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Cafeteria Employees Assured of Their Jobs

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The mayor shown with Wellness Center official Karen Avila to his right at Monday evening’s School Committee meeting at School Department headquarters on Vine Street. Changes are being made in what school kids are going to be eating and how the food is prepared and delivered. Shown in the background are some of the near 80 cafeteria employees who attended the meeting.

Students Will See Healthier Food

By Josh Resnek

About 80 cafeteria employees packed into the conference room at School Administration headquarters on Vine Street Monday night to hear about their future, now that Aramark, the public schools food provider, will not have their contract renewed in July.

Instead, a Request for Proposal (RFP) is being developed by the administration to attract as well as to outline exactly what the future is going to be when it comes to feeding the city’s school children, as well as to pay the tab for the changes to be made.

Right now, more than 7,000 school children are fed twice daily at all of the public schools.

“We need to teach the kids how to eat,” the mayor said.

“No one is going to lose their job. This will be better for the kids,” he said.

This highly public outing was the first for the mayor into the School Department community since former School Superintendent Frederick Foresteire retired.

Under the new system replacing Aramark, kids will be offered fewer choices but healthier choices, according to the mayor.

“They will be eating better food,” he said.

The new contract is believed to be worth about $5.1 million, all of it reimbursed by the Federal Government.

The city spends approximately $650,000 a month feeding school children.

In the absence of Foresteire, the mayor was allowed to do as he wants.

His new interest in the public schools means the post Foresteire period has begun in earnest.

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