Menu mishap at Agat middle school - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Menu mishap at Agat middle school

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 by Isa Baza

Guam - A concern for any parent is naturally that their child eats three square meals a day. And this is even more of a worry when they send their little ones off to school, to get the nourishment they need to keep them active and in the right condition to learn.    

So you can imagine the outcry when parents from students in one small campus in one of the island's largest southern villages went the day attending classes, but being fed a lunch that wasn't exactly the norm.

The Department of Education's food service vendor scrambled to put together something edible for the hungry 6th to 8th grade students after a delivery of food was not accepted at the Oceanview Middle School on Wednesday. Kayleana Taitingfong and Devaun Naputi are siblings at the Home of the Knights. Kayleane said, "Yesterday's lunch we only had watermelon and French fries," adding that was all the 6th graders had to eat. When asked about the 8th graders, Devaun said, "Ee were only served the hot dog bread and the watermelon", adding there weren't any hot dogs. When KUAM News asked if they were still hungry afterwards, they both said "Yes!"

Sodexo, the company in charge of providing school lunches to Oceanview Middle School students as well as hundreds of other students around the island, has been doing this for roughly five years. In fact, it provides breakfast and lunch to these students at no cost because of a pilot program at 21 public schools known as the Community Eligibility Provision. But is this the free meals that students can expect?

According to deputy superintendent Rob Malay, this is a rare incident that stemmed from a miscommunication between the school and Sodexo. "We received word that there was a shortage of food over at Oceanview and we requested through the food service provider a report on what happened," he stated. "It appears to have been a lack of communication between the preparation site and the school and two trays of food that were actually delivered to the school were rejected for different reasons."

This miscommunication resulted in the food being rejected, because of concerns it was inedible, and so hundreds of students were instead fed pieces of bread, fries, and watermelon for lunch. "And what we're doing is we're working closely with the vendor to ensure that these miscommunications don't happen again, because it does affect the students at the school when they're unable to eat during the lunch time," he added.

Parents including Kayleana & Devaun's mother, Cathleen Taitingfong, are concerned about yesterday's incident, and want to know what is being done to prevent incidents such as these from happening again.

KUAM News tried to call Sodexo this morning but was unable to reach officials to comment on the matter. 

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