ADAMS TOWNSHIP — The Clinton-Massie food service director spoke to the school board this week about supply shortages in her department — involving food as well as products used in the kitchen and on the serving line.

Food Service Director Tracy Mathews reported they cannot get foam school lunch trays, salad containers, and the majority of their paper serving supplies.

“We are also being shorted on our plastic, foil and paper products to cover pans, and [also] trash bags,” Mathews stated.

There are, of course, issues nationwide occurring in the supply chain.

The food service director ordered about $3,000 worth of plastic lunch trays about three weeks ago, and as of Monday night’s board of education meeting those had not arrived.

At the high school, there are not enough trays to serve three lunch cycles, “so we literally are making sure the first lunch [students] hurry up and get done eating so we can get those washed and dried, because we’re not allowed to towel dry, by the second lunch. So it’s getting a little tricky,” said Mathews.

Concerning food supply shortages, she said they were able to work around it until last week, but now it’s getting to the point where they can’t get main items that they sell.

They were not able to get pizza the past two weeks. And last week was the first time she was told she couldn’t get any type of black beans or refried beans.

In the elementary, they have changed to one menu option, and to two to three options in the middle and high schools, Mathews reported.

“It does not appear that our situation will get any better for a while, but we are getting by,” she stated.

There are some complaints at the middle and high schools where, though students still have options to chose from, there is some cutting back.

For example, “You can only have one piece of pizza instead of three,” she said.

Some places are starting to put salads in cups, she hears.

“It [salad in a cup] doesn’t look good to the kids. If anything, we will try to put salads on the tray somehow for them because we do have kids who eat salads a lot,” remarked Mathews.

Also at the school board session, Board President Jeremy Lamb gave an update on a campus master plan of outdoor spaces. VSWC Architects with offices in Mason is leading the design and survey work for the campus plan.

Some of the plan highlights: Current bus garage does not stand at a particularly good site and moreover is not long enough to accommodate newer, longer buses. Potentially a new garage would be built in a back corner where the maintenance area is, said Lamb.

The plan also looks at the existing stadium vis-à-vis a new stadium; the baseball field configuration; additional parking; and a potential fieldhouse.

A fieldhouse would house not only concessions and locker rooms but also some community space, he said.

“So think about like an indoor basketball court where the community could come in and use that space, things of that nature,” Lamb said.

The school district would like the improvements to be largely funded privately, and will be looking for donors. It’s also expected that the improvements would be done in phases.

“Obviously we’re probably not going to have all the money for all of it on Day One, but as I said this is a progressive plan over the next couple of decades. So [a question is] how can we break these projects up and fund them in smaller bits,” said Lamb.

Outgoing Board of Education member Mike Goodall was recognized for his four years of service. Superintendent Matt Baker and Lamb both mentioned Goodall’s contributions in the areas of the district’s finances and health insurance.

Goodall looked back at things that happened during his four years.

It started, he said, with a levy; then union negotiations; followed by hiring a new district treasurer; “and then, let’s see, oh yeah, COVID.”

Goodall referred to the “intricacies” of school funding, adding, “It’s crazy how complicated school funding is.”

High School Assistant Principal Rachel Cornett reported that Duane Earley’s business management class has been working to develop and open an apparel store on campus. The venture would provide students and the community with access to uniquely designed merchandise while providing students real world management opportunities and experiences, Cornett said.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Mathews NJ file photo

Cornett Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

Outgoing Clinton-Massie Board of Education member Mike Goodall, center, is recognized for his four years of service. From left are board members Mike Gorman, Jeremy Lamb, Goodall, Kathleen Norman and Andy Avery. Clinton-Massie Board of Education member Mike Goodall, center, is recognized for his four years of service. From left are board members Mike Gorman, Jeremy Lamb, Goodall, Kathleen Norman and Andy Avery. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
CM Food Service making do with what it has

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]