Participation decline cited as district looks at going contract

Concord (N.H.) Schools just starting to look at privatizing foodservice.

April 4—The Concord (N.H.) School District is exploring the possible benefits of privatizing its food services, a move that is drawing sharp criticism from employees even in its early stages.

District officials are still researching the idea, and no official decision has been made. Business Administrator Jack Dunn is drawing up a request for proposals that must be approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education before it can go out. He, Superintendent Chris Rath and Director of Human Resources Larry Prince met with a handful of food service employees Thursday to tell them the process was beginning. When the request for proposals is completed, Dunn said it will be shared with the employees. The district looked at privatizing food services several years ago but decided not to do so at that time.

Participation in the district’s lunch programs has been declining, Dunn said, although he did not immediately have numbers. This year’s food service budget is $1.7 million.