Memphis City Schools has hired Vista Suarez, formerly director of school nutrition services for the Richmond, VA, Public Schools, as its new nutrition services director, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Richmond’s enrollment is around 24,000 while Memphis has more than 110,000 students.
The district’s nutrition services department has been under scrutity following an audit late last year that revealed rampant mismanagement, waste and violations of state and federal regulations. Former director James Jordan resigned amid revelations of improper food handling and business practices at the district's food warehouse that resulted in nearly $600,000 worth of food being discarded because it had been improperly stored, had been thawed and refrozen, had expired or had been so overpacked into a freezer that air could not properly circulate to keep it at the correct temperature. The district ended last school year with a deficit of more than $1 million on a budget of over $56 million.