• 29.4 percent of districts (162 out of 551) contract out for food service.
  • Seven districts began contracting out the service.
  • New food service contracts are expected to save districts $649,600.

Food service continues to be the most frequently contracted, with 162 districts using private contractors. Seven new districts contracted out this year.

Graphic 2: Districts Contracting Food Service

Graphic 2: Districts Contracting Food Service - click to enlarge

There was a slight increase in the percentage of districts that contracted out for food service this year. This stands in contrast with the 2008 survey, when food service contracting numbers decreased.

Overall, new contracts for food services are expected to save Michigan school districts $649,600 this year. Districts' expected savings range from $9,300 for Charlevoix Public Schools to $414,600 for Troy School District. In Charlevoix and Okemos public schools, the food service contractors will not manage the district's food service staff, but will employ the former in-house staff, thereby foregoing the necessity of the districts contributing to the state's public school employee pension fund. Savings will depend on how many employees are hired.

Glenn Public Schools is a 48-pupil district in southwest Michigan. It began an arrangement with a local restaurant that cooks hot meals for students to buy once a week. The district had not provided food services at all before this, and students had simply brought their own lunches.

Districts new to food service contracting

Savings

Troy School District

$414,600

Godwin Heights Public Schools

$163,800

Au Gres-Sims School District

$16,800

Charlevoix Public Schools

$9,300

Peck Community Schools

$45,000

Okemos Public Schools

$1,000

Glenn Public Schools

$0 (new service)