Prices cheese off fundraisers

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A favourite fundraiser, cheese rolls, is going off the menu for education providers as soaring dairy prices make them too expensive to produce.

Karen Crawford, treasurer of the Mornington Kindergarten in Dunedin said the rolls had been "very, very expensive" to produce during a drive last November.

The centre once had a deal with a supplier to buy catering quality grated cheese for $23 a 5kg bag.

But in November, the price went up to $34.80 a bag, and it is now $47.80.

Sliced bread had increased from $2 a loaf to $3.90.

Last year, the kindergarten made 1600 dozen rolls, selling them at $12 for three dozen. It would now have to increase this price by between $3 and $4.

Dunedin Community College food and beverages tutor Geoff Palenski said increased dairy prices had cut the profit margins for many fundraising activities.

A catering supplier had recently quoted 5kg of grated cheese as costing between $45 and $52; the same quantity cost about $28 last year, he said.

"The cheese rolls are still better value than the ones in shops," Mr Palenski said.

"These can be up to $1.50 each, and are often more a bread than cheese roll.

"It just seems too expensive in a country where dairy production is increasing," he said.

Pine Hill Kindergarten manager Claire Hutton said while the centre did not make cheese rolls, increased dairy prices had driven up the cost of pre-made pizzas they ordered from a catering supply company.

The Mornington Kindergarten community was to discuss fundraising at a meeting last night and faced being forced to abandon food fundraising.

"Cheese rolls are still very popular," Mrs Crawford said.

"We'd not be asking anything like as much as bakeries. But it is getting too expensive for many kindy families."


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