- The Washington Times - Monday, August 9, 2004

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. (AP) — Back-to-school checklists will have children scrambling for more lunch money this year.

Feeling the pressure of rising food, labor and transportation costs, schools nationwide are increasing the price of breakfast and lunch, in some cases for the first time in more than a decade and by as much as $1.

Duane Ford, business director for Somersworth schools, said this year’s 25-cent increase — the first in 10 years — is just the start. Staff cuts, eliminating the breakfast program and another increase next year also are being considered.

“What we did in terms of changing our price isn’t enough,” he said. “You start looking at reports saying, ‘… What are we going to do? This isn’t working.’”

The increases don’t affect the nearly 17 million children who get free or reduced-price lunches and who account for more than half of the 29 million children served by the National School Lunch Program this year.

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