Mark Taylor
The Gardner Edgerton School District will charge more for breakfasts and lunches next year.
School officials say much of the cost increase is the result of federal mandates passed on to the district.
The school board on April 19, approved increases to the school menus that include the following increases:
Elementary breakfast (K-4) $1.25 (10 cent increase).
Middle school breakfast (5-8) $1.30 (15 cent increase).
High school breakfast (9-12) $1.30 (15 cent increase).
All student lunches will increase by 10 cents.
Elementary lunches will cost $1.90; middle school, $2.05; and high school, $2.20.
Milk fees will increase 5 cents to 45 cents district wide.
Adults who visit Gardner Edgerton schools will pay 25 cents more for breakfast ($1.75) and lunch ($3.25).
Board member Tim Rayburn said the increases were the result of federal mandates passed on to local school districts.
“You are going to pay it one way or the other,” he said.  “We have talked about protecting the community. I think it is very important that the community understands that the mandates that the federal government has attached to this funding is why we have to make this increase.
Carol Semrau, food service director, said the school district will be required to add more fruits and vegetables to meet new federal guidelines.
“They (federal government) are addressing the obesity epidemic in the nation,” she said. “We already do fruits and vegetables, but we will be required to break it down so that we do so many of the fruits and vegetables in specific areas like leafy green vegetables and orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and summer squash.
“A lot of vegetables that we cannot get during the middle of the year, but that we will have to be purchasing anyway.”