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Goodrich to hike lunch prices to meet fed mandate



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August 24, 2011 - Students in the Goodrich School Districts are paying too little for lunch, according to the federal government.

As a result lunch prices will go up by a dime beginning this fall in accordance with a mandate to get closer to the federal subsidy for students from low-income families.

Howard Leikert, supervisor of the Michigan Department of Education's school nutrition programs unit said pricing-equity provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates districts to hike their prices by as much as 10 cents per year if they sell lunches, on average, for less than the amount of the federal subsidy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses local districts for each lunch served to students eligible for free meals.

"The idea is that free and reduced-price meal reimbursements are not being used to subsidize paid students," said Liekert

"We had school districts in the state that were charging less than $2 per meal," he added. "However the most they could add on is 10 cents per meal per school year. It's going to take a few years for the districts to catch up."

In 2009 President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which takes aim at reauthorizes the free meals programs.

"The idea is that paid lunches need to pull the weight of preparing meals at school. Ultimately by the start of the 2012 school year new guidelines for lunches should be in place. There's a new meal pattern down the road which will include more leafy greens and other fresh food."

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