Posted on February 6, 2023

Nyack School Leaders Blame Vendor for Chicken-And-Waffles Lunch During Black History Month

Nancy Cutler, Journal News, February 3, 2023

On the first day of Black History Month, the planned hot lunch menu for Nyack Middle School students was changed by the district’s food vendor, without notice, and kids were offered chicken and waffles, with watermelon as the dessert.

The school’s principal explained the “unfortunate situation” in a letter to parents Thursday, saying the change was made by Aramark, unbeknownst to the administration.

“We are extremely disappointed by this regrettable situation and apologize to the entire Nyack community for the cultural insensitivity displayed by our food service provider,” Middle School Principal David Johnson said. “I am disappointed that Aramark would serve items that differed from the published monthly menu. Especially items that reinforce negative stereotypes concerning the African-American Community.”

“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,” the Aramark statement, issued through the school district, stated. “This was a mistake and does not represent the values of our company, and we are committed to doing better in the future.”


Aramark’s statement said it would partner with the district “so employees who work in the schools participate in training that aligns to the Nyack School District’s vision and commitment to equity-driven work. We believe this will provide a good learning opportunity to deepen understanding on the impact of systemic biases and negative stereotypes concerning the African-American Community.”