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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Sandy Creek Central School District – Cafeteria Operations (2016M-354)

Released: December 30, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to analyze the school lunch fund’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2015 through June 24, 2016.


The Sandy Creek Central School District is located in the Towns of Sandy Creek, Boylston, Orwell, Redfield, Richland and Williamstown in Oswego County; the Town of Ellisburg in Jefferson County; and the Town of Osceola in Lewis County. The District, which operates two cafeterias that serve approximately 800 students and 220 employees, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted school lunch appropriations for the 2016-17 fiscal year total $513,020.

Key Findings

  • District officials did not perform a cost-per-meal analysis and did not ensure cafeteria operations were financially self-sufficient.
  • The District’s productivity level for meals per labor hour (MPLH) is below the industry average.
  • District officials paid cafeteria employee benefits annually from the general fund during fiscal years 2013-14 through 2015-16. Had these expenditures, which averaged $169,000 annually, been paid from the school lunch fund, the fund’s average annual operating deficit would have increased to almost $179,000.

Key Recommendations

  • Complete a cost-per-meal analysis and, where possible, explore methods for increasing revenues and decreasing expenditures to a level that allows the school lunch fund to be self-sustaining.
  • Monitor the MPLH and develop a strategy to move toward the industry standards for MPLH.
  • Ensure that the cost of the associated benefits for cafeteria employees is paid from the school lunch fund so the actual cost of operations can be used in making financial decisions.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236