Due to a loss of $20,000 in grant money, Skagway School will no longer offer milk with student’s lunch and snack programs.
The Nutritional Alaskan Foods in Schools Grant provided the school an excess of $20,000 and allowed them to offer robust lunches with crab, halibut and salmon on the menu.
Superintendent Josh Coughran said after talking to the school board, it was clear that they wanted the quality to remain the same, but money had to be cut somewhere.
After talking with food service chef Dylan Healy and business manager Cindy O’Daniel, they decided to do away with milk.
“We’ve been spending over $5,000 a year on milk,” Coughran said. “What I’ve observed in the lunch room is a lot of waste – a lot of it poured into the bucket at the end of the day.”
[quote_right]“We’ve been spending over $5,000 a year on milk,” Coughran said.[/quote_right]
Lunches will be provided with water. Anyone who wishes to bring milk can keep it in the lunchroom’s refrigerator.
Though cutting milk from the program only saves the school $5,000, Coughran said the remaining deficit will be dealt with through accountability, portion size and purchasing.
Big ticket items like salmon, crab and halibut won’t appear as often, and in some cases, halibut might be replaced with rock fish, but in general, students won’t see a major shift.
“The nice thing is that with increased enrollment and increased numbers at lunch, it helps fund the program too,” he said. “It’s a program that will never make money. If we have all of the students and parents as part of the lunch program, it helps with the revenue side of things.”
Coughran said Monday’s lunch was one of the largest he has seen, with 85 people signing up.
Currently, lunch costs $3.50 for students, $.40 for families who need assistance and $6.00 for adults.
A snack program for kindergarten through sixth grade will continue to be offered with a cost of $30 per quarter.
Coughran said he welcomes anyone with concerns and encourages parents to reach out to their state representatives to urge them to return the grant money.
“If we can keep this going, with what Dylan is doing in the kitchen, and not go back to the national school lunch program, then we should do that,” he said.