DeKalb D428 food provider requests expanded contract to offset rising food costs

DeKALB - DeKalb school’s food service provider is asking District 428 leaders to consider a new contract to account for the rising cost of food and services.

The DeKalb School District 428 board considered a request by Aramark Education Services LLC to update its contract for the next school year to account for what Aramark said is inflation and the rise in the state minimum wage.

According to a letter submitted to the board, Aramark is looking for an 8% increase in the per meal rate for the 2022-23 school year. This increase requires that Aramark enter into an emergency contract and cancel its existing contract, documents show.

District business director Cynthia Carpenter said that Aramark is in the last year of its five-year contract, but the emergency contract and increase for next year are more than reasonable.

Aramark has been the district’s food service provider since July 2017.

The DeKalb school district served just short of 1.1 million meals to students during the 2021-22 school year, according to a presentation and data given by Denise Giammarrusco, food service manager for DeKalb School District.

Giammarrusco hopes to continue the success of Aramark is having and continue to provide students with not just a daily meal.

“The impact of these numbers goes way beyond just physically handing children their food,” Giammarusco said. “Aramark is about the whole experience which includes the connections we make with our students.”

The board is expected to vote on whether to update the contract at its next meeting, scheduled for June 21.