Schools Raise Price of Meals
To offset rising food costs, the Moore County school system is raising the price of breakfast and lunches next year for the first time since 2001.
The Board of Education on Monday night voted unanimously to increase the prices by 25 cents for breakfast and lunch for all full-paying students.
Breakfasts currently cost 75 cents and lunches range from $1.50 for kindergarten through eighth-grade to $1.75 for high school students.
The increase is in line with what surrounding county school systems charge.
The average price for breakfast this year for paying students in 10 surrounding counties is 80 cents. The average lunch price is $1.51 for grades K-5, $1.68 for grades 6-9 and $1.70 for high school students. Many of those counties are also considering price increases.
The price increase for Moore County will result in an additional $160,000 for the school system. According to Mike Griffin, chief finance officer, the school nutrition program has been self-sustaining over the past 10 years but lost $130,000 this past year. He attributed the loss to increases in food and gas prices.
As of April 30, the school system had served 1,028,995 lunches and 389,935 breakfasts, according to a memo from Griffin that was presented to the board. Of those meals, 460,050 lunches and 95,882 breakfasts were served to paying students.
Board member Kathy Farren asked if the increase would be enough to cover the higher expenses.
"We may consider a future increase," Griffin said, "but it will not be in the middle of the year."
Board member Joe Vaughn added, "This is not a choice we want to do, but something we have to do to remain solvent."
The board also heard a bond project update from John Hawthorne, executive supervisor for construction for the school system.
Hawthorne said a house on the property in Vass where a new middle school will be located has been sold at auction. It will be removed from the land by September.
Representatives from architectural firm LS3P are drawing up construction documents in preparation for seeking bids in September.
In addition, modular units have been set up at Union Pines and North Moore high schools. Plumbing and electrical systems, along with fire alarms and phone lines are being installed. Furniture for both sites has been ordered.
Hawthorne said gymnasium air-conditioning projects at all three high schools are under way and should be completed by the beginning of school.
Two projects have been completed -- the new practice field at North Moore High School and the new gym floor at Union Pines High School are completed.
Work to resurface several tennis courts at various schools is also under way.
The program highlight was a presentation by Eric Porter, assistant superintendent for secondary schools, on scholarships earned by Moore County graduates.
This year, 887 students will graduate from the county's public high schools. Three hundred of those graduates received partial or full scholarships. Of those, 145 came from local organizations, businesses, churches, community organizations or civic groups.
"Moore County students have been offered more than $8 million in scholarships," Porter said. "That is a job well done."
Board Chairwoman Lorna Clack added, "It's always good to see those wonderful checks and know they will be spent on education."
In other business, the board unanimously appointed Linda McCaskill as the nominee to Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees. The term is from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2012. She is a former member of the school board
The board also recognized several students, teachers and staff.
Staff members recognized were Mary Susan Humphrey, of West End Elementary; Carolyn Marsh, of Cameron Elementary; Cathy McRae, of the central office; Angela Alford, a bus driver for exceptional students; Kristy Hamilton, New Century Middle School PTA president; Freda Alley, of Aberdeen Primary; Kim Bates, of Robbins Elementary; Marci Houseman, of West Pine Middle; Deborah Irwin, of Southern Middle; Kathy Rallings, of Academy Heights; Karen Lewis, of West Pine Middle; Stephanie Marsh, of West End Elementary; and Judy Osborne, of Union Pines High.
Students honored were Pom McCabe, of Pinecrest High School; Derrick Ross, of Union Pines; Shaneika McRae, of Pinecrest High; Lauren Bishop, of Pinecrest High; and the Pinecrest High School men's golf team.
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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