San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 21st, 2008
Hays CISD hikes meal prices 20 cents


KYLE – Add school lunch to the list of inflating prices. The Hays CISD trustees approved price increases for school lunch and breakfast, effective for the 2008-2009 school year.

The school kids will pay 20 cents more per meal in the Hays district, with prices ranging from $1.25 for elementary school breakfast and $2.10 for secondary school lunch. The percentage increases come to 19 percent for the elementary breakfast and 10.5 percent for the secondary school lunch.

Secondary school breakfast will cost $1.35, while elementary school lunch will cost $1.90.

The price increase will not affect the reduced meal price of 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.

The school district also is going to a new food service provider, ending its 10-year relationship with Aramark to sign up with Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE), of Peoria, AZ. Hays becomes the first Texas account for the Arizona company, which service school districts as large as 26,000 students its home state.

The company features fruit and vegetable nutrition bars as well as salad bars at all campuses, and serves wheat bread on a daily basis. A roving chef display program is designed as an interactive cooking and learning experience for students.

Representatives from SFE spent Tuesday with the school district’s food servers, meeting with all child nutrition staff. A transition plan will be implemented throughout the summer.

All child nutrition staff currently employed with Hays CISD, will remain with the district, but three full-time Aramark employees leave Hays CISD and move to other Aramark locations. The Hays contract with Aramark will expire on June 30.

“I think Southwest will be a great partner with Hays CISD,” said Patti Wood, Vice President of the school board. “They appear to be very eager to get more business in Texas, so I think they will do a good job for us. I think they will work very hard for us.”

School officials indicated that the price increase results not from a new contract with a new company, but from a general increase in food prices during the last three years.

“Since the last time the district raised meal prices in 2005, the cost of food has increased significantly,” said Hays CISD Chief Financial Officer Carter Scherff.

Scherff noted the nation’s consumer price index (CPI) from March 2005 to March 2008 showed a 17-percent increase in the cost of milk, a 20-percent increase in the cost of “food at home” and a 12-percent increase in the cost of “food away from home.”

Scherff said he is hopeful the district won’t have to increase food prices for another two or three years.

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