…but new rate is below
what is needed, says SNA.
The government has announced a 4.3% annual increase in the federal reimbursement provided to school nutrition programs. However, the School Nutrition Association says that modest amount doesn't begin to cover this year's estimated 11.6% increase in the cost of preparing and serving school meals.
SNA estimates that the average full cost to prepare a healthy school lunch is around $2.88, compared to the new federal reimbursement provided to cover that cost, now set at $2.57. Even with about 20 cents worth of healthy food items provided through USDA commodity distribution programs, school nutrition programs are projected to lose 11 cents per lunch served next school year or about $3.3 million each school day during the 2008-2009 school year, SNA adds.