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06th Feb 2023

School apologises after serving watermelon, waffles and fried chicken during black history month

Callum Boyle

Black history month

The school have blamed the food services company for the error

A New York school have apologised after they served their students watermelon, waffles and fried chicken during black history month.

Nyack Middle School served the meal – which is seen as racially insensitive – to their students on the first day of Black History Month (February 1).

Principal David Johnson told WABC that Aramark, the company who provide the food services for the school, are to blame for the controversial meal choice after they allegedly changed the hot lunch menu without informing the school.

He said: “We are extremely disappointed by this regrettable situation and apologise to the entire Nyack community for the cultural insensitivity displayed by our food service provider.

“I am disappointed that Aramark would serve items that differed from the published monthly menu.

“Especially items that reinforce negative stereotypes concerning the African-American Community.”

Officials at the school have revealed that the meal that was supposed to be served to students was a Philly cheesesteak with broccoli and fresh fruit.

Student Honore Santiago explained that the inclusion of watermelon was what first aroused suspicion about the new menu.

“They were asking people if they want watermelon and I remember being confused because it’s not in season,” she said.

Aramark have also come out and apologised for the meal choice.

They said: “While our menu was not intended as a cultural meal, we acknowledge that the timing was inappropriate, and our team should have been more thoughtful in its service.”

The hot food services company have been in trouble before for serving another racially insensitive meal in 2018.

During black history month they served a meal of Kool-Aid, watermelon-flavoured water, barbecued ribs, cornbread, and collard greens at New York university.

After the incident, they said: “I thought they learned from their last mistake but I guess not.”

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