While it may sound like Poptropica, it’s Pomptonian; the seemingly evil food service provider robbing your parents, making them refill your account every other week because the Pomptonian prices are so astronomically high that only the top one percent of students can buy food. This isn’t democracy. This is communism. However, as revealed in an interview with the head of Pomptonian here at RHS, Maureen DiChiara, although Pomptonian may seem like they are the villains, “[they] are here for YOU, the student, and we care!”. Pomptonian is merely a puppet to a larger evil. This monster behind the curtain is someone you have known and dealt with every single day: the Ridgewood Public Schools Board of Education. They make all the decisions behind what food gets sold and how expensive each item is. Many of us look to blame Pomptonian for tragic losses in food options, such as the “crispy” fries and churros. Students and staff, your anger is justified! However, anger directed at Pomptonian is not justified.
Rather, Pomptonian has done wonders for the school. Because the district is not a member of the National School Lunch Program, Pomptonian is allowed free reign on their portion sizes, as well as other variables of the food service. Luckily, they use this freedom for our benefit: would we really have as many options for sandwiches at the salad bar otherwise? Pomptonian’s independence from the NSLP grants them the opportunity to appease us with their personal food choices, such as pizza from Renato’s.
On the other hand, that’s not to say Pomptonian has free reign over all food. The Board of Education still plays a significant role in choosing which foods we are presented with when we enter the line. Those delicious crispy friends gone from our trays, instead replaced with less appetizing mushy fries? Blame the Board. Thus, when students are enraged at the lack of healthy or unhealthy food options (depending on your opinion), it is important to acknowledge that Pomptonian has little control over what is served. How dare the Board of Ed. take away our churros after incredibly exhausting run days, or when we needs comfort food after failing a third Marzloff lab!
The scariest part about this whole ordeal is the serious lack of recognition Pomptonian receives. Not only do they offer great options, but they are the ones who actually hunt for the chicken in our patties and the pizza from Renato’s. No other food service provider does that. Do you think Papa John hunts for all of the meat on his meat lovers pizza? After all, who’s baking our cookies, the Board of Education, or Pomptonian? Pomptonian workers are heroes who are constantly bashed on for the actions of a higher and greater power. If you want your churros back, if you want actual crispy fries (we, the writers, would bet that the Board only eats soggy fries), Pomptonian is not who you should blame.
JT Cambria & Danny Guinan
Graphic: Maraea Garcia