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Chartwells feeds South Whidbey school kids again

Food service in South Whidbey schools will remain in the care of Chartwells for another school year.

Board members of the South Whidbey School Board approved the contract, but only after amending it. The original $269,000 agreement had Chartwells providing food service to South Whidbey’s three main campuses, the elementary, middle and high schools, from September 2012 through September 2013.

“The major piece of this is we need to start the school year with food,” said District Superintendent Jo Moccia.

Since the school year begins in September, said Board Chairman Steve Scoles, it made sense to revise the contract so it ends before the 2013-2014 school year begins.

“I don’t know if Chartwells would want to serve food for one month,” Scoles said. “It would be an awkward transition.”

During the coming school year, the school district has to put out a request for proposal for its food services. Unless the school district chooses to provide its own food service.

“If we choose to go for an outside vendor again, we have to put out a RFP (request for proposal) again,” Moccia said.

Some district staff and board members have discussed the possibility of providing food service in-house. Last year, South Whidbey paid Chartwells $260,020 for its food services, including all food and supplies, at a cost of $2.518 per meal. A committee appointed by the superintendent will review food service in South Whidbey schools, then make a recommendation to the board in 2013. Ultimately, the board will choose what direction to take the school district, a lesson learned by some board members from past committee recommendations.

“The committee comes forward, and then the board makes a decision,” Moccia said.

The amended contract was returned to Chartwells, which will decide whether or not it will agree to the new terms.

 

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