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School reviews food service budget

The annual food service review was presented to the Osakis School Board at its Monday, July 9 regular meeting.

The report showed revenue for the year just ended at $360,722.02, and total disbursements of $371,578.86, for a loss for the year of $10,856.84.

Total number of meals and total number of breakfasts served were both down for the year.

Average daily attendance for the year was 774, down 11 from the previous year. Average daily participation in the lunch program at 554 decreased 72 from the previous year. There were 172 total meal days served.

The food program during the 2017-18 year served a total of 95,329 meals, compared to 107,107 the preceding year. The breakdown shows 55,464 student meals were served, which was down 827 from the preceding year. The figure included 19,459 free meals; 17,947 reduced price meals; and 2,459 adult/Headstart meals served.

Total pints of milk served for the year increased by 2,882, to 171,692.

Breakfast totals were 10,833 in 2017-18, compared to 12,536 the preceding year. The breakfast total is broken down into 3,863 student breakfasts served, which included 3,514 free breakfasts, 1,825 reduced price breakfasts, 1,527 adult/Headstart breakfasts, and 104 kindergarten paid breakfasts.

The School Board discussed the unpaid accounts figure, which totals $19,390.42. This is in spite of the generous $1,000 donation to the meals program last month by Bell Bank.

Superintendent Randy Bergquist pointed out that the unpaid accounts are for more than the past seven years, not just for the 2017-18 school year. Lorraine Listberger, who compiled the report, keeps the unpaid bills on the books until requested to remove them.

Bergquist said his office has a call into the Minnesota Department of Education to address this issue, and he will also consult the auditor to develop some kind of policy to write off this figure.

Bergquist also commented that the district needs to do a better job of educating parents on how to apply for free or reduced price meals for their children.

"A lot of families would probably qualify for this," Bergquist said. The free/reduced percentage at Osakis this year fluctuated between 32-35 percent. Grant programs are requiring at least 40 percent free/reduced meals to qualify for grants.

Last year, some of the unpaid lunch bills were turned over to a collection agency, Bergquist said, but the return was very small after the commission was paid to the collection agency.

The lunch program revenues for the 2017-18 school year totaled $307,524.94. This included state and federal funds of $159,312.09. Lunch sales brought in $139,003.58. Adult and Headstart sales amounted to $7,916.67. The Minnesota milk program brought in $1,022.60, and the lunch milk sales were $270.

Breakfast revenues from state and federal amounted to $15,737.99.

A La carte revenue, both food and milk sales, totaled $37,459.09.

Lunch program disbursements totaled $303,601.03. Of that amount, food expense was $106,416.43. Milk cost was $17,366.21.

Breakfast/a La carte disbursements totaled $67,977.83, including $6,726.35 for breakfast food, $1,278.25 for kindergarten milk, and $5,774.50 for milk. A La carte food cost $21,029.27, and a La carte milk $440,25.

Disbursements include salaries, FICA, PERA, insurance, workman's comp, clothing fees, in addition to general supplies, repairs and maintenance. Costs also included consultant fees, travel, and dues.