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Ridgewood Schools Ban Outside Lunch Deliveries

Safety issues cited in policy decision.

File photo
File photo

Citing safety and other concerns, the Ridgewood School District will bar outside vendors from delivering student lunches to school buildings, Superintendent Dan Fishbein informed parents in a letter Monday.

In the letter, Fishbein said he told food vendors deliveries to the school would not be permitted after Jan. 10, and asked them to “develop an alternative” to the practice.

Problematic for the schools, the superintendent said, is the backup delivery drivers cause in parking lots, the potential security risk of having outside food service personnel enter the building and other disruptions caused by the deliveries.

“I understand that outside lunch ordering provides a convenient alternative to making lunch at home or purchasing a school lunch, but the disruption and concern has grown to an untenable level,” he wrote.

The policy won't entirely bar students from ordering lunch beyond the school cafeterias. At least at the high school, which has an open campus policy, students are still permitted to venture on foot to outside eateries.

thetentman January 07, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Wow, entitled, self righteous Rdgwd resident is up in arms about stopping lunch deliveries to over pampered spoiled students. It's about learning... stupid.
Brian January 07, 2014 at 10:18 AM
I suspect the problem is not kids ordering in pizza but parents using services to provide high end organic wheat free lunches packaged in sustainable containers. // Back in the day in Glen Rock we could never order in lunch in school. Most local places wouldn't even deliver to GRHS. They said it was too hard to meet up with the kids and get the money. Lunch period is only like 20 minutes so you have to have some pretty precise delivery to make it work.
AMAMOM January 07, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Kudos to Fishbein for making this decision! It's just lunch, brown bag it or buy at school. Not every meal has to be a gourmet meal. Grab and old fashioned PB&J or some Oscar Meyer. If the parents don't have time to make lunches they need to teach their kids to make their own lunches.
Elizabeth Cox January 07, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Can parents still drop off lunch? At GRHS there is a security desk at the front door- all deliveries go to him, then he calls down to whomever it goes too. As for lunchs they have a bin marked by grades where you can drop off. I wonder if RWD could do the same-
Willard January 07, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Calling someone stupid is not very nice...
Rock Fish January 07, 2014 at 03:26 PM
Glen Rock has the same sort of rules regarding outside non contracted vendors selling meals on school grounds. I think this is less about school safety and more about the schools food vendor objecting to people cutting in on their turf.
Willard January 07, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Every time Ridgewood School Board wants to do something at the expense of the taxpayer or student it plays the Safety Card. I agree that it is probably more about protecting the chosen vendor or making life easier for the staff.
Stephen Madonna January 07, 2014 at 09:32 PM
My son at GW told me lines now at lunch are now long and slow. Face it. A sandwich at Parkwood Deli is likely to be a better meal than what the school offers. The reduction of choice is a somewhat obnoxious move. Why not look for a solution first instead of simply banning the practice
The Fly January 07, 2014 at 09:59 PM
Since we're on the subject of "security risks," when are members of the BOE going to take their heads out of the sand and finally deal head on with the issue of schools serving as polling places on election days? Many municipalities have moved voting booths out of schools, or closed schools on all election days. Do we feel as though we're immune to a tragedy taking place in Ridgewood?
Kiko Arase January 07, 2014 at 11:35 PM
Stephen Madonna . . . there is no reduction of choice; your child can still have his/her Parkwood Deli sandwich, they just can't have it delivered which means parents have to take a little bit more responsibility for their kids. The issue isn't a sandwich, it's the delivery of dozens of sandwiches to a school at one time that presents the problems. I've been in several schools where the front office counter is piled high with delivered lunches. When the kid can't find his/her delivered lunch (because it wasn't delivered or some other kid stole it), or it's the wrong lunch, school staff are tasked with dealing with the mistake. Having Mom or Dad pack a lunch (they can buy from Parkwood and stick it in a lunchbox if they like) is not a big deal. I made lunch for my kids every single day K- 12 and I work full-time. Run out to the store and buy some bread and cold cuts on Sunday. And keep a few dollars in the kids lunch account just in case they forget and have to buy. And Dr. Fishbein has asked the vendors to come up with a workable proposal; let's see what they put forward. But for now, I'm backing Dr. Fishbein 100% on this.
Brian January 08, 2014 at 08:25 AM
The Fly--What incidents have ever occurred from citizens voting? School shootings (aside from drug violence in problem schools) accounts for a miniscule number of deaths. Over 800 kids a year die on their way to school every year and hundreds of thousands are injured. Thats a real problem, not school shootings. // Moreover, 50% of the budget that people in Ridgewood are voting on are for our schools. We have a right to see the schools we are voting on and the school should want us to feel welcome. The citizens of Ridgewood are one of our greatest assets and the schools should do more to involve everyone in educating kids, not act as if the citizens of Ridgewood are a danger.
woodmom3 January 08, 2014 at 08:43 AM
I challenge any of you posting to go volunteer at lunch time at school and see what the actual Village Fresh offerings look like. My kids are not picky, but will not touch that stuff, it's revolting and got more expensive this year when Pomptonian "rebranded". We brown bag it, but I like having the option for delivery when life and work sometimes get in the way. The delivery people are WELL known at the schools, more well known that most of the parents. This isn't about safety. It's about money and the staff not wanting to deal with this.
Willard January 08, 2014 at 08:44 AM
