Food guidelines will hike cafeteria costs in New England schools

Posted June 26, 2011, at 10:10 a.m.

ROCHESTER, N.H. — New school nutrition guidelines issued by the Department of Agriculture in January could push up the costs of cafeteria lunches in northern New England schools.

The guidelines call for more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free and low-fat milk, and lower levels of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and calories in school meals.

Dennis Chagnon, food service director for the Marshwood School District in South Berwick, tells Foster’s Daily Democrat that such foods have a price. Chagnon says that with the new foods it will cost 58 to 64 cents more per plate, and the government is only going to give an additional 6 cents reimbursement.

Republicans in the U.S. House are asking for a revised rule that would not require an increase in the cost of providing school meals.

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