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For many, the price of a school lunch served in the Army and Air Force Exchange Service overseas school meal program will increase by 10 cents for the coming school year.

The increase, the first in nine years, is needed to cover rising food, labor and transportation costs, according to an AAFES press release.

Middle school and high school meals will climb to $2.20. Elementary school student meals will go up to $2.05.

Kristine Sturkie, a spokeswoman at Navy Exchange Service Command, said NEXCOM would follow suit for their locations in Italy and Iceland.

“Our prices will be going up as well, as with AAFES,” Sturkie said Friday.

AAFES reviews pricing annually to ensure the program is running on a break-even basis.

“Since AAFES does not generate any earnings from the school meal program, raising the prices is the only way to sustain the program,” said Maj. Gen. Kathryn Frost, AAFES commander.

The free, reduced price (40 cents) and breakfast meals, which constitute 40 percent of meals served in AAFES school cafeterias, will not be affected.

“Reduced prices and free meals are available to students whose families meet USDA income guidelines. The military services and AAFES do not set the criteria,” Richard Sheff, AAFES Vice President of the Food and Theater Division said in the release. “Sponsors may purchase coupons for the USDA patterned meals at the AAFES PX/BX main store cashiers window.”

AAFES provides school meals to students on Army and Air Force installations in 10 countries throughout Europe and the Pacific. Each year, this program serves about 4.5 million lunches in 136 schools.

At many locations AAFES has implemented an automated school meal payment system. Parents complete an enrollment application, establish an account and the dependants use a pin number to pay for pattern meals. In addition to USDA pattern meals, AAFES School Cafeterias feature an assortment of healthy menu alternatives.

AAFES School Meal Daily Menus are posted for review at www.aafes.com. In addition, parents and students can forward comments and suggestions on the Web site directly to the AAFES Staff Dietitian, Major John Ruibal.


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