D.C. Public Schools director fired after clash over school meals costs

Jeff Mills had been lobbying for going self-op.

Jan. 15—Jeff Mills, director of foodservice for D.C. Public Schools, has been removed from his position, according to D.C.-based blog the DCist.

Mills' firing comes in the wake of a contentious D.C. Council hearing in December at which Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and other school officials were put on the defensive over how much the school system spends on breakfasts and lunches. From 2008 to 2012, the system contracted its food services out to Chartwells, a large food services provider, but the company served fewer meals than expected and charged more than estimated. (Chartwells has rejected these claims.)

According to a food blogger Ed Bruske, in early 2012 Mills and Henderson clashed over the use of Chartwells to provide meals to DCPS students, with Mills advocating that the school system do the job internally. Henderson refused to entertain the idea.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
induction cooking nuts

Thanks to prolific fast casuals such as Chipotle, guests have come to expect a certain level of customization in their dining options. For almost 50% of Generation Zers, customization is a deciding factor when purchasing food, according Technomic’s 2016 Generational Consumer Trend Report . Taking customization even further, operations are handing over even more control to customers with both build-your-own and cook-your-own stations.

Elder Hall’s My Kitchen station at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., offers a daily rotating ingredient bar with items such as stir-fry,...

Managing Your Business
business marketing concepts drawing

Sharp, smart marketing materials can make all the difference when it comes to drawing a big crowd for a menu launch or upcoming event. With more avenues to cover than ever and fewer resources to go around, operators offer their tips on making marketing work from start to finish.

Start with communication

Whether it’s an in-house marketing department, an outside agency or someone on staff wearing the marketing hat part-time, the right people need to be involved early and often. “Marketing doesn’t always have a seat at the table [like] it should in order to be truly effective,” says...

Menu Development
health food medicine stethoscope

For the last two years, Chris Studtmann has jockeyed between Northwestern University’s residential dining halls and athletic training tables in his role of executive chef, trying to meet the health and food preferences of both sides. Now, his team is taking best practices developed for the sports teams to the 20,000-plus student population, working with dietitians from the school’s contract company to better sync healthy menu choices with lifestyle needs.

Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report shows younger consumers are especially tuned in to functional foods that...

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

FSD Resources