SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After photos and complaints surfaced about Springfield Public School lunches, 22News is now taking you inside their culinary and nutrition center to see how their food is made.
Abby Getman Skillicorn is the Student Engagement Manager with Homegrown Springfield. She said they are conducting an investigation to figure out when these photos were taken, and they’re doing additional spot checks in response.
Inside the city’s Culinary Nutrition Center, a container holds about two bathtubs worth of alfredo sauce. “We’re making that alfredo sauce from scratch,” she told 22News.
The tour comes after photos were sent into our newsroom, including a photo of a pizza that was taken in September at The Springfield Renaissance School.
Abby said the pizza comes pre-packaged to their facility.
“That’s not what we want our school food to look like,” Abby said. “If a student knows that they don’t like something they’re eating, we have a process to get a student a replacement meal if we’re made aware of it.”
Before 22News was let inside the building, our news crew had to wear masks, hairnets, coats and booties over their shoes. Abby said these are all precautions taken to make sure everything remains as clean as possible.
She took us into where they package their meals. Friday was barbeque nachos.
“Normally on the line, we’re packaging about 33 meals a minute,” she said.
During the pandemic, packaged meals were the bread and butter for the Springfield Public School system but starting this week, they’ve started serving meals again in the cafeteria. “We had the month of April to do a lot training to get our teams ready so we could welcome students back to the cafeteria line,” said Abby.
The culinary and nutrition center has also received new equipment to make hot pockets, turnovers and empanadas, which they’re hoping to start serving this fall.