School meals cost goes up

Published 8:44 pm Friday, August 7, 2009

The cost of meals served in Chilton County public school lunchrooms will increase by 50 cents for the 2009-2010 school year.

Students will pay $2 for lunch and $1 for breakfast, while teachers will now pay $2.75 for lunch and $1.75 for breakfast. Meal costs for visitors will now be $3.50 and $2, respectively.

Child Nutrition Program Director Pat Clements attributed the increase to rising food costs.

The board of education also continues to make strides toward providing more fruits and vegetables in school meals. The State Department of Child Nutrition selected two local schools to participate in special programs.

Clanton Elementary School will participate in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables program, which supplies students with a fruit or vegetable snack at no cost to the students. This is being funded by a $49,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“They’ve addressed the fact that children need to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to combat the growing obesity problem,” said Linda B. Godfrey of the School Nutrition Association and American Dietetic Association.

Jemison Elementary School will take part in the Healthier U.S. School Challenge for 2009-2010.

“Their menus will include more whole grains as well as more yellow and green vegetables,” said Clements, who participated in a two-day training conference at the University of Mississippi along with 24 other child nutrition directors. The conference was funded by a grant.

CES Principal Rebecca Threlkeld and JES Principal Louise Pitts were cooperative in getting the programs started.

“All of these programs are to improve the eating habits of children,” Clements said.