Justin Murphy – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle USA TODAY NETWORK – in the D&C on 2/10/21

Students in the Rochester City School District will be eating cereal for breakfast and cold sandwiches for lunch for the foreseeable future, the result of low in-person enrollment and a tight budget.

The immediate reason is that there are not enough trained cook managers to oversee a full kitchen operation in the buildings. Most of those employees faced layoffs or steep hours reductions in the fall, and many are no longer available to return now that schools are open again, said Dan DiClemente, president of the non-educators union BENTE.

Even if they were available, it’s not clear RCSD could afford them. Food service is supposed to be a cost-neutral operation, with the federal per-meal reimbursement going to pay for the food and labor.

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