Of the 892 canteen workers in the city of Bordeaux, 190 are currently isolated for Covid-19. A lack of staff which makes the daily management of meals untenable, according to the municipality.
“The Covid-19 epidemic is today causing a significant number of absences among the municipal staff of the meridian break”, wrote in a press release Tuesday the town hall of Bordeaux (Gironde). And for lack of staff, service in school canteens had to be suspended at least two days a week for the 17,000 Bordeaux pupils.
“We have 892 agents in the city of Bordeaux, and we have 190 absent”, explains to BFMTV Sylvie Schmitt, deputy mayor of Bordeaux, in charge of Education.
“Last year at the same time, we had a hundred absentees, and we had already put in place this type of measure but on rotating schools, so it is true that it did not have the same impact since there, we do it all over the city.”
To AFP, she explains that the city has exhausted its “pool of replacements” and “is having trouble recruiting” new staff.
“They will eat cold”
From January 24 to February 11, there will therefore be no meals served on Mondays and Thursdays in kindergarten, and on Tuesdays and Fridays in elementary schools. Parents can provide a picnic for their child – who will still be supervised during the lunch break – or pick them up to eat at home.
“Between the various tests we had to carry out, the classes that are closed, when we can come despite everything, after that it’s the canteen that we have to organize, so it doesn’t make our life easier”, confides to our antenna a dad.
“They will eat cold, given the weather, it’s still not very reassuring”, also declares a mother.
Another has already planned to try to organize herself to avoid too many picnics during the week: “once a week I will try to prepare a cold meal, and the other time I will try to collect them between noon and two,” she explains.
This closure is also worrying because for some children, the meal in the school canteen is sometimes the only hot and balanced meal of the day.