The Florida Legislature
OPPAGA script logo
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

School Districts’ Food Service Programs Generally Are Not Financially Self-Sufficient, Report No. 09-04, January 2009
Full report in PDF format

Best Financial Management Practices Reviews by School Districts
The Best Financial Management Practices

  • The financial condition of the state’s school district food service programs is mixed. Although most programs have positive fund balances, almost one half have experienced significant declines in these reserves in recent years and current levels may not be sufficient to cover unforeseen expenses or revenue shortfalls. In addition, fund balances often overstate the financial status of food service programs because most school districts do not charge the programs for all indirect and support costs, and many school districts use general funds to subsidize their food service programs.
  • Several factors affect meal prices including meal costs, federal reimbursement revenue, levels of student participation, federal commodities, and a la carte sales. Over the past five-year period, about two-thirds of school districts have raised meal prices to cover rising costs. On average, meal prices and meal costs increased by similar rates.
  • The current methodology used to allocate state general revenue funds to support school district food service programs does not provide incentives to promote fiscal efficiency. If the Legislature continues current funding levels, it could change the methodology to better meet Legislative objectives.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Education System
Public Schools (K-12 Education)
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 09-05 Providing a Free Breakfast to All Public School Students Would Be Costly for Most School Districts, published in February 2009.
  • Report No. 09-03 No Changes Are Necessary to the State’s Organization of School Nutrition Programs,published in September 2009.
  • Report No. 09-02 Best Practices Could Help School Districts Reduce Their Food Service Program Costs, published in January 2009.
  • Report No. 08-67 State Food Safety Programs Should Improve Performance and Financial Self-Sufficiency,published in December 2008.
  • Report No. 04-32 Some School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Their Food Service Costs and Ensure Self-Sufficiency,published in May 2004.
  • Report No. 04-26 With Effective Planning, Accountability, and Oversight, School Districts Can Successfully Outsource Services,published in March 2004.
  • Report No. 04-10 School Districts Can Take Steps to Substantially Reduce Their Transportation Costs,published in February 2004.
  • Report No. 03-62 School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Facility Operating Costs Through Conservation, Productivity,published in November 2003.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address:

Reports  |  Home