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Parents won't be paying any more for their children's lunches in the Siloam Springs School District next year.

Jason Carter, director of child nutrition, delivered the good news to school board members at Thursday's meeting.

"I'm excited to get to talk about meal prices," he said. "I don't get to say that very often."

Lunch prices will remain at the levels set last year, which are $2.35 for students in kindergarten through eighth grade and $2.85 for high school students. Breakfast prices will remain at $1.50 for all students and adult meal prices will continue to be $3.50.

The United States Department of Agriculture requires an annual review of prices. In previous years, if a district fell below the minimum average lunch price set by the USDA, it was required to increase its cost to parents by at least 10 cents to close the gap. Last year, the minimum average price was $2.48.

In 2018, the USDA delayed releasing the information on meal prices for about six weeks, Carter said.

The spending bill signed into law on March 23 by President Donald Trump, included a section that requires only school districts with a negative balance in their nonprofit school fund service account as of Jan. 31 to go up in price for the 2018-2019 school year, according to a memo posted on the USDA website,

Carter told the school board the district's had a positive balance and said he did not recommend increasing prices.

Even though the stay in price increases is only for one year, the district will not have to raise lunch prices more than 10 cents next year because of the price cap built into the USDA policy, he said.

"If we don't have to go up, why would we want to go up," Carter said. "We don't want to do that to parents, we don't want to do that to our participation, price ourselves out of it."

General News on 05/13/2018

Print Headline: School meal prices to stay the same

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