Lunch trays could cost up to $200,000
Davis pitches idea of ‘old-fashioned dishes you wash’ rather than disposables
St. Mary’s school board members discussed the necessity of using disposable products to serve lunch before approving to spend up to $200,000 annually on plastic trays and containers.
Board members approved a contract with FPC Holdings Inc. to purchase disposable products for serving lunch items at an annual cost of up to $200,000 at Wednesday’s board meeting. They also approved a $42,110 contract for the online subscription service, Discovery Education Streaming.
Board member Jim Davis said he’s noticed “there is a conscious effort in the private and public section to avoid using disposable products.” He asked Megan Doran, public schools’ director of food and nutrition
services, if she and her staff looked at the cost benefit for using disposable products instead of using “old-fashioned dishes you wash.”
Doran said disposable items, such as styrofoam lunch trays, are used when schools host back-to-back lunches “or there is an early dismissal and we can’t clean the trays fast enough.” She said elementary and middle schools use reusable lunch trays most of the time. Plastic containers for fruit cups are used to contain any potential mess made, she continued.
Board member Rita Weaver asked if there was any cost benefit to having split the contract between FPC Holdings Inc. and American Pride Paper. She said some of the products the latter company offered were “less expensive by a few pen- nies.”
Public schools’ Procurement Coordinator Victoria Mayle said there is a $50 minimum to all purchases with the approved contract.
“I didn’t want schools to order more than they needed” to make the minimum shipping fee, she continued.
Doran said if the contract had been split up, the products would have to be shipped to her office in Loveville, creating another step for school staff to get the products they needed, instead of to the school that placed the order.
In other news, school board members also approved the contract renewal for the Discovery Education Streaming for $42,110 for fiscal year 2018.
The contract does not include access to the Discovery Plus program due to low engagement numbers, Alex Jaffurs, public schools’ accountability and assessment officer, said.
The subscription service al- lows St. Mary’s students assess to media such as skills building games, audio files, images, writing prompts, encyclopedia articles and assessment resources aligned to Common Core Standards, Jaffurs said.
Weaver asked if students have access to the games at home.
Jaffurs said teachers are able to unlock portions of the digital service for students as requested.