Food service changes on horizon
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 15:02
The Parkland College Board of Trustees voted to enter contract negotiations with a new food service company, Food for Thought. This past Wednesday at the regular board meeting, a decision was unanimously made to approve the recommendation of the administration and Student Government. We recommended that Chartwells be replaced as our food service provider citing high prices, poor food quality and a history of poor communication.
The process started over a year ago when a survey of students and staff was conducted to gain insight into what the priorities should be in our next food vendor. Then, a request for proposals was released. The next step was to visit the sites of the companies who submitted proposals. The site visits were to see what the companies were capable of doing, specifically in the new Student Services Center when it is complete. However, the intention was also to improve the food service in the immediate future.
This fall, I was contacted by Vice President of Student Services Dr. Linda Moore to represent the student body in the selection process. The site visits, which were in Chicago and spread over two days, were the real test of what these companies were capable of. I brought along Secretary of Student Government, Rosy Juarez, as well. Rosy and I, along with Dr. Moore and Jim Bustard, the Physical Plant Director who led the process, set out on a mission. That mission was to find a company that had high quality food, a wide menu selection and a better economic value.
Food for Thought was the hands down winner of the above three categories. They are also headquartered in Illinois whereas the others were not. Keeping business in-state is always great whenever possible. After meeting the top executives at Food for Thought it is clear to us that they are a food driven company run by chefs. They seem to understand the importance of communication. This is Food for Thought's first venture out of Chicago and we are glad that they chose Parkland College. The timetable for Food for Thought taking over is pending because of uncertainties in contract negotiations. There is a chance that you will see them directly after Spring Break or it could be over the summer.
Student Government is here to represent the student body. When I ran for President of Student Government I had promised to improve the food services here. Thanks to the administration and Board of Trustees I was given that chance in a much larger way than I could have imagined. The students and staff of this campus will be much better off with Food for Thought. I also want to thank all the students who gave input along the way, without their support so much of what we do would not be possible.
You can visit Food for Thought's website at www.fftchicago.com. Email Student Government at firstname.lastname@example.org.