Allen County Juvenile Center Gets Contract With Private Food Provider

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Allen County Juvenile Center Gets Contract With Private Food Provider

December 4, 2013 Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Judge Dan Heath of the Family Relations of the Allen Superior signed a contract with A'viands, LLC, "privatizing" food service at the Allen County Juvenile Center.

"Members of our Allen County council, especially Councilman Roy Buskirk, encouraged us to look into the savings that could take place by privatizing our food service," Judge Heath said. "We have reviewed the matter very carefully and have, indeed, found that we can save money for our taxpayers while preserving quality meals for the juveniles detained here. Even if our detention numbers do not decrease, we should see savings for the taxpayers in excess of $50,000 per year. This also does not include the fact that our county will no longer be on the hook for taxpayer funded pensions.

"In addition, we asked A'viands to consider hiring our food service employees and they have done so in a majority of cases. Finally, we will not have greater budget forecasting ability under the private contract as the contract has per meal price points based upon our detention numbers that remain constant during the contract period. If our Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative helps us to safely lower the number of juveniles we detain, we will see food service costs lower as well, so the savings could be even greater."

With the assistance of Allen County Purchasing Director, Robert Bolenbaugh, the Court published a Request for Proposal seeking proposals from food service providers. Four companies responded with proposals.

A committee composed of Judge Heath, Bolenbaugh and the staff of the Allen County Juvenile Center reviewed the proposals and determined that A'viands provided the most competitive proposal. A'viands' references were contacted and good reviews were provided regarding its food service work.

The Allen County Juvenile Center detains an average of 90-95 juveniles per day, serving three meals per day. State and Federal regulations heavily regulate the number of calories per meal and the quality of meals served.

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