School food catering service Aramark has drawn quite the flak after serving chicken and waffles with a side of watermelon on the first day of the Black History Month feast at Nyack Middle School in Nyack, New York.

Despite its past controversies surrounding its culturally insensitive approach to the Black History Month food menu, the business maintained the timing of the menu was a pure coincidence, Vice reported.

The students, however, said watermelon was never on the menu and yet it was served in the lunch on Feb. 1.

"They were asking people if they want watermelon and I remember being confused because it's not in season," student Honore Santiago told WABC. "Didn't think the company was capable of making us feel bad...especially the kids my color," she said.

Parents who took offense reached out to the school authorities asking for the vendor's accountability and demanded the school end the contract with Aramark through a petition signed by at least 100 people, CBS reported.

"Not just the money, they're accountable to the people they know," a parent, Brenda Ross said.

Aramark was quick to apologize. In a statement released via the school district on their website, they said they were in no way stereotyping Black culinary choices. "We apologize for the unintentional insensitivity shown on February 1, the first day of Black History Month," the business said in its statement.

The school also pointed out that the business had a different food menu on offering than what was scheduled before. As per the school's website, the previously-scheduled menu included cheesesteaks, broccoli, and fruits.

"While our menu was not intended as a cultural meal, we acknowledge that the timing was inappropriate, and our team should have been more thoughtful in its service," it added.

Nyack Middle School Principal David A. Johnson sent a letter to parents stating that such a thing won't happen in the future.

"​​Nyack Public Schools administrators contacted Aramark officials to insist on a mechanism to avoid a repeat of yesterday's mistake," the letter reads. "The vendor has agreed to plan future menu offerings to align with our values and our long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion."

Fried chicken is associated with the Black diaspora particularly because it had once been a staple for slaves as a cheap and good source of meat. Watermelon, on the other hand, also bears a racist connotation, as history indicates that African-Americans grew increasingly fond of the fruit after their emancipation proclamation during the civil war and embarked on its widespread cultivation as a means of livelihood. But in later times, the fruit became a tool to belittle Blacks and their achievements.

Chicken wings
Representation. Fried chicken wings. LAWJR/Pixabay