Patty Baresse, a nutrition specialist with Nutrition Inc., the vendor that supplies breakfast and lunch meals to students attending the Jim Thorpe Area School District, delivered a report to the board of education during its normal monthly meeting on Monday evening.
"I am very happy to report that we are way ahead of budget this school year," Baresse said. "We had projected a loss of approximately $100,000 for the 2009-2010 school year. We are projecting at this point that the loss will only be between $20,000 and $30,000. So, there is a $70,000 difference from where we initially projected we would end up."
Baresse said that part of the reason for the smaller budget shortfall was that the district has more free and reduced lunch students registered, which impacts how much money the school receives in reimbursements from the state. More than 60 students now receive free lunches and more than 80 students receive reduced lunch fees.
"We're having a really great year and we're very excited about that," she said.
Looking forward to next year, Baresse said that the plan was to maintain the current revenue from the program, but that expenses are expected to increase by 6 percent. She said that the majority of the increase was in the food cost and the remainder in labor costs. If the school chose not to increase the prices it charged students, she told the board to expect to incur a loss of $80,000 next year.
In order to compensate for the increase, Baresse offered the board a number of budget options for the upcoming year, along with information about how other schools in the area were dealing with their lunch budgets. The board took no action on the information at the meeting.