Big Walnut Local School District Food Service Supervisor Cassy Sabatini runs a $1 million-plus operation that does not cost the school district General Fund a penny. Big Walnut’s six building cafeterias that employ more than two dozen kitchen staff are completely self-supporting.
During the Thursday, March 13, Big Walnut Local School District Board of Education meeting, board members voted a modest increase in prices to keep pace with escalating costs and keep district cafeterias self-supporting.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year the following new food service prices will go into effect:
- Elementary and Intermediate Schools, breakfast $1.25
- Elementary and Intermediate Schools, lunch $2.50
- Middle and High Schools, breakfast $2.00
- Middle and High Schools, lunch $2.75
District assistant superintendent Angie Pollock said last week that the school district food service is always working to break even, with a little cushion for salaries, equipment and food.
“Our breakfast and lunch prices are kept low with the addition of subsidies we get,” Pollock said. “Sometimes people wonder why we raise our prices, but when they go to the supermarket and see their food prices go up we see the same increase. Many things, including rising agricultural transportation costs, cause that. The other thing is, with our new healthier menus we’re serving a lot more fruits and vegetables to students, and the cost of produce has been going up.”
Pollock encourages all parents who even think they are close to qualifying for free or reduced lunch prices to file an application that’s available online.
“The thing many people forget is that folks who qualify for reduced or free lunches also get the same break on school course fees, athletic fees, and especially the district’s fee-based all-day kindergarten that will start at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year,” Pollock said. “Those who qualify for reduced lunches will get 50 percent off of all fees; those who qualify for free lunches will get the fees for courses, athletics and all-day kindergarten 100 percent waived.
“The application process for free and reduced lunches is completely confidential,” Pollock added. “We encourage anyone who thinks they even might qualify to submit an application. We can even assist them if they think they’re qualified.”
To apply for free or reduced lunches go to the school district website at < bigwalnut.k12.oh.us >, on the left side of the home page click Food Service. On the Food Service front page click Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application. Additional information can be found by clicking Free and Reduced Q&A.