South Bend schools address food shortage issues
South Bend, Ind. --- Three South Bend schools ran out of food on Tuesday and some students were left without a lunch. Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings and his cabinet members served lunch at local schools on Thursday to ensure enough food was provided.
“To ensure that food is there, food is hot and interacting with students…I mean it doesn’t get any better than that for a Superintendent,” said Dr. Cummings. "We’ve got to get that part right,” explained Dr. Cummings.
School officials found out through social media on Tuesday night that some students at Riley High, Washington High and Dickinson Fine Arts Academy were all impacted by the food shortage.
“There is no excuse for our students to have gone without food earlier this week,” said Dr. Cummings in his statement. “This debacle further validates the decision to hire an outside vendor to manage the district’s food, since the current, internally run department isn’t doing its job,” said Dr. Cummings.
Dr. Cummings reiterated that transparency is essential between the school, parents and kids. Feeding students is the top priority for the South Bend Community School Corporation, according to Dr. Cummings.
“This was unacceptable,” said Dr. Cummings. “We’ve set high standards… not having enough food in our buildings is unacceptable and I’m going to fix it,” continued Dr. Cummings.
A new food service vendor, Chartwells, is due to take over in October.
A former Riley High student saw news stories about the incident and took action to make sure kids had enough food for lunch. She brought a wagon filled with snacks from her home to Riley High in an attempt to make sure students did not go hungry.
One former student who saw news stories even took action to try to make sure kids had food for lunch. Mother of the former student, Tammie Hill, said her daughter wanted to make a difference.
“She said well, mom we don’t use a lot of this other food,” said Hill “Let’s give it to Riley High School...it makes me feel happy that she wants to help people,” said Hill.
Chartwells will also provide meals to-go for athletes and students struggling with food scarcity issues.