all paying more for groceries these days, and the Kodiak Island Borough School
District is no exception.
Luke Fulp told the school board at this week’s work session in Ouzinkie that
the district is expecting a 292-thousand dollar shortfall in its food service
budget this year.
(School Food 1 :26s “…over
20,000 cases of milk.”)
transportation and energy costs are also partly to blame, as food suppliers
pass those expenses on to the district. He says the district will look for
money to make up the shortfall when it does budget revisions in January. One
option the district is not considering is charging more for student meals as
districts in other parts of the state have done. Fulp says that would barely
put a dent into the amount that needs to be made up.
(School Food 2 :33s “…10,000
dollars of extra revenue.”)
But the district
is looking for ways to save money by being more efficient. Sandy Daws, the
district’s purchasing coordinator, addressed the school board by
videoconference during Monday’s work session. She says a reviewer who works
with the district every couple years on the food service program is scheduled
to be in Kodiak this month and will evaluate ways the program can save money.
(School Food 3 :22s “…operating
in the hole basically.”)
In addition, Fulp
says Daws is working on creating a more comprehensive list of food service
costs at each school.
(School Food 4 :16s “…a
better idea of what’s going on.”)
The district did
get some good news regarding food service recently. The state Department of
Education and Early Development awarded Kodiak schools a 27-thousand dollar
grant to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables at five village schools and Main
Elementary. Daws says part of the money will go toward buying a vacuum sealer
that can keep the foods fresh.