Chartwells under fire in Woodbridge Township School District

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Photo Credit: Photo via East Windsor Regional School District Under Creative Commons License

Chartwells 12k is the center of attention in Woodbridge Township for their performance. Many students and parents are unsatisfied with their performance.

By: Dylan DaCunha, Reporter

Recently, students and parents in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey have reported that schools in the district have been serving rotten, moldy, and frozen food to students. The food vendor behind this is Chartwells 12K. Several parents have claimed the inedible food has made their children violently sick resulting in Superintendent Dr. Joseph Massimino, Ed.D. cancelling the district’s contract with Chartwells on October 1.

Who is Chartwells?

Chartwells 12K is a branch owned by the Compass Group. The Compass Group is a food service company headquartered in England. Specifically, Chartwells 12K distributes food engineered towards students from kindergarten through high school. Plastered all across their website are “we’re serving up happy and healthy” and “making the cafeteria the happiest place on earth.” However, is this vendor really doing what they’re promising? Or are they missing the mark completely? 

A Concerning Issue

The aggravated students and parents in Woodbridge have created and signed a Chang.org petition to change the district’s vendor. The petition has over 1,100 signatures. The Woodbridge Board of Education did reach out to the petition’s creator instructing them to email the Board of Education with any concerns they had. Woodbridge Township Superintendent of Schools, Massimino said he and the Board of Education were “greatly disappointed” in the food. At the beginning of the school year, Chartwells 12K was asked to comprise a “corrective plan of action.” 

Previous Problems

This isn’t the first time that Chartwells 12K has been under fire though. The company was targeted in 2014. They were serving food that sometimes contained disgusting elements. This included mold, hair, undercooked meat, and even insects. This took place at Farmington High School in Connecticut. In effect, the students boycotted buying lunch at least one day a week.      

Taking Action

Most of the food problems with Chartwells 12k in Woodbridge Township School District have stemmed from Woodbridge High School’s cafeteria. The few instances at Colonia High seemed to be centered around spoiled milk being served and some bread being served when it was still frozen.

At a Board of Education meeting on September 23, a Chartwells 12K representative was asked to explain their unsatisfactory performance. The responses provided by the representative were found to be “largely insufficient” by the Board.  In the letter sent home to parents at the start of October, Chartwells 12k was given sixty days’ notice of their termination.

Meanwhile, the Township will try to find a new vendor during this time. Only time will tell if the change in vendors in the school district be for the better or worse for the students.

 

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