Many local large and small businesses are reeling over the recent Catholic school closures.
For the past 5 years, Bella Pizzaria in Boston has provided pizzas for St. Bernadette school in Orchard Park. Every Friday, they deliver twenty pizzas for student lunches. With St. Bernadette’s among the ten schools closing, Bella will see a decrease in business.
“It’s a really big loss for the business,” said Bella manager Julie McCann. “We did twenty pizzas every week. That’s eighty per month…a lot of loss. That’s like another person Friday morning that we don’t need working anymore.”
Maple Leaf Food is the food distributor for six of the ten closing schools.
“We supply more of the center of the plate items. We supply snack items, cleaning supplies paper goods to most of the school districts in Western New York,” said Robert Jenkins, Vice President of Sales for Maple Leaf Foods.
Maple Leaf expects that where they lose business, they will gain when the students switch to another school they distribute to.
“The closure itself will only impact us if the student’s at the schools that are closing are not going to another school that offered a lunch program. If they were to be home-schooled, we would obviously lose that portion of the business, or if they were to go to a school that doesn’t offer a lunch or breakfast program,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins says it will be a waiting game until the schools actually close to find out how big of an impact his business will take. He plans on looking at all numbers to determine the next step.