As reported by BNEWS last month, Burlington Public Schools has sent out RFPs (Request for Proposal) for a food service management company, with the upcoming retirement of Food Services Director Karen Damaso.
During the January 10 meeting of the School Committee, District Business Manager Nichole Coscia reported that three food service management companies have responded and they are ready to start the evaluation process. However there was some confusion among committee members as to what services the companies would provide. Coscia explained that the company would oversee cafeteria staff, menu planning, and the ordering of food products.
“Everything that our food service director did previously.” said Coscia.
Superintendent of Schools Eric Conti made a point to clarify that “we are just asking that they manage to get us through the rest of the year and we could potentially do a more in-depth RFP or ask them to expand services but it’s just a matter of planning menus, making sure we have the right dry goods and the right food so that we can provide lunches.”
There is also an acting food services director in place at the schools, and Conti expects her to continue working in that role alongside the company going forward. School Committee member Christine Monaco expressed her concerns over paying the acting food services director, and current staff on top of the possible food service company. Conti explained that they were looking at companies for potential menu options, and stressed this was not about replacing cafeteria staff.
The committee agreed to move forward with the evaluation process. The discussion then progressed into the issue of composting in BPS cafeterias, which you can read more about here.