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Equity in School Lunch Pricing (Section 205). Howard Leikert Supervisor School Nutrition Programs March 22, 2011. Equity in School Lunch Pricing . Section 205 of the 2010 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act: Equity in School Lunch Pricing

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Equity in School Lunch Pricing (Section 205)

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Equity in School Lunch Pricing (Section 205)

Howard Leikert

Supervisor

School Nutrition Programs

March 22, 2011


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Equity in School Lunch Pricing

  • Section 205 of the 2010 Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act: Equity in School Lunch Pricing

  • Intent: To ensure that sufficient funds are provided to the food service account for paid lunches

  • This provision applies only to lunches


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Paid Meal Equity Timeline

  • Effective July 1, 2011

  • Interim rule publication in Spring 2011

    • USDA will be accepting public comments

  • Supporting guidance in Spring 2011

    • Spring is defined as March, April or May 2011

    • Guidance will include reporting requirements for paid lunch prices

  • All school food authorities must base paid lunch prices for School Year 2011-2012 on these requirements


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Paid Meal Equity Overview

  • School food authorities compare the average price for paid lunches at all of their schools to the difference between the per meal Federal reimbursement for free and paid lunches

  • - The current free meal reimbursement rate is $2.72

  • - The current paid meal reimbursement rate is $0.26

  • - $2.72 – $0.26 = $2.46 difference

  • **The difference is the same if you are a “severe need” district


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Average Price Calculation

  • For SY 2011-2012, if a school food authority’s average price of paid lunches is $2.46 or more, the school food authority is in compliance and no further action is needed.

  • To calculate the average paid lunch price:

  • -District XYZ has the following paid lunch prices:

    • * $2.00 at the Elementary Schools

    • * $2.25 at the Middle Schools

    • * $2.50 and $2.75 at the High Schools

    • * $2.00 + $2.25 + $2.50 + $2.75 = $9.50

    • * $9.50 divided by 4 = $2.375 average paid lunch price


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Increasing Revenue for Paid Lunches

  • If a school food authority’s average paid lunch price is less than the difference between the federal free and federal paid meal reimbursements, it must increase the average paid lunch price by 2% plus inflation by either

    • Increasing the price charged to children OR

    • Adding non-Federal funds to the food service account OR

    • For 2011-2012, if your average paid price is less than $1.60, you do NOT need to increase prices.


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Calculating the Paid Meal Price Increase

  • District XYZ average paid lunch price was $2.375

  • Current inflation factor is 1.14 percent

  • Add 2 percentage points per USDA memo

  • Multiply the average paid lunch price by 3.14 percent

    • $2.375 * 3.14% = 0.0745 cents

  • School food authorities can round down to the nearest 5 cent increment

    • The average paid lunch price increase in this case must be 5 cents


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Calculating the Price Increase

  • District XYZ had the following paid lunch prices:

    • * $2.00 at the Elementary Schools

    • * $2.25 at the Middle Schools

    • * $2.50 and $2.75 at the High Schools

    • * $2.00 + $2.25 + $2.50 + $2.75 = $9.50

    • * $9.50 divided by 4 = $2.375 average paid lunch price

  • Adding 5 cents to each price = $2.05 + $2.30 + $2.55 + $2.80 = $9.70/4 = $2.425

  • The average paid lunch price is now 5 cents higher


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Calculating the Price Increase

  • It is the school food authority’s decision on how to raise the prices as long as the average revenue requirement is met

    • Back to District XYZ: It decided to raise the first lunch price for high school by 20 cents and keep the middle and elementary school prices the same

    • Previous prices: $2.00, $2.25, $2.50 and $2.75 for a $2.375 average lunch price

    • New prices: $2.00, $2.25, $2.70 and $2.75

    • New average lunch price = $2.425 (5 cents difference in the average lunch price)


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Next Steps by the School Food Authority

  • District XYZ needs to either:

    • Increase the average paid lunch price by 5 cents in School Year 2011-2012; or

    • Provide non-Federal funds to the non-profit food service account to cover the required revenue

      • Examples of non-Federal funds would be money raised by a parent organization for this specific reason, grants from local agencies or community organizations, etc.

      • USDA has said verbally that revenue from a la carte food and beverage sales, of which the foods and beverages were purchased with the non-profit food service account funds, do not count as a source of non-Federal funds


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Next Steps by the School Food Authority

  • The maximum required annual average paid lunch price increase is capped at 10 cents

    • School food authorities can elect to increase their average paid lunch price by more than the calculation requires

      • Example: District XYZ is required to increase its average lunch price by 5 cents but could raise its average lunch price by 15 cents if it so chooses

    • Under Section 205, the school food authority would never be required to increase its average lunch price by more than 10 cents


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Impact on families

  • If the school food authority meets the requirement through a price increase, the provisions allowing rounding down and setting the maximum required increase minimize the impact on families

  • The maximum required annual increase per child would be small

    • 2011-2012 Example: Due to the low inflation rate used for calculating prices for next school year, the most a school would be required to raise prices is 5 cents. If a child eats every day, the total annual cost would be $9 (180 days X 5 cents).

    • Future Years Example: The most schools will be REQUIRED to raise prices is 10 cents. If a child eats every day, the total annual cost would be $18.

  • The school food authority may instead use non-Federal sources to provide the required revenue


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Reporting Prices of Paid Lunches

Beginning in School Year 2011-2012, school food authorities must report their paid lunch prices to USDA through the Michigan Department of Education

Data is reported on the CNAP application(s) every program year

USDA must publish these prices


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Questions?

  • School Nutrition Programs

    • 517-373-3347

    • [email protected]


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