School Committee served update on food program
Food Service Director Robert Shaheen didn’t mince his words before the Wareham School Committee regarding equipment used to serve student meals.
“It’s old,” Shaheen said during an update on the Food Services Program at the committee’s Wednesday night meeting.
Shaheen reported that nearly all of the cafeteria equipment in the district couldn't be sold for anything of value due to age.
Committee members took the information in stride as the rest of Shaheen’s report featured encouraging news.
Shaheen said that since the 2013/2014 school year the breakfast program has significantly increased. On average, more than 21,000 meals are served each month.
“The breakfast counts are strong,” Shaheen said.
Shaheen attributed that spike to the Breakfast in Classroom program, which serves meals in students’ classrooms as opposed to a cafeteria.
The lunch program also saw an uptick in participation from 2013/2014 to now. However, it wasn’t as big an increase as the breakfast program.
“We have some potential growth there,” Shaheen said, adding he would evaluate the meal options available to elementary school students.
“We’re looking at some different ways to try and increase participation,” he said.
Committee member Rhonda Veugen, who has a child attending Minot Elementary School, said her son offered one idea.
“He said if you served hot dogs every single day, he would eat lunch,” she said. “But please don’t do that.”
Shaheen’s report also featured a thorough examination of participation rates for each month during the past three years at all schools in the district.
Chair Geoff Swett thanked Shaheen for the detailed analysis.
“You’re a man after my own heart in terms of the metrics you’ve created,” Swett said.