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Top 20 High Schools In New Jersey: Ocean County…

Brick School Food Service Doing Better, But Still in the Red

State: food service cannot eat up education dollars

The food service operation in Brick Township schools is still in the red, but thanks to some new measures put in place, a profit may be realized by the end of the school year.

"The Board of Education wants nothing better than for the food service operation to be profitable and have a positive cash flow," said school board member Larry Reid.

The state considers food service operations in schools to be "enterprise operations," meaning they should not take up tax dollars that would be otherwise spent on educational services such as supplies or teacher salaries.

Altogether, students spend about $16,000 at schools cafeterias each day, said Reid, but that has not been enough to get the entire operation into the black. Factor in Superstorm Sandy, and the fact that salaries still had to be paid even though schools were closed and no sales were being made, and a further dent was made into profitability.

But in December, the cafeterias did better than expected, and thanks to some relief from the federal government with regard to new food standards, lunch sales should conceivably pick up soon.

There has been a dip in lunch sales this year, said Reid, which has been seen across the country thanks to new nutrition standards that have made school lunches less appetizing.

"It's been a problem for all cafeterias in all the school districts," said Reid. "Trying to get the kids to make the switch is not that easy."

But the district began breakfast service to the middle schools this year, and has added healthy vending machines as well as a "tropical ice" station in some schools that sell ice treats made out of fruit juice that has proven popular.

The current budget projects a profit of about $144,000 by the time school ends in June.

The district is encouraging more students – as well as teachers and staff – to purchase their lunches at school.

If the food service operation continues to run deficits, officials have warned that the district's food service workers could all lose their jobs and be replaced by a private food service company whose contract would be bid out.

Chief Wahoo February 02, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Money losing operation for years and years but lets make sure we blame Sandy. Get rid of these over paid McDonalds workers. Only public employees couldn't make it into black on 16,000 a day. 144,000 profit ....... LOL Willing to bet Pezzaras salary (that's a lot of money) that they do not make .01 cent of profit.
Kim E February 02, 2013 at 03:56 PM
"bring their lunches, or go out for lunch" But how would they feed the kids who get a free or reduced rate meal? !!
Mrgrumpass February 02, 2013 at 04:04 PM
CW why is it always negative with you? And are you on your computer all the time, that’s in it self is not healthy!
Karen Colella February 02, 2013 at 07:09 PM
My son doesn't buy lunch because they are given such a short amount of time. He said he ends up throwing most of it away by the time he gets to sit and eat.
rainbow87t February 02, 2013 at 07:15 PM
My daughter goes to VMMS and she says the same thing: The lines are so long that by the time she can get her lunch, it's almost time to go to class again. I have been making her lunch daily this year.
J.JONES February 02, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Main complaint's...no time,food isn't that good for the money paid and last the older kids 11 th and 12th grader leave school and get food outside of the school...leaving by all those doors that's are guarded and locked...
Lifelongbrickresident February 03, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Mrgrumpass, correction...that in and of itself is not healthy
Susan February 03, 2013 at 02:37 AM
When they stop serving Mozzarella sticks as an ENTREE will I even consider letting my kids buy lunch.
Just saying February 03, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Chief wahoo. You my friend are a arrogant a hole !!! These workers are far from being over payed McDonald workers most cooks and assistants are only being payed 25,000 or less .. Just wondering but you try to call Scott pazaras out on articles but when he gets on and answers your stupid questions, you coward in the corner and never acknowledge him ???
pat February 04, 2013 at 03:02 AM
Too many kids are getting free and reduced lunches. I know many kids whose Parents are scamming the schools for their kids free lunches. The Parents make way more than the minimun income you need to qualify for free or reduced lunch. They need to thoroughly check the applicants.
BrickGuy February 04, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Just a matter of time before the BOE does the right thing and brings in a competent food service provider to handle things on a contract basis. Most large districts do it already, along with universities, colleges and some large employers. Let the professionals do what they do best so we can take advantage of the economies of scale realized when we use a company whose primary focus is on providing meals to people. I won't get into the quality of the meals served in our schools since it seems that the general consensus is that the quality is not top notch. [My daughter's opinion has always been a bit harsher than that and packs a lunch, even as a HS soph]. Don't we want the best for our kids? Sodexo, Compass Group, Centerplate, Aramark...are experts at what they do...I repeat...don't we want the best for our kids?
Jill K February 04, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Lets start with getting drinkable water in the schools & STOP paying ridiculous salaries to administration & start focusing on the money going to the children's needs ( like books, Drinkable water, running water in the bathrooms maybe even toilet paper would be nice) Not to mention the condition of the school & how IT has to be violating, safety & health codes I vote FOR the Budget every year, My taxes go up every year YET I don't see any of that going toward the kids....
Jill Sun February 04, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Lets start with getting drinkable water in the schools & STOP paying ridiculous salaries to administration & start focusing on the money going to the children's needs ( like books, Drinkable water, running water in the bathrooms maybe even toilet paper would be nice) Not to mention the condition of the school & how IT has to be violating, safety & health codes I vote FOR the Budget every year, My taxes go up every year YET I don't see any of that going toward the kids....
Melissa Thomson February 04, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Same here for my son at Lake Riv. Lines are too long, and not enough time to eat. It would certainly be easier for me if I didn't have to make a lunch every morning, but I would rather him eat than not eat.
jay February 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM
you hit the nail on the head with this one. the people who order/plan the food should be removed from their position. really, nacho's and mozzarella stick should never be on the menu. also, pizza offered every day? dominos brought in? yet they complain about a small piece of candy or talk about our kids being over weight?
john February 04, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Those companies are not experts...they are terrible.when schools outsource anything it goes to crap.you think brick schools are bad now (which they are) just wait for when they outsource everything...it will be worse.
shorecorruption February 04, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Jill and Paul good points.I found it hard to believe that they still use the small household toilet paper rolls.Instead of the giant rolls you see in a commercial building.No wonder! I guess you need to come up with a smarter administrator.
mamaBl February 05, 2013 at 03:43 AM
why did one Jill Just copy & paste the other Jill's comment?? Here is a Idea, If you don't like the lunches that are being served pack. I have for my 3 kids since 1st grade & all in HS now. My bet is more then 50% that are on the lines getting lunch are getting Free lunch ( while their family is also getting food stamps)... hmm lil double dipping, that I am paying for & the rest of us that pay taxes & have to send our kids to school with P&J and a bottle of water . YOUR WELCOME& STOP COMPLAINING OVER YOUR FREE LUNCH!!

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