BETHEL – The Board of Directors for SAD 44 voted unanimously Monday to award a contract to Chartwell’s Dining Services for instituting a cafeteria management plan for 2003-04.

According to Business Manager Bruce Powell, the contract is for one year only, and the plan will be revisited next summer to evaluate its effectiveness and benefit to the district.

“We are trying this for one year, July 1 to June 30, and we feel we will save money on our food services,” said Powell, “although it will not be a break-even program for the district and never will be.”

He went on to explain that during the past school year the district has lost $45,000 on its food service program.

“Chartwell’s projects we will get $148,500 back this coming year and, out of that, we can pay our people their wages without any change from what they get now,” Powell said.

It also was made clear by him and Superintendent David Murphy that current employees will continue as employees of SAD 44 with no one losing a job.

“Chartwell’s will have no control over our employees. They will still be employees of the district with Chartwell’s recommending the food program and assisting them,” Murphy said.

The reason given for hiring Chartwell’s was that such a program can improve food quality, promote and enhance the school lunch program, as well as promote nutritious choices for both elementary and secondary students. It also is expected to improve the financial performance of the district’s lunch program.

These expectations will be met through a professional management support staff, a comprehensive accounting and reporting system, an orientation and training program for staff, and ongoing training programs as needed.

Along with providing training and assistance to the cafeteria staff, the program will also focus on promotional programs in the schools including educating students.

Besides providing services and healthy menus for students, Chartwell’s also offers quality catering services for special school events. Events covered include Board dinners, open house refreshments, graduation events, sports banquets, a coffee service and formal banquets.

Chartwell’s education service includes parent pamphlets, youth advisory meetings, suggestion boxes at the secondary level, student surveys, administrative surveys, and catering surveys. Along with these monthly forums are held to make sure lines of communication are kept open between management and its associates.

The Board voted to give the program a one-year trial.


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