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No change in prices of school food

COVINGTON — Students and teachers won't have to worry about shelling out more money for school lunches this year. The School Foods Services Department at the Newton County School System doesn't plan to increase meal prices for the upcoming school year.

"Meal prices did not change again this year," said Jan Loomans, director of Operational Services at NCSS. "This will be the fifth year with no change."

Breakfast

Elementary $1

Middle $1.25

High $1.25

Adult $1.50

Reduced Student $0.30

Lunch

Elementary $1.50

Middle $1.75

High $1.75

Adult $2.75

Reduced Student $0.40

Extra Sales

Milk $0.50

Fruit juice $0.40

Source: Newton County School System

Elementary students will continue to pay $1 for breakfast and $1.50 for lunch, and students in the secondary schools will pay $1.25 for breakfast and $1.75 for lunch. Students eating on the free and reduced price meal plan can eat breakfast for $0.30 and lunch for $0.40. Adults pay $1.50 for breakfast and $2.75 for lunch.

Loomans said the program is not in any financial danger of having to increase prices due to the economy, unlike many other programs across the nation.

"Our meal (participation) went up this (past) year," she said. "It's great."

During the 2009-10 school year, 2,676,246 lunches were served in Newton County's 24 schools with average daily lunch participation of 77.7 percent. The participation is an increase of 9.8 percent over the previous school year.

The system's breakfast program also is holding strong — school food workers served a total of 1,104,768 breakfasts during this past school year with an average daily breakfast participation of 32.5 percent. It is an increase of 9.3 percent over the previous school year.

"Those are good numbers," said Dr. Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for operations at NCSS.

Families can prepay for student meals using MealpayPlus, which last year in NCSS collected $460,584. Loomans said flyers about the program and information about signing up for it will be available at open house and at the schools; teachers will send home flyers with elementary school students on the first day of school this year. Teachers and students both can use the program.

Additionally, free and reduced price meal applications will go out to homes on the first day of school, Loomans said. One application is used per family.