District 202 will save about $290,000 next year after the Board of Education approved an agreement to make Aramark Educational Services the district’s new food services vendor.
However, the “savings” are somewhat bittersweet.
Aramark will replace Sodexo, which has been the district’s food services partner since 2000.
“It’s kind of like losing a family member,” said Board of Education President Roger Bonuchi.
“Sodexo did a lot for our students and schools that went beyond simply serving food, and we thank them for their service,” he said. “However, we understand the fiscal realities, and we look forward to building a strong relationship with Aramark this year,” Bonuchi said.
With a year left on its current contract, Sodexo earlier this spring exercised an “out” clause in its contract because of challenging market conditions. That led the district to seek new bids for food services.
Seven companies were invited, but only Aramark and Sodexo actually submitted bids. Aramark bid $5,627,952.92 for the 2014-15 school year, compared to Sodexo’s bid of $5,917,111.91.
Aramark will have a one-year contract, with four, one-year options for renewal by mutual agreement. Sodexo had similar terms in its most recent bid, which was officially awarded in 2010.