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School lunch prices on rise
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The price of a school lunch will increase for the first time in two decades for students in Warren County as federal mandates have forced the hand of local administrators.“We have always tried to keep the price of lunch as low as possible,” said school nutrition director Jean Wix, noting the increase will be the first in lunch costs since 1990 for Warren County students. “This will necessitate an increase of 10 cents in lunch meals.”The increase, which was approved by the Warren County School Board, will mean the price of pre-K through eighth grade lunches will be $1.35, high school will be $1.60, and teacher lunches will be $2.35.The increased federal directive, which requires there are sufficient funds kept in the food service account, could mean there could be additional increases in lunch costs.“It would be better to increase it gradually rather than all at one time,” said incoming Director of Schools Bobby Cox.The increase, however, will only be paid by 35 percent of Warren County students since the other 65 percent are either eligible for free or reduced-rate lunches.School officials say it goes to show the level of poverty in Warren County when 65 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches.The new pricing will go into effect next year at all Warren County schools.