District Selects New Food Service Vendor
June 12, 2019
Southwest Foodservice Excellence LLC will manage food service operations for Lindbergh Schools effective July 1, offering a variety of nutritious options for students and ultimately a 12-month transition to several made-from-scratch dining options.
The Lindbergh Schools Board of Education voted 7-0 on June 11 to award a one-year contract to SFE, with the option for yearly renewal up to four additional years. SFE is a regional company that specializes only in K-12 nutrition and follows a culture of "Putting Child Nutrition First," with a promise that "we want to be sure that all students are well nourished to learn, while still finding the delicious foods they love to eat," according to company materials.
SFE and Lindbergh Schools will follow the same government regulations that apply to all school districts. In accordance with state guidelines, all food service related revenue from meals, ala carte sales and catering are deposited into district funds. The district then reimburses its food service vendor for operational costs on a monthly basis, and pays a fixed fee for administrative and management services. In all, food service operations expenditures are estimated to total $2.4 million per year, which would be balanced by food service revenue. In addition, SFE’s proposal estimates administrative and management fees to be $76,533 for 2019-20, with a guaranteed return to the district of $137,158, which the district plans to invest back into food service capital equipment.
In accordance with state and federal guidelines, Lindbergh Schools remains responsible for food quality, meal prices, overall financial management, and implementation of the free and reduced lunch plan. Lindbergh will also oversee development of meal menus following USDA requirements, and establish a patron advisory board of students, parents and staff that will assist in menu planning. SFE will continue to use the Nutrislice app for online menu delivery to families.
SFE, which will replace Chartwells as Lindbergh’s food service provider, currently partners with Northwest School District, St. Louis Public Schools and Ferguson-Florissant School District. All hourly employees currently working for Chartwells in Lindbergh will be interviewed first and offered positions with SFE. The new firm will also follow the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement that exists with the Lindbergh Federation of Food Service Workers, Local 6006.
SFE is proud to stand behind our promise to bring the best, widest variety of student-approved menus—with a focus on fresh-from-scratch meals and unparalleled service.
We are committed to delivering:
- Delicious and diverse menus that leave students feeling full and satisfied
- 100 percent USDA-compliant menus
- An exceptional culinary experience that gets students excited about food and about eating at school
- Stellar onsite culinary, nutritional, ops, compliance and HR support for smoother operations every day
- Onsite training and development to ensure consistently high-quality food, as well as an engaged, happy staff
- Efficient and effective business management that delivers improved financial performance
- Partnerships to help fight hunger for the underprivileged, combat obesity and promote overall wellness
- Together, we can make a decision to do the best for our children today… for a better world tomorrow.
In addition, the Board of Education approved 2019-20 meal prices, which are as follows. Pricing on milk, breakfast and lunch was compared with neighboring St. Louis County benchmark schools, and follows state and national guidelines.
$0.65 cents (25 cent decrease)
$1.55 elementary (10 cent increase)
$1.55 secondary (10 cent increase)
$3.05 elementary (no change)
$3.20, $3.75, $4.10, $4.60 secondary (no change)