The 411 on Montgomery’s New Food Service
By Barbara A. Preston | September 1, 2022
The fan favorite, hands down, was the Caprese Panini — focaccia, pesto, mozzarella, olive oil, and fresh tomato. At least it was the top choice when The Montgomery News conducted a straw poll during a “Tasting” of cafeteria food on August 17 at Montgomery High School.
Maschio’s Food Services, the district’s new vendor, invited students and parents to a meet and- greet, and to sample the menu it will be offering to the district beginning in September. Last year, students protested, and complained about the poor quality of food, and the lousy selection. Devon Taber, a mother of two children in Orchard and Village elementary schools, said, “I am really glad they did this tasting. Last year, my daughter didn’t want to eat the school lunch. There was nothing that she liked.” Her daughter, Bella, 9, said, “For the first three weeks last year it was ham-and-cheese, ham-and-cheese, and ham-and-cheese. Nothing else. There was not even mustard, and no mayonnaise.”
This year, the Taber Family rated the new food service a score of 4.5 out of 5. “We really liked the spring rolls, the sandwiches were delicious, and the pizza was yummy,” Devon said.
Daily options on the new menu include: An assortment of hamburgers, chicken fingers, meatball parm, crispy chicken, and Buffalo chicken. Vegetarians will be pleased to find a full salad bar. The daily menu also include veggie burgers, veggie chicken nuggets, Falafel sandwiches, and a vegan meatball sandwich. Custom deli bar options include high quality Boar’s Head meats: Genoa salami, oven-roasted turkey, Buffalo chicken breast, and deluxe ham. Egg salad, tuna, and chicken salad will also be available, along American, Pepper Jack, Provolone, and Cheddar cheese. Pizza is also on the daily menu. Toppings include pepperoni, sausage, pepper and onions, meatball, BBQ chicken, or buffalo chicken.
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Two soups daily [high school only]: with Ramen offered as a soup option. Options change daily, and include selections such as “hearty chicken and rice, creamy broccoli and cheese, beef barley, potato, and Minestrone.” Finally, there will be a Fusion Grill, where students may enjoy variety of hot meals. Options include: An Italian Pasta Bar and stations that will offer Ramen, potato wedges with toppings, Pan Asian specialities, macaroni and cheese, burrito bowls, a hot dog bar, a carving station, and Latin-inspired cuisine.
Rating the New Vendor
Wadzi Ndlovu, the mother of a freshman student, said, “I don’t know much about food services, but I’m pretty amazed. They have a wide selection. I’m sure the kids will all find something they like. They certainly won’t go hungry.” Her daughter, Lulu Ndlovu, said she her favorite foods at the tasting were the Veggie Pizza, which she rated as a 5, the Spring Rolls, which she gave a 4.5. And the meatball hoagie, which was a solid 4. Syam Mohan from Thiruvananthapuram, India accompanied his granddaughter, Diya Gopan of Belle Mead, to the cafeteria. For him, it was important that fresh veggies were on the menu. Gopan was hesistant to rate the food, but her friend, Madison Go of Skillman said her favorites were in the following order: Sweet potato French fries, 4.5; Veggie pizza, 4; Meatball sub, 3.5; and Chicken tenders, 3.5. It should be noted that Go said she does not believe in giving 5s. She does, however, approve of teachers giving the grade of A.
The cost for lunch depends on the school. Prices are: $4.25 for high school, which offers the most variety; $4 for Upper Middle School, and $3.75 for Lower Middle School and the elementary schools. An assortment of baked chips, Hershey’s Low-Fat Ice Cream, fresh fruit and vegetables cups, along with many snack varieties.
The State of NJ does not include water as part of the meal program, however, it’s available for purchase daily $0.75 for 8-oz. bottled spring water and $1.25 for 16 oz. bottled spring water. We also offer a wide selection of beverages. And, parents can pre-pay at www. payforit.net. Cash and check payments are also accepted. Free & Reduced Price Meals Parents may apply at any time during the school year for free or reduced meals.
Above: Seniors Miranda Qing, Caroline Zhao, and Sophie Wang tried everything. The consensus was that it is a big improvement from last year.