In particular, some students were not able to benefit from their usual meal during the lunch break.
At the André Maurois college in Neuilly-sur-Seine, not everything went as planned in the canteen this week. During a midday lunch break, about thirty students were unable to benefit from their usual meal in the canteen, due to a lack of sufficient stocks for all the students.
Seven colleges concerned
“There was only bread or some people ate only their yogurt. At the very beginning, there was meat and fish, but those who were at the end, they were very hungry and we ate nothing” , testifies a college student at the microphone of BFM Paris-Ile-de France.
The students concerned had to return to class with empty stomachs or almost. It was not until mid-afternoon around 3 p.m. that additional condiments arrived. A portion of ravioli was distributed to each student who did not receive their lunch.
The André Maurois college is not the only one affected by these problems in the department since the start of the new school year. In total, seven Haut-de-Seine colleges are experiencing similar dysfunctions.
These seven establishments are all supplied by the Sodexo catering group. When questioned, the latter highlights an organizational problem linked to the new meal reservation system. Parents must now register their children for the canteen from the departmental council website.
“We are encountering difficulties in certain colleges linked in particular to the fact of late registration of college students by parents. It is therefore sometimes difficult to estimate the exact number of children who have lunch on a day-to-day basis”, justifies the catering group .
Sodexo also points to staff recruitment problems due to a labor shortage in the sector.
These repeated problems greatly annoy the parents of students. Faced with this situation, some of them have chosen to withdraw their child from the canteen. A decision that is not necessarily ideal, especially for working parents.
“It’s not something that can be sustainable, they need this service, it’s a public service mission”, recalls Laurent Zemeczkowski, vice-president of the federation of parents of students at BFM Paris Ile de France.
The organization of the canteens is however closely monitored by the Hauts-de-Seine Departmental Council, responsible for the management of the colleges. The vice-president of the Department in charge of Education ensures that nearly a quarter of the establishments are visited every day.
“If it malfunctions, we move immediately and until everything is back to normal, there will be visits every day”, assures Nathalie Leandri to BFM Paris-Ile-de-France.