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Food Services Department Holds First Ever Food Tasting at Ramapo High School

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, dozens of East Ramapo families were welcomed into the cafeteria at Ramapo High School for the ‘first ever’ food services taste testing event, which allowed the District to gather valuable input so that it may better meet the needs of all students. The event was hosted by the East Ramapo Food Services Department in collaboration with Whitsons Culinary Group.

Guests enjoyed a variety of school lunch items served at both the elementary and secondary schools, including chicken teriyaki with rice and broccoli, chicken fajita with sweet plantains, wing shack buffalo chicken wings, Jamaican beef patties, chicken and cheese quesadillas, yogurt parfait, pizza, meatball parmesan and waffles with turkey sausage and tater tots. After testing the dishes, diners were asked to score the meals they tasted on a five-point scale, 5 being the most favorable and 1 being the least.

After thanking community members for attending the first ever food kitchen taste testing, Superintendent Clarence Ellis took the time to sit down with many guests and listen to their concerns, thoughts and ideas regarding the food served in the school cafeterias.

Conveniently, a professional translation services team, Dynamics Multilingual Services, Inc., was on site providing simultaneous interpreting that allowed English Language Learners to hear presentations in Spanish in real time. During the Q&A session of the night, East Ramapo residents got the chance to ask questions about the foods, the options, the menus, and more. Eric Kaplan, Whitson’s Food Service Manager took the opportunity to inform the community members of East Ramapo’s strict adherence to New York State’s policies and regulations on serving food in schools. East Ramapo’s Food Services Manager Carmela Cernaro, reminded guests to fill out the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Provision 2 non-base year Household Income Eligibility Form, conveniently located online at

Assistant Superintendent of Business Ms. Natalie Espinal spoke about the importance of providing the children with healthy food during the school day, as it contributes directly to their learning. 

In a district as diverse as East Ramapo, where thousands of meals are served each day to a variety of palates, this event gathered valuable input to ensure that those meals best meet the needs of our students.