I would like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about the School Nutrition Department. This marks my 6th year in the role as Park 6’s School Nutrition Director. School nutrition staff has a tough balancing act with complex government regulations, limited budgets, and limited input into school schedules. We are deeply passionate about feeding children well and are trying to do the best with what we have. We are proud to call Cody home and hope to continue to foster community relationships.
You may or may not have heard that I encouraged the board of trustees to adopt a meal price increase. Despite streamlining our workforce, dedicating time to seek out food and supplies at the best price by leveraging cooperative purchases with other school districts around the area, and applying for many grants we still struggle to operate on the $100,000 we receive from the District’s general fund. The School Nutrition Department is not immune to climbing food and labor costs. I am looking at an average of a 53% increase in food costs this upcoming school year. I recommended a 33% increase for meal prices and it was approved.
This price increase will affect only those on the full pay tier of meal pricing. We will still offer free breakfast and lunch for all those who are approved with a free and reduced application. In order to receive free and reduced benefits, a family must apply every year.
We have made applying for free and reduced meals easier than ever before. We now have online free and reduced applications. Benefits start for a family of four earning less than $4,040 per month before taxes or deductions. Please consider applying today.
Not only do many of you trust in us to feed your children daily, but many of you have also helped by offering resources and services, donating to our local foods movement, silently paying off student debt, and serving as host sites for our summer feeding program. We thank you. It truly does take a village to raise our children.