York Suburban School District is going with an outside company for its meals this fall.
The school board approved bringing on Islandia, N.Y.-based Whitsons Culinary Group to be the district's food service management company for one year.
Starting next school year, Whitsons will staff the food service program and make meals in schools.
York Suburban will get paid at least $69,000, and perhaps more if revenues exceed that amount, said business manager Dennis Younkin.
Whitsons, a family-owned business, has already promised to offer employment to York Suburban's current food service staff, plus a 3 percent raise and immediate insurance benefits.
York Suburban gets the advantage of not having to directly deal with the food service budget, federal nutrition requirements or other aspects of the program, and will receive some revenue from the deal, Younkin said.
"It's harder and harder to run a food service operation," in-house, he said.The decision came after the board and some community members visited a school in Tarrytown, N.Y., that uses Whitsons.
School board student representative Micheal Hogg said at a recent board meeting he is excited about the change. He said he's impressed by the meal variety and said the food tastes good.
Board member Jennifer Clancy said she was concerned about bringing in an outside food management group. Throughout the process, she expressed concerns about taste, quality, and treatment of current food service employees.
After having the trip to taste test the food and learning more about the company, Clancy said she now feels confident in hiring Whitsons.
Meal prices will remain the same next school year.
- Staff correspondent Shannon Prusack contributed to this story. Reach Andrew Shaw at 505-5431 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ydblogwork