FARMINGTON — Students in Regional School Unit 9 who pay full price for breakfast and lunches will pay 10 to 25 cents more in 2017-18, depending on the grade level and the meal, the school board decided this week. It is an effort to close the gap on the actual cost of the meals.

Directors voted Tuesday to increase meal prices and to adopt a Meals Charging Policy. Under the policy, high school seniors who owe more than $100 for meals will not be eligible for senior privileges and may not be eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies. If students are attending RSU 9 under a superintendent’s agreement, it may not be renewed until balances are paid. Balances will be referred to collections when they reach $300, if no effort has been made to address the outstanding balance.

The district was owed $41,000 for meals in late May. Andrew Hutchins, food service director, estimated that the amount owed had dropped to about $39,000 after some payments were made.

Meal tabs follow students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Beginning Aug. 1, all meals must be prepaid and the money put into an account.  Students will be allowed to charge on that account a maximum of 10 lunches or $35, whichever is reached first. Once they owe $35, a letter will be mailed to their home. The letter will include the policy, balance owed and a free or reduced-price meal application.

Students also must have funds in their account to purchase milk, snacks or drinks.

The food service program is a stand-alone enterprise and not part of the district’s budget.


According to the policy, schools reserve the right to deny a meal to a student who pays either reduced or full price and does not provide payment for that meal. No student who is believed to be improperly nourished shall be denied a meal for any reason. Students with free meal status may continue to receive meals even if they have an outstanding balance, but other restrictions will be applicable.

The new breakfast full-paid price for grades kindergarten through five is $1.25, an increase of 15 cents. In grades six through 12 if it $1.50, a 25-cent increase. Full- paid lunch prices at those levels are $2.10, an increase of 10 cents, and $2.35, a 15-cent increase, respectively.

Prices for students receiving free or reduced-price breakfasts will remain at zero and the cost for reduced-price lunches will stay at 40 cents.

The cost of an adult breakfast is $2.25, a 20-cent increase, and the price of a lunch is $4.15, an increase of 25 cents.

Hutchins, who just completed his first year with the district, has improved meal offerings, increased participation in the program, and has found ways to make the system work more efficiently, according to information provided at the board meeting.

During the school year that just ended, 185,483 lunches and 100,361 breakfasts were served, Hutchins said.


Revenue was $842,537.33, an increase of $104,516.03 from last year. It factors in funds from state and federal sources. Total labor costs were $507,828.13, a decrease of $4,210.42. Food costs rose by $41,841.85, to $311,065.80.

Total expenses were $886,979.24, a loss of $44,441.71.

In 2016 the loss was $85,455.33. The school lunch fund balance for 2016-17 is roughly $139,474.29 compared to $183,916 last year, Hutchins said.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: