If you’ve ever wondered about the logistics of feeding the city’s schoolchildren, you will want to read this report about school food contracts by the investigative news website, City Limits. One interesting fact cited — the city’s public school system, serving nearly 900,000 meals daily, is the second largest “feeding operation” in the country. Only the U.S. military feeds more people.
The article examines contracts for delivering produce, groceries and other items to city schools, and the fact that two of the six companies that have submitted bids have links to an earlier federal investigation that led to convictions related to bid rigging among delivery firms.
In addition to closely examining this potential conflict, the article also opens a window on the complexities of keeping school cafeterias across the city stocked with food. How does the Department of Education set up the contracts to avoid a delivery that includes “thawed meat or frozen lettuce?” This is an important question given all the attention recently to improving the taste and health benefits of school lunches.
After using several different zoning configurations that determine what company delivers where, the D.O.E. is again changing its system, according to City Limits. The editor-in-chief, Jarrett Murphy, writes: “Now the D.O.E. is moving to consolidate its deliveries again, collapsing the current six regions for school food deliveries to four. Under the new contract, the largest zone will encompass part of Brooklyn and all of Staten Island, totaling 105 square miles.”
Read on to learn how this might affect what your child eats for lunch in the cafeteria.