8 Investigates: Switching Kitchens

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- Four Region 8 schools districts are looking to partner with an outside vendor for school lunches next year.

The school districts listed are: Greene County Tech, Jonesboro, Newport and Piggott.

Superintendent Jerry Noble with Greene County Tech said they have been losing money in their food services program so this could be a way for them to save.

"In order to contract out to food services or to even inquire about it we had to be put on this list,"Noble said.

He said it all comes down to who can operate a kitchen more economically.

"We've not made a commitment of any kind yet we are just, we just wanted to get on the list so we could inquire about it and to do that we had to do a request for a proposal so we did that," Noble said.

He said the next step would be to solicit bids from different food services.

"They will come in and make a presentation to us, we will take them around and show them our kitchen," Noble explained.

Then the company will present the school with a dollar amount.

"At that time we will look at it and see, whether or not we think it's feasible, if it's going to save us money or whatever," Noble said.

He said in the proposal he made sure his lunch staff would be safe.

"We put in there that all employees would continue to work for Greene County Tech," he said.

Noble said they want to visit other schools that might use a particular vendor to make sure the food is good.

"One thing I think you would probably be more choices of food especially at the high school," he said.

Noble said no official decision has been made. I also reached out to the other school districts on the list. Superintendent Powell with the Piggott School District said they signed up to give students more choices. Superintendent Larry Bennett with Newport Schools agreed and said they have already chosen a vendor for next year. He said once the contract is approved by their attorney, the new lunches will begin in January.

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