“I’m Not Hungry Anymore”

Woodbridge Township fires Chartwells Food Service over complaints about rotten food.

Woodbridge Township School District’s food service, Chartwells, was fired on Friday, October 1, 2021 following the concerns of parents, faculty and students. Reports of frozen, moldy, undercooked and bland food were brought to the attention of the Woodbridge Township Board of Education from the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. 

Food poisoning and other hazards for students’ health led to a petition to get rid of Chartwells on change.org, totaling over 1,500 signatures as Oct. 12, 2021. A student at JFKMHS found a rotten, black apple in their prepackaged bag on the first day of school. Janki Patel stated that the apple had “green mold all over it. It was revolting. It was touching all the other apple slices including the apple I ate.” Patel stated that her mother “emailed the district about the food and never got a response back.”

A full “nacho” lunch consisted of a portion of frozen salsa, shredded cheese and a bag of tortilla chips. Other lunches included rubbery, bland chicken in a tortilla. Vegetarian options were extremely limited as well which included cheese and lettuce in a tortilla, or a thick slice of the same cheese between a cold bagel. The following meals were repeated every few days lacking variety. The portion sizes were also uneven with some students missing items in their container. 

Superintendent Joseph Massimino informed parents and guardians about his “concerns, displeasure, and frustration” regarding Chartwells’ performance this school year. Thus, on October 1, his administration “notified Chartwells of its termination as the District’s food service provider.” Chartwells will remain as Woodbridge Township’s caterer for 60 days following their removal. 

The day after Chartwells’ contract was terminated, the company began listening to the concerns of the students. They began distributing hot lunches with better portions, options and quality. At the moment, we are unaware of any updates on a replacement and when students, staff and parents will be notified of the new food service.