HAMPSTEAD – The cost of meals at Hampstead schools is going up in May.
Whitsons, the Hampstead School District food provider participating in the National School Lunch Program, must review its paid lunch revenue to assure compliance, and that review determined that for the school year 2014-2015, companies that on average charged less than $2.65 for lunches would be required to increase their average price or provide additional non-federal funds to the non-profit school food service account.
To that end, the meals at Hampstead Central School will increase by 6 percent, rising from $2.50 to $2.65. At Hampstead Middle School, the current cost of the meal is $2.75, and this will rise 3.6 percent to $2.85. The cost of adult meals at both schools remains the same at $3.75.
Whitsons increased the prices based on the requirement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A USDA letter informed Whitsons, “When the SFA’s (school food authority) average paid lunch price is less than the difference between the current free and paid federal reimbursement rates, the SFA would be noncompliant and therefore must determine how they will meet the requirements. This may be done by increasing their average paid lunch price or providing funds from non-federal sources.”
Assistant Superintendent Roxanne Wilson asked the Hampstead School Board to approve the increased prices. The board voted unanimously to do so at its Tuesday, April 8 meeting.
Wilson said there are still delinquent accounts from parents not paying food service bills, but said they are not an overwhelming amount. She also noted that only about 7 percent of Hampstead students use the free and reduced meals. Delinquent accounts are checked to see if they are eligible for the free and reduced meal account and if not, are offered a payment plan.
In other business:
• The Search Committee for the HMS Principal candidates includes Wilson; Nancy Danahy of Human Resources; Curriculum Director Doris Buco; fifth grade teacher Lori-Lyn Griffin; Claudette Stone from Special Education; Cathy Costa and Aileen Wall from the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA); Judy Graham from the community; and Jaye Dimando, School Board member. The committee will be meeting soon to review candidate applications and decide which candidates the committee wishes to interview.
• Liaison assignments were made, and Greg Hoppa will be liaison with Central School, Jason Cipriano will continue to work with technology, Jaye Dimando will continue to work with Hampstead Middle School, Suzanne Barr will work with Special Education, and Wayne Dinsmore will work with facilities.