The Walled Lake Consolidated Schools District has spent the summer revamping menus in order to meet the requirements of the new federal Hunger Free Healthy Kids Act; and the person in charge of that is Janet Allen, the district’s food service supervisor.
However, due to a shared services agreement between Walled Lake Consolidated Schools and West Bloomfield Schools, Allen will be supervising both school districts’ nutritional services programs.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” said Bill Chatfield, director of operations for the Walled Lake district. “It’s still in its early stages. It started in the beginning of August with Janet going through all of the West Bloomfield facilities. It’s looking to be a successful venture.”
The shared services agreement includes the coordination of purchased goods and services, shared menus, coordinating training in service between employees in both school districts, and having one supervisor — Allen — handling personnel, management, and kitchen inspection duties.
And of course, it will save the district some money.
“It’s a shared compensation contract. The benefit to both districts is reduced administrative costs,” said Chatfield.
He added that he expects the district to save anywhere between $25,000 to $30,000 a year initially, with the potential of cost savings going up as the years progress.
“The $25,000-$30,000 savings is just in the wages and benefits area,” he said. “Hopefully both districts will see reduced costs and commodities due to larger bulk purchasing of food. However, we are not sure what that amount will be at this time.
“We are really looking forward to this collaborative effort,” he added. “The state has really been pushing best practices and shared practices, and we are on the leading edge of that.”