School lunch prices at many Las Cruces Public Schools will be increased for the 2018-19 school year and will be in effect on the first day, said Amanda Esquibel, LCPS Director of Nutrition Services.
Several LCPS schools which participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Program will not be affected by the price increase, since those schools serve free breakfast and lunch to all students, every day, Esquibel added.
- Regular prices for students: Breakfast charges of $1.00 will stay the same across the district. The elementary lunch price will increase from $1.85 to $1.90; Middle school lunch prices will increase from $2.25 to $2.30; High school lunch prices will increase from $2.30 to $2.35. The price of lunches served to parents and other school visitors will remain at $3.00.
- Reduced-price meals, based on eligibility: Breakfast for all students $0.30 (no change); Lunch for all students: $0.40 (no change).
- Free breakfast and lunch, based on eligibility: No change.
The price increases for regular-priced meals are part of LCPS’ compliance with United States Department of Agriculture regulations that compel school districts to charge students as much for a lunch as the district receives from USDA for a student who receives free meals.
“The USDA has mandated this price increase so that the amount paid for regular-price meals is closer to their actual cost,” Esquibel said. “We want families to know that the free or reduced-price meals are staying the same as last year.”
There are a total of 26 schools that will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s CEP program. Based on the number of low income families, this program helps thousands of children who can get a healthy breakfast and lunch at no cost. Parents do not need to fill out an application to be eligible for the meals. The 26 schools that will offer free meals as part of the CEP program are: Alameda, Booker T. Washington, Central, César E. Chávez, Columbia, Conlee, Doña Ana, East Picacho, Hermosa Heights, Hillrise, Jornada, Loma Heights, MacArthur, Mesilla, Mesilla Park, Monte Vista, Sunrise, Tombaugh, University Hills and Valley View elementaries, Lynn, Mesa, Picacho and Vista middle schools, Mesilla Valley Leadership Academy and Rio Grande Preparatory Institute.
At Fairacres Elementary and Sonoma Elementary, all students will be served free breakfast in each student’s classroom, but lunches must be purchased for families who are not eligible for free- or reduced-price meals. In addition, snacks will be provided free to students who participate in eligible after-school programs at all LCPS schools. Parents are encouraged to apply for free or reduced- priced school meals by picking up an application from the school cafeteria, school office, or nutrition services office. The application should be returned to the school cafeteria or nutrition services office, not the child’s teacher. Children that are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals will be notified via written letter within 10 days of receiving the completed application. All information is kept confidential.
Parents may request that their family’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals be reviewed by school officials at any time during the school year. If a parent does not agree with the decision made by the school about his or her application for free or reduced-price meals, the parent may wish to discuss the matter with Esquibel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Williams at email@example.com, both of whom may also be reached at 575-527-5993.
— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, firstname.lastname@example.org