Chartwells was selected from among three bidding companies based on a number of criteria:
Promotion of the food service program
Involvement of students and staff
In issuing the Chartwells recommendation to the MRH Board of Education, District administrators placed heavy emphasis on Chartwells strong program connection to MRH curricula, support of local farmers and vendors, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and focus on health and wellness.
The decision to move forward with a contracted service was made with careful consideration and reflection:
The MRH Food Service Department has been experiencing staffing shortages since 2016-17.
MRH worked with temp agencies to keep as many positions filled as possible to maintain the quality which students deserve.
The pandemic further stressed the nutrition services department. The departure of workers resulted in consistently unfilled positions.
The staffing agencies had not been able to provide temporary workers. This left kitchens grossly understaffed and overtaxed staff.
Chartwells representatives touted a number of features of their food service model, including a “Discovery Kitchen” which connects nutrition education and cooking demonstrations with a promotional calendar through monthly themes… giving students a voice in deciding what makes the menu through tasting and voting events… and helping students make a connection between what they eat and how they feel.
Chartwells representatives have toured the kitchens at each MRH building and are proceeding to secure staffing and make improvements to the facilities for the start of the school year. Food deliveries begin the week of August 15.