The cost of lunch at the South Colonie Central School District's elementary, middle and high schools will increase this year by at least 15 cents according to district officials.
At the elementary schools, the cost of lunch will increase by 15 cents, to now $1.75 and at Colonie Central High School it will increase by 20 cents, to $2. In addition, the cost of milk is going up district-wide to 50 cents, an increase of 5 cents.
Breakfast costs will remain at $1 at the elementary schools and $1.25 at the middle and high schools.
This is the second year in a row that South Colonie has had to raise their lunch price costs, last year being the first in many years that the prices needed to be raised, district officials said. Before 2008, lunch prices had not been raised in the district since the late 1990s.
This year's price raise was the second part of a two-phase plan to make the district's prices more competitive, though the district brags to have one of the lower price menus in the area. The plan was designed to have two phases to make the adjusted prices more manageable to parents and students in the district.
While the district would have loved to keep prices the same, Board President Brian Casey said the costs of these foods put pressure on the district to raise its prices.
Unfortunately, with the costs to buy the food, those prices have gone up, Casey said. "It's unfortunate that you have to do this but when our costs to purchase the product goes up, unfortunately we have to refer that back to our students."
Another element is that the district is trying to bring healthier foods to the district, according to Superintendent of Schools Jonathan Buhner, who said that while the district is glad to be able to bring healthier choices to students, healthier foods come at a higher cost.