I think the point was that if SuperNanny is going to throw the Safety Card down because of all these unscreened delivery people from places like Parkside Deli, then why would he allow voting on school property when our beloved little angels are in class? At the very least he should have TSA set up a security perimeter around each school. At the end of it all, some can lecture us to pack them a Wonder Bread and Oscar Meyer sandwich, but who the hell are you to tell a working parent that they can't have a lunch delivered to their kid while they work to pay the property taxes that the BOE is dependent on? As for the staff being overwhelmed by the piles of delivered lunches, I would only say that I find that hard to believe. Oh and one last thing, Brian I think school shootings are a real problem, just sayin'.
woodmom3 January 08, 2014 at 08:46 AM
And wanted to add - when parents deliver those Parkwood lunches, the problem for staff will only escalate. Instead of ONE delivery, there will be 50 or 60 by individual parents. If we knew the real issue here, we could work around it. Is it safety? Village Fresh losing money? Staff being irritated? If it's the latter two, then stopping deliveries will not alleviate concerns. People ordering outside will not suddenly start to order Village Fresh, and the doorbell will be bugging staff a whole heck of a lot more when parent after parent delivers lunch.
Brian January 08, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Willard--point well taken about the hypocrisy of the safety issue. I completely agree that it is disgusting to use safety as an excuse since the delivery issue is clearly the inconvenience caused for the schools. // The best thing we can do to promote safety for kids is to have more involvement of the community in every aspect of our lives. It takes a village and when kids know their neighbors, other adults in town and shop keepers, they are safer because those adults all help keep kids from getting into trouble and to protect them from trouble. This happens organically, not as some assignment to the adults. It is just what neighbors do.
woodmom3 January 08, 2014 at 08:57 AM
Willard, I too agree. Have you ever seen someone NOT get buzzed in on a regular day too? How is this about safety when anyone can get in any time and the whole town can get in on election days?
thetentman January 08, 2014 at 09:03 AM
What a bunch of spoiled self centered dolts. You do realize that once again you have made Ridgewood a laughingstock around the country. Yes you. It's gone national. Why because the rest of the country cannot believe how spoiled and self centered a lot of you are. It's a conspiracy with the food vendor, it's the lazy staff, it's Fishbein's Power Play. OMG my special anointed progeny can't have sushi delivered fresh for lunch. Get over yourselves and grow up. It's a school you idiots not a pampered babysitting service. Dr. Fishbein deserves a medal for having the courage and fortitude to stand up to the "our crap don't stink" crowd in this berg. Get a life. Or put a refrigerator in little Johnny's Mercedes and give the trusted delivery people the keys to drop your precious tykes lunch off.
woodmom3 January 08, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Yes, tentman, let's give you a medal too - WE have made Ridgewood a laughing stock. Way to stereotype and miss the point. Losing money for delivering crappy food does not a conspiracy make. The stats are there - very few like to order food. But somehow, I think this is not unprecedented with you.
Willard January 08, 2014 at 09:32 AM
Hey, thetentman- I suggest you try yoga and/or drink more water-if not, just go back to your Sarah Palin blog.
DD January 08, 2014 at 10:13 AM
tentman seems to hate the town. tentman should sell his little house, and get in his little car, and move.
thetentman January 08, 2014 at 10:15 AM
that's thetentman to you Double Dbag
DD January 08, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Something tells me any number of people could fill your role.
Kiko Arase January 08, 2014 at 11:45 AM
If parents simply made their kids lunches the night before and packed them, along with an ice-pack, in their backpacks in the morning like most parents do, this would be a non-issue. School staff are not there to oversee lunch delivery distribution. I think it's absurd to see the same parents dropping off lunches or having them delivered each and every day (not to mention the lack of efficiency). If you can't make lunch, have the kid buy it that day. They won't die if they have to walk to the deli (RHS), buy from the cafeteria or go hungry for the afternoon.
Willard January 08, 2014 at 12:00 PM
And quite frankly, nobody is going to die at the school if they just open the door and let the delivery person drop off the sandwich- to play the Safety Card is just plain nonsense. A lecture on how to make a kid a lunch is a bit over the top. We make our kids their lunch 9 out of 10 days- every now and then it is a nice treat to have a Parkwood Deli sandwich. As for the cafeteria food, our kids find it disgusting.
DD January 08, 2014 at 12:09 PM
The chances of a child dying in a school bus accident are far greater than dying from a school shooting. Lock the doors!
martha Morley January 08, 2014 at 04:39 PM
Here's hoping that No Fuss can mobilize some school Moms to deliver the great/healthy lunches they serve!
MOM67 March 10, 2014 at 12:42 PM
I bet most of those responding on this grew up brown bagging it. Whats wrong with your kid doing the same!!! You survived!!! I know why...IT'S A STATUS THING!!! Read the article in the Bergen Record today....hits the nail on the head!!!
DD March 10, 2014 at 02:07 PM
MOM67 claims this is a "STATUS THING!!" and says "read the article" (op ed piece) because it "hits the nail on the head." Yet the article/op ed makes no mention of this so-called "STATUS THING." This "STATUS THING" is a figment of your imagination. It's the conclusion one would come to if one were 14 years old. It's a juvenile and unsophisticated conclusion.
MOM67 March 10, 2014 at 02:44 PM
I'm sorry if I don't walk around with my nose in the air like you probably do I make my kids lunch my kids don't walk around with a sense of entitlement like the kids of those involved in all of this! Both my parents worked & I got lunch, currently there are 2 parents working full time in my household & my kids manage to take a brown bag lunch. If they forget it they buy if they don't want to buy they won't starve. You as the parent have created these monsters who expect a 5 star lunch!!!!
DD March 10, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Are you 14?


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