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Student Liaison Says Peers Fed Up With Food

Representative to the board says student are saying 'things need to change.'

The chicken nuggets taste like cardboard, the frozen pancakes are sometimes served cold and for the most part the food is “bland and boring.”

That was the assessment delivered to the Hopatcong Board of Education Monday by student Richard Lavery.

Lavery, acting as the student representative to the board, said he conducted a brief survey of students to gather their opinion about the district’s lunch program.

The overall opinion, he said, is that “things need to change.”

Among the top complaints, Lavery said, is that there is too much chicken, in all forms, on the menu, sometimes two and three times a week.

“There are other meats,” he said.

Sometimes it’s the form the food takes that is the problem, he said. Especially the chicken rings.

“The onion rings are fine, and even the potato rings, but chicken rings should not exist,” he said.

Lavery invited Superintendent Charles Maranzano and board to try a week of school lunches to see that the students were talking about.

Maranzano said he’d volunteer. “I’ll be the guinea pig,” he said.

Board president Clifford Lundin said this was the first time the board had heard complaints about the lunch program.

Edubb September 26, 2012 at 05:25 PM
As usually is the case...Clifford is oblivious to the issues.
JenniferB September 26, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Out of curiosity, are the onion rings, nuggets etc. deep fried or baked?
HCongSpiderman September 26, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I can't help but point out the obvious, but, what exactly do you expect for $3??? You're more than welcome to bring your own lunches.
Paul Wolsko September 26, 2012 at 07:16 PM
My son is a curriculum supervisor at Watching Hills Regional HS, and he reports the the dining there is superb. He went through Hopatcong HS, and I cannot him recall any complaints about the lunches.
marie September 26, 2012 at 07:33 PM
first time ? we students have been complaining for years about the food in the caf, personally i have been complaining since 1999 about hopatcong schools food its not just the high school its all of them, personally did not go to hopatcong high but have eaten there many times its terrible , the lunch at SCTS is way better and healthier and more options for less money
alice September 26, 2012 at 07:38 PM
yes the lunches are disgusting but other school districts have lunches for the same price and that food is gourmet compared to what HHS cafeteria food was in 2009 when I graduated.
KA706 September 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM
If this town can finally manage to pass a school budget, then maybe there will be more money for better food and/or lower the student cost of the lunch.
Paul Wolsko September 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Times sure have changed. I grew up in Clifton and remember Shepherd's Pie made with lamb - imagine that, and pizza that was on a par with Reservoir Tavern in Boonton. I also recall the 10:00AM early lunch period that drove me crazy. Haha - it'll all be a fond memory down the road for the kids. They'll have a lot more to worry about other than lunch menus.
Judi/Don Wolff September 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM
The board should indeed visit the schools for their lunches and have a meal or two. I understand that it is there option to purchase for some children. Others have qualified for free lunches because of their financial situation and that meal is all they get and to see the younger ones get served refried beans which looks horrible or to give a little one spiniach and baked beans on the same day, come on. I understand there needs to serve healthy foods but there are other foods to serve. How about sliced turkey with potatoes and a veggie that they would like string beans, corn. How about some warm gravy to go along with that. 3x's a week for chicken nuggets, chicken rings or popcorn chicken. Or how about those new sweet potato fries? We are trying to serve healthy and forgetting that the kids still need to like the food or they just throw it out. That doesn't get the food into them so they can feed the brain. I believe we need to get better food and if this all stems from Michelle O'Bama wanting healthy food in the schools then I would like to invite her to eat this food. I haven't seen anything that I would eat yet. I'm sure Michelle didn't mean this type of food and I'm sure she wouldn't eat it.
Caley September 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM
My son refuses to eat the lunches. There might be one or two days he will. I make him lunch everyday but if I'm running late and can't he would rather not eat than buy it. That is pathetic . His description of the lunches are horrible. And as some others have pointed out just because it's on the tray does not mean they'll eat it. Now we have wasted food and hungry children. It's hard enough to get them to concentrate and stay focused so imagine being hungry in what they think is an already boring class. Disaster . I hope some day I have the choice to make lunch or tell him to buy when it's helpful to me. Changes do need to be made . A little creativity please. Think outside the box.
HCongSpiderman September 27, 2012 at 06:07 PM
"I make him lunch everyday but if I'm running late and can't he would rather not eat than buy it." Poor excuse. Set your alarm for 5 minutes earlier. I guess not being 5 minutes late to work is more important than your starving son.
samantha schuman September 27, 2012 at 07:06 PM
i feel the same way just the oter day my friend tara and i started a patition to help with the school unch.
nick September 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Basically its due to a food service director who dosent have a clue how to buy products she thinks the cheapest is the best and does not shop around.Since the current director took over it has all been down hill.With the food and the way she treats the help.They should take a long hard look at her performance since she took over.These kids deserve better and with some proper management thing could be a lot better.If Maranzano is going to go to the schools dont announce when he is going just get what these kids have to eat and not something he is given by hte managers at the different schools.
nick September 27, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Everyone says its due to federal guidelines other districts have the same guidlines and the kids get better food and they dont throw most of it away because it tastes terrible come on refried beans to a ten year old when you were ten would you eat that ,use your head a little planning goes a long way.Mabey is time to consider an outside food service thats run by professionals,not someone who is clueless.
Longtimeresident September 27, 2012 at 10:08 PM
So many misspellings and so much poor grammar for a thread concerning school lunches. Perhaps we should concentrate on the school part of it.
nick September 28, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Perhaps if we stayed on subject of the food and not spelling and grammar ,these kids would get a better quality of food .Then they could not think about what lunch is going to be and then learn there spelling and there grammar.It,s a disgrace what these kids are expected to eat and a lot of it is throne out, what does that accomplish.It starts at the top they should have been monitoring the food for a long time not just now to make a show.It starts with Maranzano,then who ever is supervising the food service director and then the food service director and sown the line to managers and staff,who are afraid to open there mouths for fear of loss of there job or demotion.Some one needs to take a hard look at the problem and not fluff it off wake up Dr M.
nick September 28, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I understand i made a couple of spelling errors in my previous comment I was just frustrated and rushed it ,pleas forgive me but i was hungry and could not concentrate.
Diane Candido September 28, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I am a cafeteria staff member and I love my job and take pride in what I do.I have been in the cafeteria for over 13 yrs.Please dont speak for me.Thank you !
Jamie September 30, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Some students upset about getting less and paying more for the new reportedly healthier lunches being served in Par-Troy schools
nick October 01, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Jamie i realize there are guidlines that have to be followed and i am not blaming the staff .I am just saying a little creativity and better menu planning would go a long way.I understand you girls can only serve what is given to you and do not want to see any of you loose your jobs.It all starts at the top and i think you know what I mean.These kids are throwing out alot of food everyday and a lot are not buying every day because of what is offered.I hope it gets better for all of us.
Jamie October 01, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Thanks Nick :)

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