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Cost of school lunch increases by five cents

Will support employee wages and benefits

By Aimee Eaton

The cost for a school lunch or breakfast in the Gunnison Watershed School District will increase $.05 per meal next year. The increase will help pay district employee wages and benefits, including payments into retirement.

“The district loses $280,000 a year on the food service program,” said school district superintendent Doug Tredway. “It’s by no means breaking even. We can afford to spend that to make sure every student in the district can have a meal, but by no means are we making money off this program. The raise in the price is to help maintain where we are.”

In the 2016-17 school year, the Crested Butte Community School sold about 205 lunches daily to about 28 percent of the student body. Lunch for kindergarteners through eighth graders in the 2016-2017 school year costs $3.35 and for high school students it is $3.50. Each meal comes with a fruit, milk, vegetable, protein source and whole grain.

“It’s a very competitive, very affordable program,” said Tredway. “You can’t buy lunch in town for this price. Our goal is to make sure we’re offering a quality product at a reasonable price.”

The $.05 increase will likely bring about $1,742.50 in from the CBCS next year.

The increase “is a minor increase that shouldn’t have much of an impact on students’ ability to participate in school meals,” said district nutrition program director Kristen Osborn.

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