Just like rising costs at the grocery store, food prices at schools in Smyrna and Clayton will increase next year.


Just like rising costs at the grocery store, food prices at schools in Smyrna and Clayton will increase next year.

The Board of Directors at Providence Creek Academy approved a 25-cent increase in lunch prices for the 2008-09 academic year at the May 20 meeting.

Lunch at Providence Creek Academy, a charter school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, will increase to $2.25 from $2.00. Breakfast will remain $1.35, and juice and milk prices will hold steady at 50 cents.

An increase has not yet been proposed for the Smyrna School District, but it is likely, said Child Nutrition Supervisor Patricia Conley.

“I feel certain were going to have to raise them, but I’m not sure how much,” Conley said. “Food costs have just skyrocketed.”

The Smyrna School District currently charges $1.10 for lunches at the elementary schools and John Bassett Moore Intermediate School, and a meal at the middle and high schools costs $1.25.

But, Conley said, the cost to make each meal is about $2.99, and government subsidies do not make up the difference.

“It was about $2.57 to make a meal and it’s going up to almost $3,” agreed Marsh.
Even 25-cent hike at Providence Creek will probably not cover the cost increase, Mash said.

Since about 670 students attend PCA, compared to about 4,500 in the Smyrna School District, it is difficult for Marsh to get bulk discounts.

“A lot of times we have to pay a lot more for things because were only buying things in small quantities,” she said.

To keep costs down, Marsh plans the menu based around the heavily discounted items she can purchase through the government. She also orders items through Appoqunimink School District.

“Being a charter school, we’re so small that if we can piggyback on another school districts’ bids, it makes a big difference,” she said.

The cafeterias also make money from their ice cream, snacks and other a la carte items.

“We’ll make up for it with the a la carte,” Marsh said.