The department reviewed food service operations to determine if the cost of $1.63 per served meal could be lowered. The department completed the zero-based budgeting process in December and has developed a business plan to increase efficiency in food service operations. The three tiers of the plan include changing menus, revising operations and staff adjustments. When the new business plan is implemented, the state will reduce meal costs to approximately $1.47 per meal served. This cost includes staff and security.
Phase 1: Menu modifications were initiated on February 12th. These changes will occur incrementally.
There are five key menu changes.
• Replace juice with fortified fruit drinks.
• Replace individual milk with bulk milk.
• Bake food items instead of frying them.
• Make salad dressings and syrups.
• Include seasonings in meal preparation.
Inmates were notified of menu changes on March 1st. The menu changes will be phased in by April 1st. Staff menus were phased out effective February 28th
Phase 2: Operational changes are underway.
The department will move from the current standardized meals to a self-select option in several institutions.
This will reduce waste and save money. The South Idaho Correctional Institution tested the new serving method the first week of March with favorable results.
A staff member will oversee the implementation of recognized business practices including standardized accounting, centralized purchasing, inventory, portions, and regulating production levels. Food managers will provide guidance and oversight for day-to-day operations in the field.
Phase 3: Staffing adjustments
Food service staff schedules will change. When enacted, the three parts of the business plan will standardize and add efficiency to food service statewide. The department will use the cost reductions of $1 million dollars to help offset FY11 budget reductions.
The Board of Correction voted to delay a request for proposals for contracting food service for nine months.
The department has until September to cut food service costs.