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County chooses new meal provider

By Staff | Apr 11, 2011

Sheriff Mike Gormley

The Faribault County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) will soon have a new food service provider – and a new full service kitchen to boot, at no cost to the county.

When the new LEC was built, one of the issues facing the county commissioners was whether to build a full kitchen or not.

At the end, only a service kitchen was equipped, and the meals were prepared off site and catered in.

The county contracted with Parker Oaks in Winnebago to provide the meals.

Now, that arrangement is going to end and meals will be prepared on site at the jail.

Sheriff Mike Gormley was at last Tuesday’s County Board meeting and informed the commissioners the sheriff’s office had received two bids in response to their request for proposals to prepare meals at the jail.

The two proposals were from food management companies A’viands and CBM, and were just pennies apart in meal cost.

Both included prices for meals depending on how many inmates are housed each day.

For 21 to 25 inmate meals, A’viands price was $3.45 per meal. CBM’s quote was three cents higher; $3.48.

Both companies price per meal was lower as the number of daily meals increased. At 36 to 40 meals per day, the cost per meal drops to $2.53.

Gormley recommended signing a 5-year contract with A’viands and the board agreed.

“Commissioner Butch Erichsrud and I were looking at this company when the jail was being constructed,” Commissioner Bill Groskruetz, Jr., says. “They are a reputable firm and have been in the business for some time.”

Gormley says there are several added bonuses with contracting with A’viands. The biggest being no-cost kitchen improvements.

“They will bring in all of their own equipment, at their own expense,” Gormley explains. “At the end of the 5-year contract, all the equipment belongs to the county.”

Plus, Gormley explains that A’viands is attempting to get other meal contracts in the area, including supplying area Meals onWheels programs.

“For these other meals they prepare using our kitchen, they will pay us 24 cents,” Gormley says. “They estimate that could be as much as $5,000 per year.”

Gormley says although the company is from Roseville, they will be employing local staff.

“They will be hiring a full time person, and two part time people,” he says. “They will be preparing all meals on site, for the exact number of inmates we have housed at each meal time.”