Change in AAPS Lunch Provider: This Mom’s Perspective
This morning MLive is reporting that as part of the AAPS Budget process they are considering a change in lunch providers from Chartwells to Aramark since Aramark is offering a price that is $0.06/lunch cheaper than Chartwells.
As a parent one of my first questions which I have not seen answered is whether balances in lunch accounts will still carry over. From what I can tell these are managed separately from Chartwells. I assume that means that they will be unaffected, but a little reassurance would be nice.
As a parent, I would be interested in seeing sample menus that Aramark is using in other districts. Personally, I would love to see the end of the “seasoned” vegetables on the menu. My daughter who eats vegetables at home with no problem refuses to touch any of them at school because of the seasoning.
I would also like to see total numbers for the cost saving. From what I see Aramark i estimating a revenue of $420,000 to the district for next year while Chartwells has guaranteed a minimum of $300,000 per year. What have the actual revenues been? Will Aramark make any guarantees? Is their estimate based on current participation levels or does it expect an increase in lunch participation?
Since Aramark is willing to rehire all current staff in the schools (provided they pass a background check), there is also minimal impact on personnel.
Even getting 90% of the estimated revenue from Aramark is $378k. The difference between that and the Chartwells guarantee is $78k which is roughly equivalent to the $70k in projected savings achieved by closing the middle school pools this year. If we have to make major budget cuts again this year, a change in lunch providers is far less disruptive than transportation changes, teacher cuts, or cutting services such as swimming.
My college cafeteria was managed by Aramark (20 year ago) and while we were not always their biggest fan, I am sure there would have been complaints about ay provider. I definitely think it is worth AAPS giving Aramark a chance.
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