BONIFAY - A photo of a school lunch and what one parent called a "gross undercommunication" by Bonifay K-8 and Holmes School District staff caused a social media frenzy on the first day of school Monday.
The photo - which depicted a peanut butter sandwich - was shared hundreds of times, compared to "prison food," and deemed by one Holmes County parent as a danger to children with severe food allergies.
"Kids like my child came home starving because he's allergic to peanuts and couldn't attempt to eat this [sic] even if he wanted to," said one parent in a Facebook post.
Holmes County Food Service Administrator Carmen Bush and Holmes County School Superintendent Terry Mears later advised a problem with an oven thwarted the originally planned lunch and that an alternative meal of grilled cheese was available.
"There was a hiccup in the operation of the oven due to contractors cutting the power on Saturday and the system having to be reset," said Mears. "There was a grilled cheese offered as an option for those with peanut allergies."
One parent stated if an alternative was available, it was not communicated to students.
"Things happen," wrote the parent. "But this was a gross undercommunication on the part of staff."
Mears explained that the incident was simply a setback - one staff handled well with what resources they had on hand.
"I am very proud of our staff being able to feed 1,400 students in accordance with USDA requirements on such short notice," he said. "Everything comes with setbacks, and I am happy with how this one was handled."
Mears did not state what cooking method was used for the grilled cheese alternatives in wake of the oven being temporarily out of commission.