Committee recommends boosting QPS lunch prices

School Board member and Finance Committee co-chair Carol Nichols talks with Superintendent Roy Webb before Wednesday morning’s meeting. The committee recommended the School Board boost lunch prices by 10 cents for students and 50 cents for adults for the 2019-20 school year. | H-W Photo/Deborah Gertz Husar
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 24, 2019 10:30 am Updated: Apr. 24, 2019 10:36 am

QUINCY -- Quincy school lunch prices could be heading up for the 2019-20 year.

The Finance Committee on Wednesday morning recommended the School Board boost lunch prices by 10 cents for students and 50 cents for adults.

With the change, prices will be $2.60 for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, $2.85 for grades 6 to 12 and $3.35 for adults.

Food Service Director Jean Kinder said the increase is tied to an annual review of lunch prices required as part of the national school lunch program.

"If we're reimbursed less for a paid meal than we are for a free meal, the government says we have to re-evaluate prices," Kinder said.

Student lunch prices have been required to be raised a minimum of 10 cents for the past six years under federal guidelines, Kinder said, and under another requirement, adult lunch prices must be 50 cents more than the highest-priced paid student meal.

With the increase, a family with one student eating lunch will pay 50 cents more per week or an additional $17.60 per year if the student buys lunch at school every day.

Also Wednesday, the committee recommended the board accept a $729,673.05 bid, a 3.39% increase over last year, from Kohl Wholesale for food and non-food items for fall semester 2019-20.

The district typically bids a semester at a time, but Kinder said she requested full and half-year bids this time and had hoped to get more than one bidder.

Kohl was the sole bidder for the food and non-food items and noted on its year bid that prices could increase or decrease for the second semester based on manufacturer pricing.

"Those are not firm prices," Kinder said. "I recommend we accept the fall bid only and see if we get more bids second semester."

The committee also recommended the board accept the $228,523.75 escalator milk bid from sole bidder Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., a 2.65% decrease over last school year, and reject the sole produce and bread bids to re-bid in hopes of getting additional interest.

Chief of Business Operations Ryan Whicker told the committee that the district is "still tracking pretty well" in all funds.

The state still owes the district $775,000, but "given that and the expenditure side, I think we're doing pretty good," Whicker said.

The district did get a third state categorical payment for transportation earlier this month and expects to get a fourth payment. "They paid one from last year, two from this year and a third has been processed," Whicker said.