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Students will pay more at lunchtime

By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey Examiner Staff
August 31, 2013 · Updated 3:26 PM
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Students will have to bring a little more cash when buying lunch in Coupeville schools.

The Coupeville School Board Monday night approved a 25-cent increase for the lunches offered in schools.

With the increase, elementary school students will pay $3 for lunch, middle and high school students will pay $3.25 and adults will pay $5.

Superintendent Jim Shank said that food costs have been increasing.

“It was necessary to try and offset some of these costs,” Shank said during the meeting.

School Board members Glenda Merwine, Kathleen Anderson and Jeff Tasoff voted for the proposal. Board members Don Sherman and Chris Chan were absent.

The Coupeville School District recently negotiated a new contract with its food service provider, Chartwells. The school board approved a contract earlier in the summer to pay the company $3.74 per meal it serves.

“We’re just trying to close that gap without making it too painful on people,” Tasoff said during the meeting.

About half of the students use the school lunch program and 34.5 percent of the students are eligible to receive free-and- reduced lunches.

Shank added at the end of the meeting that a 25 cent increase seemed appropriate. A larger increase would be difficult for families. He said he would be concerned the school district would see a diminishing return on its lunch program if they implemented a larger increase. That would cause fewer students to buy lunches.

The lunch price increase comes a little more than one week before the start of classes in Coupeville. Normally school officials would approve such an increase in the spring; however, Shank said that the negotiations with Chartwells took longer than planned.

 


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