Haverhill pays $200,000 to food provider Loss blamed on failure to raise school lunch prices

Source: By Mike LaBella, Eagle Tribune (MA), June 12, 2008 12:07 am

HAVERHILL — An audit by an outside company shows the schools paid their private food service provider $200,000 this year to cover the company’s financial losses caused by increased food and utility costs.

The city’s auditing agency — Giusti, Hingston & Co. of Georgetown — said the School Department paid Chartwells a cash subsidy because the School Committee did not approve a 25-cent increase in the price of school lunches last fall. Chartwells provides food for school lunches.

Mayor James Fiorentini said the situation spotlights the need to fold the School Department’s financial operation into city government — something he is pushing to save money and improve accountability and efficiency, he said.