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Feds Up School Meal Reimbursement

The government has announced a 4.3% annual increase in the federal reimbursement provided to school nutrition programs. The School Nutrition Association says that the increased reimbursement does not cover the estimated 11.6% increase in the cost of preparing and serving meals that schools have witnessed this year. It estimates that the average full cost to prepare a healthy school lunch is approximately $2.88, compared to the new federal reimbursement provided to cover that cost, now set at $2.57. Even with about 20 cents worth of healthy food items provided through USDA commodity distribution program, school nutrition programs are projected to lose 11 cents per lunch served next school year or about $3.3 million each school day during the 2008-2009 school year, SNA adds.

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