.35). As you can see, this does help with costs but it is not enough.

Why are prices different for students at elementary, middle and high schools?
As dictated by the US Department of Agriculture, the amount of food served per meal increases as children enter middle and high school. This cost difference is reflected in new prices.

What other options were considered?
One of the options the district considered was dropping breakfast at all or some levels as this program is not required by the school district. After further study and feedback, it was decided to keep serving breakfast. Other options will continue to be explored.

Who should I contact if I have further questions regarding prices?
Please call your child’s school.

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