Fresh produce costs in big jump

GARDEN GROVE school board listens to a speaker (Orange County Tribune photo).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

An increase of nearly 30 percent in what the district will pay for fresh produce for food services was approved by the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education atits meeting on Tuesday

The board voted to accept a 29.77 percent increase to Gold Star Foods, effective today (Tuesday). Students will not be affected as meals are provided to them at no cost.

Lan Nguyen, vice president of the board, said, “This is really going to affect our budget” and asked if there was some way to avoid paying such a big leap in costs.

He was told that the bid approved by the board in July had a “price escalation clause,” and that – as a distributor rather than a producer of food – Gold Star passed on increases in costs tied to worldwide disruption of supply chains and rising freight charges.

Despite the increases, this was therefore still the “most cost-effective way” to buy the produce.
Also Tuesday night the board recognized the district’s employees of the Month for November. The classified employee is Cris Markleroad, a gardener who works at Eisenhower Elementary School and the certificated choice was Cathy Choi-Kim, a teacher at Lawrence Elementary School.

The GGUSD is a K-12 district serving most of Garden Grove and parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.

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