Korean Food for Lunch at NJ Schools?

Korean food being offered at Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School in New Jersey in 2012. Students may soon have Korean food among their lunch choices. (Photo via The Korea Times)

Korean food being offered at Palisades Park Jr./Sr. High School in New Jersey in 2012. Students may soon have Korean food among their lunch choices. (Photo via The Korea Times)

On July 20, the Korean Cuisine Globalization Committee announced that they had a meeting with the official catering company for schools in New Jersey, the Pomptonian Food Service, on July 19 and decided to instruct the cooks of the company in how to make Korean cuisine.

Once the cooks complete their instruction, the catering company should be able to provide Korean school lunches for some school districts that hope to serve Korean cuisine in their schools.

As early as this fall, some school districts in which many Korean students are enrolled – Palisades Park and Fort Lee – are expected to provide Korean food service.

Palisades Park Deputy Mayor Jongchul Lee and Councilman Christopher Chung attended the meeting and discussed some specific measures to bring Korean cuisine to the Palisades Park school district.

Chung said: “More than 50 percent of the students in the Palisades Park school district are Korean and many of the students and parents are hoping to have Korean meals at school. We are planning to provide Korean school lunches to students this September at the earliest as the new semester starts.”

Discussion about serving Korean food in the schools first arose last year, when the Korean Cuisine Globalization Committee served Korean cuisine at Lindbergh Elementary School in Palisades Park. Reactions from both Korean students and non-Korean students were positive and a survey result showed that many of the students wanted to include Korean food [among their lunch choices.]

However, there are a few more issues to settle: obtaining a supply of food ingredients, setting unit prices, and menu development.

“We reached a tentative agreement to educate the cooks. However, there is more to discuss such as how to provide Korean ingredients and how to adjust unit prices,” Lee Kang Won, president of the Korean Cuisine Globalization Committee said.

The Korean Cuisine Globalization Committee noted that they would have a press briefing on July 22 at Byungchun Soondae [a restaurant] in Flushing, Queens to announce precise plans for providing Korean food service in New Jersey public schools.

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