Carson City School Board retains Aramark for nutrition services
The Carson City School Board approved Aramark Education on June 25 as its food service management consultant as the district concluded the fourth of its five-year contract with the provider.
However, the board seemed ready to make some changes, as revenues, service levels and even provider levels have impacted the quality of the district’s nutrition program overall.
The cost to the district to keep Aramark for its final year will not exceed $51,678 and comes from the nutrition fund.
The school district in December will begin its request for proposal process, at which time it could choose to remain with Aramark or decide to seek a new food services provider, Andrew Feuling, the district’s director of fiscal services, told the board at the June 25 meeting.
Currently, Carson City is on a cost-reimbursable contract. The district has paid for every meal sold and examines every invoice provided by Aramark staff members from each school site on a monthly basis, hence the $51,678 in reimbursement, Feuling said.
The contract will not change much other than to ensure a financial guarantee since the revenues have not been sufficient to cover the costs, including the free and reduced lunch meals, which have been declining at Mark Twain Elementary School.
Feuling said every student at Mark Twain can eat for free, but sustaining the program had become a challenge, and 45,000 fewer meals were served this past school year than the year before. The change in meals served impacted Aramark’s guarantee to cover a particular deficit level, which concerned trustees.
Trustees also expressed concern at Aramark’s absence from the June 25 meeting. Feuling was expected to present alongside of Aramark’s district manager, Brian Achilles.
“How comfortable are they getting with us?” Trustee Joe Cacioppo said. “I’m not saying they’re not doing a good service.”
Trustee Mike Walker said with this year’s legislative session just ending, district staff are likely to be busy and noted adding these food services challenges and the RFP process could create another burden.
The board approved to retain Aramark as its food service management consultant for its final year in a 5-2 vote.