School lunches to go up in price

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Albert Lea school board voted Monday night to increase the price of school lunches for the 2010-2011 school year.

The increase of 10 cents per meal will cover increasing costs of food supplies and labor. Director of Food Service Mary Nelson spoke to the board about the increase in prices and said the increase was needed “in order to balance the budget and have the revenue be at least as much as expenses.”

Nelson also said other school districts in Owatonna, Winona and Waseca were also increasing their meal prices.

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Board Chairman Bill Leland asked Nelson if she had researched more into buying food locally. Nelson said she would like to get local food products in the school and had talked to some producers.

“The producers were overwhelmed when we told them the numbers we would need,” Nelson said.

She said that the increase in meal prices did not have to do with buying food locally because the school has not done that yet. She is in talks with an apple orchard and a farm in Cannon Falls that makes all-beef hot dogs from grass-fed cattle.

“We’ve been talking about buying from the producers instead of distributors,” Leland said. “We’re working on it as part of the Vitality Project.”

Leland was referring to the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project, and the district’s efforts to find healthy alternatives and new food choices.

In other topics there will be three spots on the board up for election. The three members up for reelection are Jolinda Schreiber, Jill Marin and Sally Ehrhardt. Anyone can file to run for these positions from Aug. 3 to Aug. 17.