Berkeley (CA) Schools lunch program faces a $250,000 shortfall next year, reports the Bay Area News. To close the gap, the district school board will consider a proposal to increase lunch prices by 25 cents across the board. The prices currently are $3 in elementary schools, $3.50 in middle schools and $4 in high schools.
The program, which recently opened a new $8 million central production kitchen, was started three years ago by Nutrition Services Director Ann Cooper, who was engaged by the district to improve the meal program and implement more fresh and healthy meal choices. Cooper, who is leaving at the end of the 2008-09 school year, radically redesigned the program with financial help from The Alice Water Chez Panisse Foundation. Those subsidies ceased this year, leading to the budget shortfall.