ARDMORE, OK - At Tuesday's regular school board meeting a 3-0 vote bumped school lunch prices up by a nickel for next year.
Jennifer Roach, the child nutrition director for the schools, said the federal government said they have to raise prices.
"To close the gap in between what a free student's meal is reimbursed to us by the federal government and the price a full-price student pays for their lunch," said Roach.
A USDA mandate said students who pay for lunch should pay the same amount that schools are reimbursed for free lunches.
Right now the government reimburses Ardmore schools $2.79 for every free lunch. Unassisted students will pay $1.20 at the elementary level and $1.30 at the high school or middle school level with the increase.
Pre-K and kindergarten student lunch will stay at $1.15.
Roach said they're staggering the increase by grade levels.
"I can maybe miss a category every year to where not the same parents are being hit over and over again on the increase," said Roach.
The schools will have to raise their prices five cents on average every year until the $1.50 gap is closed.
And while it's not going over well with all parents some like Jerry Darcey said five cents extra isn't too much to pay.
"If they want to increase it a little bit if it's going to help with the quality of the food for the kids I don't see why not," said Darcey.
Roach said any money coming in from lunches goes right back to kids.
"And offering healthier choices and more age appropriate choices," Roach said.