By Colleen Mahoney

The Springville-Griffith Institute Central School Board of Education has approved a one-year contract with Sodexo Food Service to provide cafeteria food for students. The decision came after a special meeting on Sept. 1.

The new contract is for the 2016-17 school year with the option to extend for another four years. The board held discussions on contracting with a new provider before deciding to work with Sodexo again.

Business Administrator Maureen Lee explained that the price of lunches increased, sending the district on a search for another provider. Lunches themselves increased $0.10, but the administrative fee increase was close to $6,000.

Lee explained that the district pays based on the number of lunches sold in a month, noting that Sodexo is one of the “key players” in the food service provider industry. In 2015-16, the district paid $38,000; with the increase, Lee anticipates the fees to be $48,000.

“That’s a significant increase … you can sustain it for this year, but it’s going to start to eat away the fund balance,” Lee said.

She noted that the district has seen a decline in the purchase of lunches, but that is beginning to stabilize at the elementary school level. The district also receives subsidies for the number of free and reduced lunches provided.

The board approved the contract in a 5-0 vote; board members Michael Connors and Garret English were not in attendance.

The Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education will next meet on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m., in the High School library and media center.