Fresh Bites Spring Edition 2022

Cost per month at: $4.10 for lunch and $2.60 for breakfast: K12 to optimize our funds, so we can give kids the best options without wasting resources. An investment in equitably-funded meals is one that will be used wisely and couldn’t come at a better time. I believe people can see the demand for change more than ever. Let’s use this moment to make it happen. Ask your legislators to support universal school meals. Whether you live in a big city, rural town, or the suburbs, there’s a school serving your neighborhood. Proper nourishment is a need that transcends our differences. That’s why equitably-funded meals benefit every community, no matter how much money the families who live there make. 7 Reasons Why Universal School Meals are Worth the Investment

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our lunch at $4.10 per meal (a 49% increase from the $2.75 example rate paid-eligible families currently pay). How does that impact families? The table below shows what families might pay based on the number of children in the home: Projected Cost of School Meals Per Month Without Universal Meal Program

• Local food and supply manufacturers, distributors, and farmers miss out on reliable business. • Manufacturers and distributors incentivized to work with schools through USDA commodity programs pull out of school markets, creating a widespread scarcity of options. School nutrition programs are facing these challenges right now. A universal school meals program answers every single one of them. The question isn’t if we need equitably- funded school meals. It’s how soon can we implement them for good. Our Children are Worth the Investment I know. It’s complex. We’ve never needed to understand the rapidly changing impact that variable costs have on our programs the way we do today. It’s impossible to set and forget a budget given the velocity of changes we see in the supply chain. We have to monitor costs in real- time and evaluate the impacts our decisions about menus have on food, labor, and supply costs. We’re in the business of providing nutritious meals to millions of families quickly — if any operation understands efficiency, it’s ours. Our industry is teemingwithsmart people who have the right combination of nutrition and business expertise. We use software as smart as MenuLogic

Number of Children


$134.00 $268.00 $402.00 $536.00

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For most paid-eligible families, those numbers are not sustainable. The natural consequence will be less participation in our programs. But the rising costs of running a program won’t go away just because our patrons do. What is the answer? Shutting us down? The implications of school nutrition programs selling less or going out of business have far-reaching impacts: • Students in the school district lose access to meals regardless of their Free, Reduced, or Paid status. • Nutrition program personnel receive pay cuts or lose their jobs.

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Equal to 1/2 cup of juice!

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