BEA considers tweak to food service program

bmilazzo@centredaily.comJuly 15, 2014 

The Bald Eagle Area School District is looking for ways to put money back into its food service budget while enhancing cafeteria services.

Mark Ott, director of food service, brought up the fiscal situation during last week’s school board meeting.

The 2014-15 food service expenditures are $1.05 million with revenues of $923,123 — a loss of $129,721.

“It’s a costly service,” said board President Tom Letterman. “We’re finding a way to handle that.”

Letterman said students would go through the breakfast or lunch line, get to the cashier, and if the monitor found out there was not enough money in the child’s account, the entree would be thrown away.

The board proposed that students still be able to get a meal even if there is no money left in their account.

“We don’t want to embarrass a child, or more importantly, let them leave without eating,” said board member Theresa Peters.

John Gribble, business manager, said a majority of students have accounts — a prepaid breakfast and lunch plan. He called the service “convenient” for families.

The board tossed around the idea to change that policy to, instead, withholding a student’s diploma until all debts were paid to the school district.

This would better serve students while guaranteeing the district received its money, Peters said.

Superintendent Jeff Miles said the situation would be discussed at a future meeting.

Breakfast and lunch prices did not change from last year.

Lunches at the primary level are $2.30. At the secondary level, it’s $2.50. A student breakfast across the district is $1.15. Adult prices are $3.60 for lunch and $1.95 for breakfast. Those on the reduced breakfast/lunch program pay only 30 cents, Gribble said.

About 43 percent of the student population — or 813 students — are on the free or reduced lunch program, Gribble added.

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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