Pennridge reviews Nutrional Services revenue, changing regulations
“There have been no changes to the national school lunch program in 15 years,” Director of Nutritional Services Gina Giarratana said at PennULGJH 6FKool BoDUG’s finDnFH committee meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13.
This year, however, drastic changes were made to the district’s lunches due to the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by fiUsW lDGy 0LFKHllH 2bDPD and the USDA.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was designed to combat childhood obesity. The new federal regulations began in July of this year.
Some of these regulations include an increase in fruit and vegetable servings in sSHFLfiF subJUouSs, suFK Ds beans or orange vegetables or leafy greens. Also, 50 percent of grains must be whole grain, and students must take a fruit or vegetable with their lunch for it to count as a reimbursable meal.
Two high school students were present at Tuesday’s PHHWLnJ. 2nH sDLG KH sDw some students taking the mandatory fruit or vegetable and throwing it away. The other said students were eating more fruit than they used to.
“They are really encouraged to make healthy choices,” Giarratana said.
There are also calorie restrictions, which have a minimum and maximum limit.
“This is the most challenging portion of this act for me as the menu planner,” Giarratana said.
Next year, there will be added regulations. For example, all grains must be 100 percent whole grain. Gi- arratana said almost all the grains provided at lunches now were whole grain, but pizza crusts next year will be a challenge.
There will also be sodium restrictions, and breakfast regulations will begin. This year, the act only affects lunches.
7KH finDnFLDl LPSDFW oI HHFKA means projected lunch food costs may increase by 0.28 percent per meal. Breakfast food costs may increase 0.14 percent per meal next year, as well.
For the 2013-14 year, Nutritional Services is proposing a 10 cent lunch increase; there will be no breakfast increase.
There have been no price LnFUHDsHs Ln WKH SDsW fiYH years, according to Giarratana.
In 2012, there was a loss in Nutritional Services’ revenue of $101,515 in the el- ementary schools, but there were gains in the middle and high schools at $49,079 and $161,141, respectively, according to Giarratana. The nHW SUofiW IoU WKH 1uWULWLonDl Services department this year is $93,059.
This amount is lower than other years, according to Giarratana. In the 2010-11 yHDU, SUofiWs wHUH DUounG $200,000 and the year before that $166,000. The deFUHDsH Ln WKH nHW SUofiW WKLs year was due to a decrease in sales, an increase in food costs and a $63,000 increase in labor costs.
Giarratana said Nutritional Services was trying to look into ways to reduce costs. For example, the district had been using a food vendor that sold cases of apples for $43 at 43 cents per apple, but the Nutritional Services department found apples from a local farmer who sold cases of apples for $32, at 32 cents per apple.
The regulations and possibly economic factors have led to some decreases in meals, according to Giarratana.
This September, there were 8,358 fewer meals purchased than in 2011. That nuPbHU wDs UHGuFHG Ln 2Ftober, however, when there were 3,085 meals fewer than in 2011.
Breakfast meals, on the other hand, have increased by 1,365 in 2012. Giarratana said this may be because there are no regulations affecting breakfast foods.
Giarratana said there will be a need for equipment replacements in the next three Wo fiYH yHDUs. 7KLs PDy FosW $150,000 to $175,000.
Also at Tuesday’s meetLnJ, WKH finDnFH FoPPLWWHH recommended several contracts to be voted on by the full board, including a con- tract with Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit for a PowerSchool hosting site.
PowerSchool, a web-based student information system IUoP 3HDUson, “sLPSlLfiHs data-driven decision making by providing real-time information to all stakeholders — over the Internet,” according to the Carbon-Lehigh IU website. The website also states, “Teachers gain timesaving administrative tools, parents gain immediate access to their children’s grades and students can track their own progress.”
Currently, the district pays $50,000 per year to handle this in-house, but the contract with Carbon-Leigh means the district will pay around $85,000. The contract, however, means unlimited support with a group that knows the software program “in and out,” according to Business Administrator Kathy Johnson.