SNA: Funding, food cost worry directors most

Funding and the cost of food and food prep are the issues that most concern school foodservice directors, according to the biannual "State of School Nutrition" survey conducted by the School Nutrition Association.

According to the survey, 77% of respondents listed these issues as most pressing, and nearly 60% of districts increased their lunch prices this year as the result of increased costs. More significantly, the median price hike this year was 25 cents. Two years ago, according to SNA, only about one-third of districts raised lunch prices, and the median increase was only 15 cents.

The survey, which sought information from 1,200 school foodservice directors, gathered data on a variety of topics. Among them, the survey showed that there has been a 12.4% increase in vegetarian offerings and an 11.5% rise in low-fat prepared/packaged foods offered to students. In addition, 37% of districts say they now offer locally grown produce, and another 21% indicated they are considering it.

Also, 96% of districts now offer breakfast programs, 51% offer after-school snacks and 43% provide summer foodservice. For information on how to obtain the complete survey, visit schoolnutrition.org