Food service provider accused of racial insensitivity at a middle school in Nyack
Food service provider Aramark is facing allegations of racial insensitivity at a Nyack middle school.
Middle schoolers were served chicken and waffles, with watermelon, for lunch on Feb. 1 - the start of Black History Month.
"It was of bad taste, especially this time of year during Black History Month. It was really, really inappropriate," says Wilbur Aldridge, NAACP regional director. "Whoever prepared that menu could not have been a culturally competent or sensitive individual."
According to Aramark's finalized February menu from Nyack, students were supposed to eat Philly cheese steaks with broccoli and fruit.
Interim School Superintendent James Montesano says he was told by the food provider that the change happened in part because the food director died earlier this year and someone else stepped in.
"The new person put the February menu together, and on Feb. 1, they also had cheesesteaks. Not wanting to serve cheesesteaks two days in a row, they made the unfortunate decision to do what they did," he said.
Aramark released a statement saying in part: "While our menu was not intended as a cultural meal, we acknowledge that the timing was inappropriate, and our team should have been more thoughtful in its service."
It added that it was a mistake and are committed to doing better work in the future.
Aramark employees will now be participating in equity training that is in line with the school district.
Aramark has not yet answered News 12's follow-up questions on the decision process.