Sharing food service director to save WB-RC more than $40,000
District to share director with Essexville-Hampton School District
WEST BRANCH — West Branch-Rose City Area Schools expects to save $40,133 in 2012-13 by sharing its food service director, Janis Phillips, with Essexville-Hampton Public Schools.
Superintendent Dan Cwayna said WB-RC will only have to pay half of Phillips’ wages and benefits, which will allow for the decreased cost for the service. Chartwells, which contracts with the district to provide a food service director, contacted Cwayna about sharing Phillips with another district, according to Cwayna.
“They called us a couple of weeks ago and asked if we’d be interested in a shared program with Janis Phillips,” he said.
The program has Phillips scheduled for two and a half days in each district each week, Cwayna said.
“Overall, it’s going to be a 50-50 split,” he said.
Cwayna said the district is trying the program for only one year at this time. He said he and Phillips believe it can work well.
“We’re certainly hopeful it will,” he said. “When the proposal was introduced by Chartwells, I sat down with Janis and she thought it could work.”
While sharing a food service director is new for WB-RC, Essexville-Hampton has cooperated with another district for multiple years, according to Superintendent John Mertz.
“The current food service director for us was shared between us and Reese,” he said. “It’s a very successful arrangement. It’s been very positive for us.”
Whenever there have been any issues, Mertz said the district has been able to contact Chartwells and get the answers it needs. Essexville-Hampton has also enjoyed savings over the years through the arrangement, he said.
But with any new program, there will be some challenges, Cwayna said.
“Any time you change anything, you worry about the transition,” he said.
Cwayna said he is confident in the kitchen staff, though.
“I’m sure it’s going to work with the employees we have,” he said.
Besides providing WB-RC with a food service director, Chartwells also provides the district with buying power for lower food prices through ordering large quantities, offers expertise on nutrition and menus and keeps its members up to speed with federal and state laws for portion controls.
WB-RC’s contract for Chartwells cost about $677,000 last year, with more than $500,000 of that cost coming from food orders, Cwayna said.