Paterson students go without lunch on first day of summer school | Paterson Times

Paterson students go without lunch on first day of summer school


Students at some schools went without lunch on Monday, first day of summer school, due to meal delivery delays experienced by a vendor, according to school officials.

Seven schools received late meal deliveries, said officials. The district requires the vendor, Driscoll Foods, to deliver before 10:30 a.m. Some schools received deliveries at 12 p.m. In two cases, schools received meals at 2 p.m., long after students were dismissed for the day.

It’s not clear how many students were affected.

“We are still investigating the situation to see what was the cause of the delivery [delays] and shortage today,” said business administrator Richard Matthews.

School officials said the vendor was asked last week whether its staff was familiar with the schools and prepared to make deliveries on Monday. It replied in the affirmative, suggesting a dry run was not needed.

A representative for Driscoll Foods did not respond to multiple calls for comment for this story.

“We’re not going to allow our students to not be fed lunch because an adult or a company messed it up,” said school board president Oshin Castillo. School officials scrambled to remediate the issue on Monday. The vendor is receiving a stern warning and has to forgo charging the district for today’s order for bungling the delivery.

Driscoll Foods receives millions of dollars in business from the district every school year.

“I’m furious about it. I’ve been getting a lot of calls from parents. Kids went home hungry. A lot of our kids depend on lunch,” said school board member Emanuel Capers. He said he reported the problem to the administration after receiving phone calls from parents.

“This should have never happened,” said Capers. School officials have told the company the district will switch to the second bidder for the contract if the issue persists.

School 28, 16, 18, and 13 received deliveries after 10:30 a.m.

School 24 received meals at 12:30 p.m. and School 5 and 27 received deliveries after 2 p.m., said school officials.

“First two days are a nightmare,” said recreation director Benjie Wimberly. He runs the city’s various recreation programs that receive lunch through the district’s summer meal program. He recalled about 15 years ago, students received spoiled milk. “That was the worst,” he said.

School officials said they do not expect similar problems to recur on Tuesday.

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  • DropKnowledge

    Well go feed the people instead of complaining on the internet

  • DropKnowledge

    By the way, when you're paying for services to be rendered, the provider has to hold up their end of the contract. Start looking at the principle and stop being so emotional.

  • Dominick Perez

    How much did Driscoll have to bribe the school board members for this contract?

  • Tony Clifton

    I grew up poor and before the government was in the business of feeding children that have parents that can't provide for them. I was hungry and I swore I wouldn't have my kids suffer like that…and guess what they didn't because I didn't have children before I could provide for them. Any parent that allows their children to eat free food from the government is a disgrace and deserves the scorn of the self sufficient.

    • DropKnowledge

      Stop patting yourself on the back. Everyone is different.

      • Tony Clifton

        Of course everyone is different but we have become a nation of people in which tens of millions expect and rely on government help. One generation of assistance ..maybe..when you have generations of families needing " free cheese " then you deserve the lack of respect shown to you by those of us who take care of our own.