Difficult, today, not to pass on the price of raw materials and energy on the prices of the school canteen, in this period of return. Faced with multiple aggravating factors, how are the different municipalities adapting?

The ten member municipalities of the former community of municipalities of the Pays de Courpière (Augerolles, Vollore-Ville, Saint-Flour-l’Étang, etc.) have kept the management of their canteens in a common service, even today. A shared service, to set the price of a meal at €3.30 for regular users. “A school, a canteen and a canteen”, develops Pierre Roze, the mayor of Vollore-Ville.

A shared service

“We have a price control system for each meal,” he continues. In Courpière, for example, the average cost of materials is around €1.70, compared to just over €2 in Saint-Flour-l’Étang. But the price is the same in all ten municipalities. »

A service meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, to find out if the price of the meal will increase. “But I don’t think we’ll do it, we’re not going to charge the parents, ends Pierre Roze. We have management resources to contain all that. Control waste, for example. But between the unfreezing of the point of index of territorial officials and the cost of energy, we have other factors that we do not control. »

How the canteens of Thiers and Ambert (Puy-de-Dôme) are coping with the shortage and rising prices in food

Other municipalities have chosen to no longer cook, but to be accompanied by a service provider, such as in Puy-Guillaume or Chabreloche. The specialized catering company that provides school meals has increased the unit price by €0.15. “We now buy them for €3.94,” notes Jean-Pierre Dubost, the mayor of Chabreloche. They are resold for €2.70, so the municipality subsidizes the difference. »

Outsourcing, for what benefits?

To no longer control the cost of a meal is to suffer. “But outsourcing the preparation of meals had several objectives, justifies the mayor. We don’t have to worry about compliance with current health standards, it also saves us an inaccessible investment to redo the school kitchens. We are absolutely certain that in terms of food safety, everything is respected. And today, it is not by 5 or 6% that the cost of a meal should be increased, it is by much more if we did. »

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Some still had no choice but to increase prices by 5%, as in Lezoux. “Everything is done in-house, with local products, and with inflation, the municipality cannot support everything. At one point we lack oxygen, ”explains Mayor Alain Cosson. Last year, a meal cost €3.09 to €4.53. This year, it’s €3.24 to €4.76.

Alexandre Chazeau

More than 60,000 meals in Thiers. With its 61,000 meals served per year in schools (on a 2019 basis), the City of Thiers has chosen this year to leave the unit price of the meal at €3, for everyone, “despite the constraints”, according to Hélène Boudon, co-first assistant in charge of school affairs. “The rest will be absorbed by the community. This year, the services anticipate an increase in registrations. “It also responds to savings on the part of families, between meals, journeys…” As for next year, “the elements within our reach may require us to increase”, advances Hélène Boudon.

Food – Things are heating up in school canteens in the Thiers basin (Puy-de-Dôme)