PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- At least a dozen District 60 food service employees protested outside schools Friday in response to potential changes to the department's services.
"We're out here because District 60 schools are looking at outsourcing their food services," Sheri Hattan, an AFSCME staff representative, said.
According to Hattan, D60's 'Foodworks' program employees were upset and confused by a letter sent out by the district on February 18th, announcing plans to explore other options for services.
"It's not a financial issue. It's not a poor quality of work issue. It's not a quality of food issue," Hattan said. "Kind of a slap in the face to say...you guys are doing a great job, but this is what we're going to do."
Throughout the pandemic, staff have provided free meals to kids in the community twice a week at pick-up locations on at least five campuses.
"The need here in Pueblo is huge. We are not a rich town. The kids do depend on the meals that these ladies serve."
While staff have expressed concern about the future of their jobs, they're also worried about the potential impact these changes could have on the children they serve.
"They know the kids by name. They know dietary needs by just sight with a child. They've built relationships with the kids."
According to the district, no final decision has been made yet. The district's statement also requests, "that the new provider retain as many of our current staff as possible."
Hattan said employees plan to appeal to the school board next, which will be responsible for a final decision. Meantime, the district said student meal services will not be impacted by the changes.