County finalizing jail food service contract

County officials are finalizing a food service contract for the Adult Detention Center.

During a Dec. 16 meeting, county commissioners unanimously voted to accept a bid from Summit Food Service and staff are finalizing the contract.

The previous contract expired Dec. 19.

The contract was on the Dec. 27 commission agenda for full approval but was pulled since it wasn’t finalized yet, Commissioner Joe Briggs said during the meeting.

Undersheriff Scott Van Dyken said that the contract numbers are based on 400 meals, three times per day, 365 days a year, for a total of 438,000 meals.

The five-year contract includes annual increases in meal prices, with the base year cost of $1.875 per meal.

Summit also agreed to pay $200,000 to the county for upgrades in the existing jail kitchen.

The county owns the kitchen facility and equipment, Summit will have cooking staff onsite, manage the inmate workers and ordering food supplies, Van Dyken said.

Inmate kitchen workers are supervised by detention officers, he said.

The kitchen equipment is larger, more expensive and takes a lot of wear and tear, he said.

Kitchen duty is a privilege in the jail, Van Dyken said. Inmates have to be up early in the morning and cook three meals a day for 400 people. They don’t get paid, but get some other perks for good behavior and hard work.

The county received two bids for food service at the jail, one from Summit and the other Trinity Services Group.

The Trinity bid included $2.12 per meal costs and didn’t include the $200,000 toward kitchen improvements, which was a requirement in the request for bids, according to county documents.