West Bloomfield Schools Ban Lunch Deliveries for Students

June 24, 2019

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West Bloomfield area schools are joining other schools around the state and the country in banning lunch deliveries from services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Doordash. School leaders told the Detroit Free Press that the deliveries were becoming so common that they were downright disruptive, and some even citied safety concerns as well.

Pat Watson, principal at West Bloomfield High School, was quoted as saying that the school was seeing ten to fifteen deliveries a day, which brought about the building policy that you can’t have food delivered during the school day. Watson even admitted that teachers also used the service, sometimes resulting in tardiness if their lunch didn’t show up on time.

Diane Blain, a spokeswoman for Chippewa Valley Schools in nearby Macomb County, noted the administration’s concerns over safety with food deliveries. "Having strangers and people that we don’t know coming to our buildings with delivery bags, we just don’t allow it,” she said. Blain noted that their school district had banned the practice some three years ago, and other area schools and districts soon followed suit. Plymouth-Canton School District spokesman Nick Brandon also noted that building procedures don't allow it. "The second that food enters the school office, it becomes the school office's responsibility," Brandon said, citing concerns of food safety, food-borne illnesses and allergic reactions.

Other schools and districts have not formally banned the practice but frown upon it, not allowing students to be tardy to class because of a late lunch delivery. All the teachers and administrators interviewed said that the practice exploded over the past few years with the sudden growth of delivery services and the use of cell phones, which virtually all students have no matter their age.

Speaking of which, West Bloomfield area high school students are not the only ones relying on food delivery for lunch. Jeff Hueter, assistant manager of the Jet's Pizza on Orchard Lake Road about a mile north of West Bloomfield High, was quoted as saying that even elementary school students will have pizza delivered for lunch! Hueter said that parents will call in and ask that a pizza be sent to their child’s school, paying with a credit card or through the restaurant’s app on their cell phone. Hueter also noted that all the elementary schools close to his restaurant, along with West Bloomfield High, are good for business during lunch hours.

Most West Bloomfield area schools that ban the practice of food delivery during lunch do allow it after hours, for kids staying late for practice, group assignments, and the like. No doubt such policies will need constant review, given the popularity of simply whipping out your cell phone and ordering food from any number of nearby restaurants and eateries!

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