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Bemidji School Board mulls increased school lunch prices

BEMIDJI - Parents and guardians could be paying more for school lunches next year.

The Bemidji School District's Board of Education will vote on whether to increase school meal prices during its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The district's food service department received a notice from the Minnesota Department of Education stating the U.S. Department of Agriculture is directing districts to raise the lunch price if the current average price is less than $2.50 per meal, according to a memorandum included in the school board agenda.

Meal prices are proposed to increase from $2.25 to $2.35 at the elementary schools, $2.50 to $2.55 at Bemidji Middle School and $2.60 to $2.65 at Bemidji High School.

Roughly 52 percent of students in the district qualify to receive free or reduced-priced meals.

Schools that participate in the state's school nutrition program can accept applications for free and reduced-priced school meal benefits.

If the percentage of students who qualify for meal aid in a school exceeds the district's overall percentage, the school can qualify to receive Title I funding, which is an additional amount of money from the state that can be used in the classroom.

Four schools in the district that receive Title I funding are Central, J.W. Smith, Solway and Lincoln elementary schools.

In other business, the Bemidji High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps will update the board happenings within the organization.