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Meals at LEC up for bids

By Staff | Apr 3, 2011

Mike Gormley

Faribault County inmates could soon see a change in their menu.

The sheriff’s office has been accepting proposals for a vendor to provide onsite cooking at the jail.

The deadline to submit a bid is 4:30 p.m. today.

“It’s all about trying to save a few dollars, in all areas of my budget,” says Sheriff Mike Gormley.

Currently, Parker Oaks of Winnebago has a contract to deliver meals daily.

The Faribault County Jail may soon have meals prepared on site in the facility’s kitchen for the inmates.

The nursing home food service staff prepares two cold meals — breakfast and lunch — and a hot meal for dinner.

Last year, it cost the county $102,448 to provide meals for the jail, with an average daily count of 24 inmates.

So far, officials have received two bids from companies that cook for other jails in Minnesota.

Gormley says there is an advantage to having the meals prepared at the jail.

“This winter there were times we didn’t know if they were going to make it from Winnebago,” he says.

The weather was so bad a couple of times that deputies used four-wheelers to go and pick up the meals.

Commissioner Bill Groskreutz says he and Commissioner Tom Loveall met with Gormley before advertising for bids.

“If it is less expensive and more convenient, we’d be in favor,” says Groskreutz. “We built the new law enforcement center with the idea of having a full-service kitchen.”

Besides bad weather, arrival of unexpected prisoners can pose a problem.

“There were times when they had to scramble to find a meal,” Groskreutz says.

Under the current arrangement, jail personnel must give Parker Oaks a day’s notice if there is a change in the number of meals needed.