Officials: We Don't Want Outsiders In Our Buildings; Bring Lunch Or Buy Here

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s a trend that is being stopped in its tracks.

Administrators in one New Jersey school district have put a stop to food deliveries during school hours. It had become a popular alternative to the school cafeteria.

For 5,900 students in Bergen County it’s a simple directive: either carry in your lunch or buy it at the cafeteria. No more delivery.

A local deli owner told CBS 2’s Lou Young the new rule is killing him.

“I used to do 150 lunches on a slow day, up to 250 a day. I was in eight schools, and now that’s down to zero,” said Roger Schmorrbusch, owner of the Park Wood Deli.

The district pulled the plug on mass deliveries of boxed lunches about eight weeks ago. Hundreds of parents and students were ordering them online and educators said it became chaotic when so many individual orders all showed at once.

Now, five parents and several business owners are suing to resume the outside deliveries they insist offered variety and convenience.

One sixth grader told Young it worked great for him.

“You wouldn’t have to worry about waiting on line. You could just go to the office and pick it up. You wouldn’t have to get just what the school has,” Logan Albronda said.

However, the district said variety cannot come at the price of order. Officials don’t want outsiders in the building, even if they’re delivering good food.

“If they want to pack their lunch, that’s fine. If they want to go out and purchase their lunch and send it in with their child, that’s fine. The vendor can’t deliver it to the school. That’s what we’re saying,” Ridgewood Schools Superintendent Dan Fishbein said.

Some of the same delis already deliver to other school districts in the area. Those districts do not have food service of their own available.

Parents can still order boxes lunches online, but only from the vendor inside the school. The district said that’s an exclusive contract handled entirely by the vendor’s own employees.

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