Feb. 1st marked the first day of Black History Month, and students at Nyack Middle School were served chicken and waffles. On the menu for dessert was watermelon.
After students and parents noticed the stereotypical food choices and complained, the school’s administration and its food vendor, Aramark, sent a statement to NBC News apologizing.
Aramark said the situation “never should have happened” and apologized for what it called an “inexcusable mistake.”
“We have apologized for our mistake, are working to determine how it happened and make sure it never happens again,” the statement said. “Our team at that school should have been more thoughtful in its service.”
Nyack Middle School principal David Johnson also sent out a letter of apology, saying the school was unaware of what was on the menu.
“The vendor has agreed to plan future menu offerings to align with our values and our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” the letter said. “We are extremely disappointed by this regrettable situation and apologize to the entire Nyack community for the cultural insensitivity displayed by our food service provider.”
This isn’t the first time Aramark has created such a situation for itself. In 2011, the company served chicken and waffles on Martin Luther King Day at the University of California, Irvine. In 2018, Aramark served barbecue ribs, cornbread, collard greens, Kool-Aid and watermelon-flavored water to student at New York University for Black History Month.