Board of Education discusses cost of school lunches


Courtesy of District 158

By Steven Schumacher

The Board of Education met on Jan. 21 to discuss multiple issues, including the revenue and cost of school lunches, and how they benefit our district.

“Food services revenue is down. The cost associated with food services is also down, but we have to remember that some of that revenue that was coming in for school lunches also covered some of the overhead that we had,” Chief Financial Officer Mark Altmayer said.

The “overhead” being referred to is the constant cost to keep District 158 food services available out of the entire District’s budget. The cost of getting school lunches to families in need is low, but the revenue they are making from it is even lower, so the District can potentially lose money on of this. 

However, the District 158 Board of Education sees the provision of school lunches as necessary as many families cannot make lunches for their children, whether because of work or because of financial misfortunes.

On top of the school lunch costs, the Board of Education also touched base on the cleaning schedule for the schools in the district.

“We have a modified cleaning schedule…recognizing with our need to do enhanced cleaning to kill the COVID virus, we’re looking at electrostatically misting all the buildings every day there are students in the buildings and every place students are,” said Director of Operations and Maintenance Doug Renkosik.

Electrostatic misting is when a chemical that is electrostatically charged is sprayed on a surface in a larger effort to kill germs and viruses. After 48 hours, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the virus is completely dead. This does not mean the virus would not die before the 48 hours. This would cost the district extra money, but the exact cost was not given. The plan is to do this annually, but at the moment District 158 administrators are not sure if the e-misting will need to continue for this long.

Overall, many financial motions were passed and issues were resolved at the board meeting. In their continuous effort to ensure that all of District 158 benefits from these motions, the Board of Education members attended this meeting for 3 hours. Big thanks to the administration who are working hard to make our district better than ever, despite the pandemic.