The Palo Alto (CA) school board has approved a lunch program deficit reduction plan that maintains a full lunch program at all its schools except Palo Alto High School, reports the San Jose Mercury. The plan cuts some staffing hours and raises meal prices in the secondary schools while leaving middle and elementary school programs mostly unaltered. The board decided to terminate the lunch program at Palo Alto High because of the availability of numerous adjacent off-campus choices that have consistently reduced participation in the cafeteria. The program at the system’s other secondary school, Gunn High School, would remain but would be reduced from full-service hot meals to grab-and-go options like pre-packaged sandwiches and fruit. Palo Alto’s school meal program had been running a $600,000 deficit, which the approved plan would cut to $350,000. The board rejected a more severe alternative that likely would have wiped out the deficit in one year by cutting 52.5 labor hours and raising meal prices by an additional quarter.
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