After issues with Aramark, Broome County continues search for food service provider

Source: Monika Hammer, WBNG, April 10, 2018

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says the process is underway to find a new service provider for the Willow Point Nursing Home. In February, Garnar announced he would cut ties with a company that provides food service to three Broome County operations. “We’ve had some major issues with the food service provider Aramark and we decided that we want to disengage from the contract for several reasons,” Garnar said. …


Broome County officials knew of Aramark issues in August, thought they could work it out
Source: Hannah Schwarz, Press & Sun-Bulletin, April 2, 2018

Problems with Aramark’s food service at Willow Point Nursing Home surfaced as early as 2016 — and several Broome County officials were aware of issues as early as August 2017 — but the county didn’t sever its contract with the company until February because officials believed Aramark could remedy the issues. Emails from former Willow Point Interim Director Denise Johnson obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin/, as well as emails between Deputy County Executive Kevin McManus and Aramark Regional Manager John Sidorakis, obtained via a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, show tray line service had been “problematic since ‘day one,'” and the county had been requesting reimbursement for more than eight to nine months. In a July 31 email, Johnson, who left the interim position in September when current director Ryan LaClair took over, said Aramark was requesting $100,000 in additional reimbursement from the county in what she believed was a misinterpretation of the contract. She also said Aramark was providing “untimely” meal service that was not expected to do well at the facility’s upcoming Department of Health inspection, and that Aramark had yet to set up steam table service. …

Aramark details plans for Broome County’s meals
Source: John Roby, Press and Sun-Bulletin, January 14, 2016

Aramark officials detailed the company’s plan to take over Broome County’s food service operations to members of the legislature Thursday in the first public outline of the $3.4 million proposal. … The savings would result largely from the removal of 41 full-time and 34 part-time employees of Central Kitchen and the Willow Point dietary unit from the county payroll. Aramark will employ up to seven inmates to prepare meals — under company and sheriff’s supervision — at the jail, while company employees will cook and serve meals at the nursing home and those for delivery. … Aramark will charge Broome a per-meal fee that is set to increase each year of the five-year deal. Nursing home meals will start at $6.54 and rise to $7.36 in 2020, delivery meals will start at $3.90 and rise to $4.39, and inmate meals will increase from $1.76 to $2.

Broome might extend benefits for outsourced food workers
Source: John Roby, Press & Sun-Bulletin, January 13, 2016

Broome County is considering a plan to extend health insurance benefits to outsourced food service workers, which legislators of both parties have called “the right thing to do” for dozens of Central Kitchen and Willow Point employees. … Those covered employees at least 52 years old with at least seven years of full-time employment will be eligible for up to three years after termination, or until they become eligible for retiree health insurance. … Current employees will be offered the first chance to apply for jobs with the company, county officials have said. The outsourcing is scheduled to be fully implemented by year’s end. There are about 41 full-time and 34 part-time food preparation, delivery and service workers in the two departments. Broome County Budget Director Marie Kalka said a maximum of 10 would fall under the resolution’s up-to-three-year insurance eligibility clause.

Opponents of Aramark fight to keep Central Foods kitchen
Source: Steven Adams, WBNG, November 12, 2015

Representatives of Citizen Action, a grassroots movement with membership in Binghamton, and residents of the Woodburn Court One apartment building on Exchange Street in the city, are criticizing the Broome County Legislature’s September decision to outsource the Broome County Central Foods & Nutrition Department. Aramark– a Philadelphia-based Fortune 500 company that makes two billion meals annually– will ink a $3.4 million five-year contract with Broome County to take over for Central Foods. The private corporation will supply food to Willow Point Nursing Home, the Broome County Public Safety Facility and the county’s Gang Prevention Program — along with the Meals on Wheels program, which helps feed elderly residents at Woodburn Court One. According to county leaders, the privatization of food services will save taxpayers roughly $1.4 million annually. … After the meeting at Woodburn Court One, residents and members of Citizen Action went to the county budget hearing, where they argued for legislators to rethink the plan to use Aramark– citing health concerns and also adding that anticipated casino revenues from Tioga Downs could help keep the Central Foods operation open.

Broome: Outsourcing would save $1.6M yearly
Source: John R. Roby, Press & Sun-Bulletin, October 8, 2015

The nearly $1.6 million that Broome County would save annually through a proposal to outsource food service would come largely through reduced salary and benefit costs, officials said Thursday. At a budget hearing for the Central Kitchen department, which would be eliminated if Aramark Corp. is awarded a $3.4 million contract, Broome County revealed new details of the proposal. … Current employees whose jobs are outsourced would not be eligible for certain county-paid retirement benefits, even if their service time exceeds the 10-year eligibility floor.

County Executive recommends Aramark to take over Central Foods
Source: Emily De Vito, WBNG, October 9, 2015

The corporation that bid to take over Central Foods has been revealed. Broome County received two bids, but a proposal from the Corporation Aramark is the one being recommended by County Executive Debbie Preston. County legislators met Thursday night to discuss the Central Foods budget for 2016, not to make any decisions. Aramark’s $3.4 million bid provided some new information to legislators. … Central Foods currently employees 41 full time and 34 part time workers. County officials said Thursday night that if the budget passes, they would phase in the new corporation.The jail would see a change in February, and the nursing home in March.

Aramark bids $3.4M for Central Foods contract
Source: John Roby, Press and Sun-Bulletin, October 7, 2015

Aramark Corp. submitted a $3.4 million bid to take over food preparation from Broome County’s Central Kitchen department, according to documents released Wednesday. The Philadelphia-based food service firm, a $15 billion company that employs 270,000 globally, was the only one to submit a complete bid in response to a request for proposals that Broome issued over the summer. …Broome County currently prepares and serves more than 1 million meals annually to residents of the Willow Point Nursing Home, senior center visitors, Meals on Wheels clients and jail inmates. The task is handled by Central Kitchen and Willow Point staff, comprising 41 full time and 34 part time workers as of mid-September. If the outsourcing plan is approved, those workers would be out of a job, though Aramark said in its bid that they would be interviewed.