Pictures of some discarded food boxes caused quite a stir this week. Especially when it was discovered those food boxes, still full of food, had been intended for children in the Union Parish School District.
UPSD Child Nutrition Supervisor Dr. Robby Lindsay confirmed Monday that these boxes were part of the UPSD distribution process. The company that delivers to homes did confirm with Lindsay that these boxes were on the route of a temp driver. It appears the temp driver discarded the boxes instead of delivering them. “There have been approximately 45 boxes total discovered in two areas,” Lindsay said. “Someone saw the boxes in the dumpster being dumped and took them to a senior center.”
The company, Health Food School Collaborative out of New Orleans, could not determine what addresses these were meant for. Deliveries ARE NOT made by anyone with the UPSD.
Wednesday Lindsay said the temp driver was identified and terminated. HFSC told Lindsay it would re-run the route from Friday.
When pictures and early information were posted on The Gazette Facebook page, there were many comments that indicated there had been previous problems with families missing food and even some families getting extra boxes.
“I’m now being notified that there have been other instances of missing food,” Lindsay said. “This is the first I’m hearing about it.”
Both Lindsay and new UPSD Superintendent Kristy Auger-Fine assured they will take care of any issues they are made aware of. “If we don’t know about it we can’t fix it,” Fine said. “We will follow up with issues we are made aware of.”
There were also questions posted asking who is eligible for the food distribution. When the quarantine first began, families with school-age children (18 and under) from anywhere in the parish could pick up food from roughly seven distribution sites.
The current process now involves daily distribution and is set up through the Louisiana Department of Education. The way it works now the deliveries are for students of the UPSD only, which includes UP Elementary, UP High School and Downsville Community Charter School. The program is both federally and state funded.
Lindsay said the process will be monitored more closely going forward. “I encourage anyone who has an issue with food delivery to get in touch with us,” he said.
You can call the district office at 318.368.9715. Lindsay is at extension 1121 and Nadia Farris is at extension 1105. Lindsay can also be emailed at email@example.com.