A New Jersey superintendent has apologized for a school menu that served recently served fried chicken for Black History Month.
The lunch menu at Hopewell Valley Central High School for the week of February 16 included chicken, sweet potato casserole, sautéed spinach, mac and cheese, cornbread and peach or apple crisp:
Superintendent Thomas A. Smith apologized for the incident in an emailed message to the school. “The decision to include these items without any context or explanation, reinforces racial stereotypes and is not consistent with our district mission and efforts to improve cultural competency among our students and staff,” he wrote.
The school’s food service provider, Pomptonian, apologized as well. According to Pomptonian Vice President Cathy Penna, one of Pomptonian’s directors worked with an administrator in one district’s school to create a Black History Month menu.
While the intention was to celebrate soul food, “Pomptonian deeply regrets that, out of context, this menu may have been perceived by individuals as insensitive or in poor taste,” she wrote NJ.com in an email.