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CGCS Study: Boston School Meal Program in Disarray

System lost $3.6 million in each of last two years due to inefficiencies, oversight problems.

The Boston school system’s food service program is losing millions of dollars each year, hitting a $3.6 million deficit last year and on track for a similar deficit this year, according to a review by the Council of the Great City Schools, a national consulting and advocacy organization, that was obtained and reported on by the Boston Globe.

The review, commissioned by the School Department and completed last month, found the program had lost more than $21 million over the past eight years. The report tabulated management problems such as no system to alert cafeteria cashiers about students with food allergies and centrally dictated menu plans that include products unavailable at individual locations, creating last-minute disarray.

It also noted that the program's financial problems are exacerbated by inefficiencies such as paying vendors with paper vouchers, manually tabulating worker hours on time sheets and failing to reconcile the number of meals sold at the cafeterias with what is billed by a private contractor that supplies meals to the dozen of schools that have no kitchens.

TAGS: K-12 Schools
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